Missing six players to international duty — and Mike Petke himself — assistant coach Freddy Juarez filled in some of the gaps which saw Tate Schmitt, Erik Holt, and Andrew Brody step in and get the start. Aside from that, it was the usual suspects including Nick Rimando and Kyle Beckerman to put their best possible foot forward with the absence of so many normal starters.
LAFC, who also started their best possible players while missing a couple key cogs, wasted no time in opening the scoring as Carlos Vela put them on the sheet in the eighth minute. Atuesta found Vela wide open on the right side of the box, catching Donny Toia out of position. Vela let a left-footed shot fly and sent it curling past Rimando, easily putting the visitors up 1-0 early on in the match.
Despite LA controlling the majority of the first half, the score remained 1-0 at the halftime break. LAFC outpossessed RSL with 55% of possession, while also outshooting the home side 5-3 overall. RSL was fortunate not to give up a couple more goals as Christian Ramirez and Vela both came dangerously close again, but Rimando was there to keep the ball out of the net.
The second half saw RSL with a little more life as they found some much-needed attacking energy. They had their best chance of the game so far in the 60th minute as Andrew Brody — slated at right back tonight — sent a cross in that found its way across goal and to the feet of a wide open Tate Schmitt. Schmitt first-timed a shot on the ground but LAFC ‘keeper Sisniega went down and got a hand to it, keeping the home team off the score sheet.
The tides quickly shifted when LAFC doubled their lead in the 64th minute thanks to a fantastic ball from Latif Blessing that found Lee Nguyen streaking toward goal. Toia again was unable to catch up and mark him, and Nguyen put the ball past Rimando with ease, sending the visitors up 2-0.
Just to drive the nail in the coffin, LAFC bagged another in stoppage time from substitute Adama Diomande as he drilled a left footed shot home from the center of the box to make it 3-0.
Although RSL had a couple more half-decent looks at goal in the second half, it wasn’t nearly enough to get on the score sheet, much less win the game. LAFC advances in the tournament while RSL is knocked out in the fourth round for the third year in a row. Real Salt Lake resumes league play on June 22 as they travel to Chicago to take on the Fire.