Diego Rossi and Bradley Wright-Phillips filled the Carlos Vela-sized hole in the LAFC offense nicely, en route to a 5-1 drubbing of the San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday night at Banc of California Stadium.
It looked as if the scoring might start absurdly early on a third-minute chance. Tristan Blackmon found himself directly in front of goal for what looked like an easy put-away, but the ball bounced off his chest and over the bar. Instead, it was Rossi who opened the scoring, with his eighth goal in as many 2020 matches. Rossi found himself on the end of a Mark-Anthony Kaye pass after a Quakes turnover, and curled the ball in neatly from a tight angle.
Another Quakes turnover, by 2020 SuperDraft pick Tanner Beason, led to LAFC's second goal after the halftime break. Wright-Phillips won his foot race against Beason and got off his shot for MLS career goal No. 112.
It looked like Brian Rodriguez was set to add to the scoring nearly 10 minutes later on a free kick that he couldn't quite get past a high-flying Daniel Vega. Rodriguez was, however, able to pick up an assist getting into the box and feeding Jose Cifuentes in the 64th. Then, five minutes later, Rossi got his brace to put the match well out of reach at 4-0.
- 21' – LAFC – Diego Rossi | WATCH
- 49' – LAFC – Bradley Wright-Phillips | WATCH
- 64' – LAFC – Jose Cifuentes | WATCH
- 69' – LAFC – Diego Rossi | WATCH
- 83' – LAFC – Danny Musovski | WATCH
- 90' + 2' – SJ – Danny Hoesen | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: Who's ready for El Trafico? While the Galaxy were dispatching Portland, LAFC was showing not even the full force of its Vela-less offense. Sunday's derby will go a long way toward determining which part of L.A. the MLS Cup race might run through. Though Vela's healing MCL is still the X-factor, LAFC showed why they remain among the title favorites. For the Quakes, this loss took them below the playoff line. They'll have to bounce back quickly on Saturday at home against the Colorado Rapids if they want to make another run like they did during the MLS is Back Tournament.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: What turned out to be the winning goal showed that BWP can still turn on the jets when he needs to do so, and he has the cleverness and poise to finish coolly even in chaotic situations.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Rossi is perhaps the player who most needs to step up in Vela's absence, and showed he's capable tonight with two goals and plenty of pressure on the Quakes backline.