The cliché is that it's always a good problem to have, a coach with too many good players at his disposal.
That may be true, but it is still a problem. And it's one that LAFC head coach Bob Bradley seems to be dealing with now.
The expansion team, fresh off a 2-0 win on Wednesday against Real Salt Lake, saw the full emergence of one of their summer transfer window pick-ups, forward Christian Ramirez, who scored both goals on the night.
You may ask, what's the problem with that? In isolation, absolutely nothing.
But LAFC's attack-heavy lineup features a lot of slashers, withdrawn forwards and midfielders who have a nose for goal. In that system, the predominant formation features just one true central striker.
Marco Ureña has no goals in 804 minutes but does have five assists | USA Today Sports Images
Ureña started the season as the automatic selection, in part because he was the only one on the team at the time. In the first two months of the season, he failed to score at all, but his ability to set up teammates, draw defenders away, and his workrate in all facets of the game made him an indispensable player. Yes, strikers are expected to score, but with the other attacking players stepping up, it wasn't so important for the Costa Rican to get off the mark.
In May, LAFC signed Diomande on deadline day in May. After taking some time to get up to fitness, Diomande helped carry LAFC through the World Cup, when Ureña and Carlos Vela were playing in Russia. At one point, the Norwegian scored nine goals in his first seven games, which was MLS-record pace for a newcomer, and it helped land him MLS Player of the Month honors for June.
But since the return of the World Cup contingent, it has seemed like Vela and Diomande haven't quite figured out how to play together. Diomande hasn't scored in his last four games, and he's been injured the last two games.
Dio got off to a historic start in MLS but has not scored since July 7 | USA Today Sports Images
Enter Ramirez. MLS experienced and fit to play right away, the Southern California native was a surprise addition to LAFC following his trade from Minnesota United. While rumors flew after the Loons acquired Angelo Rodriguez, few expected LAFC to be the team that came calling for the 27-year-old.
Coming off Wednesday's win, with a brace, it's going to be hard for Bradley to sit Ramirez if he's healthy. Even so, Diomande and Ureña have made their cases -- Ureña does the dirty work, but does it very well, and Diomande's scoring rate is still spectacular, having scored nine goals and three assists in 11 league appearances to date.
One spot, three players worthy of it. Expect Bradley to ride the hot hand and try to rotate where he can, but it will be tough to keep these players happy if any of them experience a long stretch on the bench.
When you look at it that way, it is a problem. But as the cliché goes, it's the "good" kind, and LAFC's prospects in 2018 may very well hinge on how Bradley can manage his deep stable of strikers.