Hagglund: FC Cincinnati shut down Vela, Rossi "for the most part"

Nick Hagglund tackles Carlos Vela - FC Cincinnati and LAFC

FC Cincinnati were eager to test themselves against the best in MLS, so their fixture on Saturday against high-flying LAFC provided the perfect measuring stick. 

While Cincy left SoCal with a 2-0 loss, the club returns to Ohio with their heads held high. 

FCC only conceded a second goal in stoppage time, with Carlos Vela getting his league-leading 8th goal of the season. He and Diego Rossi were held largely in check by Cincy's defense, only breaking on a set-piece prior to Vela's late insurance goal. 

"It was a grind," defender Nick Hagglund admitted after the game. "Got beat on a set piece, but we were in the game. We had our chances to score. For us, it was a good test to see where we measure up against the best in the league."

Hagglund will take away the club's defensive efforts against LAFC, who had scored more goals than any club in league history through six games.

"[We can learn from] defending as a group and shutting down, for the most part, Vela and Rossi," Hagglund said. "We have work to do on the attacking front, to see if we can create more chances for ourselves."

Cincy now have eight points after seven games played in their inaugural MLS season.

"I'm proud of the players to come here and be in the game right into the end and manage a lot of what LAFC threw at us," head coach Alan Koch said. "We came here and created ample chances, we could have capitalized on one of those and obviously it would be a different story right now." 

FC Cincy will stay in Ohio as they welcome Real Salt Lake to Nippert Stadium on Friday (7:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US, DAZN in Canada).