LAFC wakes up from the dream season: The Sports Report

LAFC, After the most successful regular season in MLS history, LAFC’s playoff race would lead to a title that ended prematurely in a 3-1 loss to Seattle Sounders in the Conference final. Where is in front of an unfortunate crowd of more than 22,000 people at the California Stadium bench.

LAFC wakes up from the dream season: The Sports Report
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

It was a disappointing end to a magical season, in which the second-year team broke the MLS record by points in one season and tied the scoring record, while captain Carlos Vela became the best scorer. of a single season.

But Vela did not score on Tuesday for the first time in 11 starts and his teammates could not take over. The first double of Eduard Atuesta was the only score of LAFC. Seattle responded with goals from Raúl Ruidiaz and Nicolás Lodeiro four minutes apart in the middle of the first period and a second Ruidiaz goal 19 minutes from the second half.

LAFC had defeated rival Crosstown Galaxy five days earlier in a moving playoff game. The team and its fans were greeted with fervor. The California stadium bench seemed strangely in comparison on Tuesday, with many in the stands booing the final whistle.

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LAFC (22-5-9) first scored goals as Atuesta snuggled against a long free-right shot past a dive, Stefan Frei and at the bottom of the net near the left post at the 17th minute. He prepared the game by fouling Seattle midfielder Gustav Svensson about 10 yards from the penalty area.

However, the advantage lasted only five minutes. Ruidiaz for the first time faced LAFC, deflecting defender Eddie Segura at the top of the penalty area, then split Jordan Harvey and Walker Zimmerman in a boxing race that ended with a shot to the right on goalkeeper CFLA goalkeeper, Tyler Miller.

Four minutes later, the Sounders (19-10-8) took the lead forever. Lodeiro fired a low, left-handed shot from Segura and into the side net of about 20 yards.

“It’s a season where there are a lot of good things, but it’s ending in a disappointing way,” said coach Bob Bradley. “We all feel it now. For the moment, all we feel is a disappointment. ”

Vela added, “Nobody expects this end. In the playoffs, we know it’s a game, 90 minutes. [But] in the end, we must be proud of what we have done all year and learn.

“We have to come back next year and be better.”