Real Salt Lake was completely obliterated this afternoon by newcomers Los Angeles FC, who took the home side to task in a 5-1 rout in only their second-ever game in existence. The visitors put on an absolute clinic by way of stars like Diego Rossi, Carlos Vela, Marco Urena and Steven Beitashour to hand RSL their first loss of the season.
Mike Petke fielded almost the exact same lineup we saw last week in Dallas, with the exception of David Horst stepping in for Marcelo Silva who reportedly pulled up with a minor training injury earlier this week.
LAFC had the first golden opportunity in the 7th minute when they got behind the defense and around a diving Rimando. They fired off a shot toward an empty net but luckily Demar Phillips was there to put his body in front of it, and kept the visitors off the score sheet early on.
RSL opened the scoring when Plata was taken down in the box in the 19th minute. Despite LA’s protests, referee Baldomero Toledo awarded the penalty. LAFC keeper Tyler Miller saved Plata’s initial shot, but the rebound came straight back to him and he was able to bang it right back into the net to put the home side up 1-0 in the 20th minute.
LAFC found an equalizer in the 30th minute when Marco Urena slotted a ball into Diego Rossi that found its way behind the defense. Rossi was able to slip the ball just past Rimando to level the match at 1-1.
Unfortunately for RSL, it got worse just three minutes later as referee Toledo allowed a clearly offside goal from Latif Blessing to stand. LA defender Steven Beitashour found himself with the ball behind RSL’s defense, who then laid the ball off to Blessing who was on Rimando’s backside, but a clear couple yards offside. He easily tapped the ball into an open net and Toledo didn’t call it back for offside, so the visitors took a 2-1 lead.
It looked like LA would grab a third in the 38th minute when Rossi received a ball wide open behind RSL’s defense with an open net in front of him, but his tap-in shot bounced off the post, keeping the score at 2-1.
However, LAFC wasted no time after the break, adding that third goal in the 47th minute thanks to Benny Feilhaber, when he collected a cross from Beitashour and slotted it home before it seemed RSL’s defense even knew what happened. The onslaught continued as LA went ahead 3-1.
Rossi got his second goal of the afternoon in the 81st minute when he easily broke through RSL’s defense and slotted a ball home right past Rimando.
The nightmare continued in the 86th minute when Carlos Vela found himself on yet another breakaway, with yet another easy finish, putting the expansion side up 5-1 late in the game.
Although RSL controlled the majority of possession (61%-39%), it was the breakaways and counter attacks that led LAFC to an impressive second win in as many games, proving that the Vela-Rossi attacking combination is no joke.
Real Salt Lake, 0-1-1, hosts the New York Red Bulls next week while LAFC, 2-0-0, doesn’t play again until March 31 when they take on hometown rivals LA Galaxy.