It took awhile for the LAFC offense to awaken, but once it did there was no stopping the Black and Gold in Saturday night’s 6-1 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps at Banc of California Stadium.
When goalkeeper Pablo Sisniega came off his line too soon, forward Yordy Reyna slid the ball into an open net in the fifth minute to give Vancouver an early lead.
“There was a misunderstanding early but the response was awesome,” LAFC coach Bob Bradley said. “Vancouver is an organized team defensively so that takes a lot of different things to break them down. I have these pictures of what really good teams look like and I’m pleased when we play that way — tempo, timing, ball movement, creating advantages.”
The home team pressured the Whitecaps from the outset, finally tying the score at 1-1 on a goal by Andy Rose off a corner kick in the 35th minute.
Mark-Anthony Kaye scored his fourth goal of the season in the opening minute of the second half to make it 3-1. Carlos Vela tallied in the 54th and 70th minutes (his 18th and 19th of the season) and Diego Rossi closed the scoring with his 10th goal in the 72nd minute.
“Carlos has been awesome,” Bradley said. “He’s having fun, he’s making teammates better, scoring goals, setting up goals … it’s fun to watch.”
It was another impressive showing in front of a chanting home crowd for LAFC (13-2-4), which won for the sixth time in seven games to maintain its record pace and widen its lead to nine points over the Galaxy in the Western Conference.
LAFC has accumulated an MLS-record 43 points in its first 19 games, and Bradley got his 153rd victory — second among active head coaches behind the New England Revolution’s Bruce Arena (203). Since joining LAFC, Bradley has a 29-11-13 record.
LAFC generated 31 shots, 14 of them on goal, while the 11th-place Whitecaps (4-8-8) mustered only five. LAFC dominated in time of possession and had 10 corner kicks to Vancouver’s three.
Vela, the 2018 MLS All-Star captain and Best XI selection, is at the forefront of all offensive categories.
He entered Saturday’s game leading the league in goals (17), shots (92) and shots on goal (36) and was tied for first in assists.