The Los Angeles Football Club keep marching onward.
The runaway MLS standings leaders, who have lost just once so far this season, opened their 2019 U.S. Open Cup slate with a confident and composed 3-0 fourth-round win at Real Salt Lake on Tuesday night.
An early goal from Carlos Vela provided an ideal start and the visitors at Rio Tinto Stadium went on to dominate most statistical categories, with Lee Nguyen and Adama Diomande icing the victory with second-half strikes.
While the scoreline flattered LAFC to an extent, with RSL carving out plenty of danger and testing goalkeeper Pablo Sisniega more than once, the home side were thwarted by some sterling recovery defending and were left chasing shadows at times, occasionally fouling (Latif Blessing was a particularly tempting target) out of sheer frustration.
- THE BIG PICTURE: This LAFC side are a fearsome proposition in any competition and even if they rest some starters at some point, it's not hard to see them making a strong play for the Open Cup. Minnows beware!
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Vela's characteristically languid, elegant finish set the tone and poked a hole in RSL's hopes of pulling off an upset like they did at LAFC's Banc of California Stadium in last year's Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Latif Blessing assisted on Nguyen's goal and generally drove the RSL midfield to distraction with his quick feet, comfort on the ball and relentless work rate.
- RSL: Saturday, June 22 at Chicago (8 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US, MLS LIVE on DAZN in Canada)
- LAFC: June 18–23, Open Cup Round of 16 (ESPN+)