Diego Rossi scored his first MLS hat trick, Carlos Vela added a goal and an assist, and LAFC issued a clear statement of intent to any club that considers itself among the league's best with a 4-0 thrashing of D.C. United at Audi Field on Saturday afternoon.
The performance gave Rossi six goals for the season, one shy of Vela's seven, and pushed Western Conference leaders LAFC to six unbeaten to start the new campaign. In the process, they snapped the 15-match unbeaten run of a D.C. team that entered the weekend leading the East.
Bad went to worst for hosts shortly after halftime, with star forward Wayne Rooney sent off for his challenge on Rossi following Video Review, meaning he'll be out on Tuesday for D.C.'s quick turnaround against the Montreal Impact.
- 15' - LAFC - Carlos Vela | WATCH
- 27' - LAFC - Diego Rossi | WATCH
- 32' - LAFC - Diego Rossi | WATCH
- 76' - LAFC - Diego Rossi | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: For once, he wasn't the star of the show, but Vela is increasingly becoming the odds-on early favorite for the Landon Donovan MLS MVP award. With his early strike and assist on Rossi's first, he now has seven goals and five assists through six matches, and seems ready to challenge for the first 20-20 season in MLS history. Toronto FC's Sebastian Giovinco made the last effort at that in 2015, hitting 22 goals and adding 16 assists in his maiden MLS campain.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: LAFC's second was pure class on both ends, with Vela providing a stylish outside-the-boot cross and Rossi hammering in a perfect finish.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Rossi. After making a big splash with his introduction a year ago, the young Uruguayan has been plagued by moments of inconsistency, but he was immaculate here. He even got the better of Rooney's frustrations. The English superstar had only once before been dismissed from a club match.