SANDY, Utah—Diego Rossi has involved himself in every single goal in LAFC's nascent history, scoring three and contributing three assists in a pair of away victories against the Seattle Sounders and Real Salt Lake.
But what impresses coach Bob Bradley is a decision-making process that shows wisdom beyond the Uruguayan's 20 years of age.
“Diego is such a good player to have on the field, to work with,” Bradley said of the former Peñarol man after he had a brace and three assists in LAFC's 5-1 win over RSL. “He’s deceptive. He’s fast. Today again he was coming from different positions, getting in on the attack.
“He’s also unselfish on his end. Late in the game he sees the better opportunity to play one across. Guys are trying to reward each other and that is positive.”
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While LA are starting their season on the road, Rossi had been the biggest producer in an offense that has played with the aggression of a home side over their first 180 minutes. But it's clear this is a group that can contribute from multiple angles. Latif Blessing, Carlos Vela and Benny Feilhaber each scored on Saturday, while Steven Beitashour and Marcos Ureña contributed assists.
Saying you want to build out of the back two games into an expansion season usually looks different than what LAFC showed on Saturday.
“We had a lot of chances today. I still was pleased in certain moments with the decision of when to shoot and when to pass," Bradley said. "You see players are unselfish and want to make the right decisions.”
While Rossi may be stealing headlines from Vela, Bradley says it's the Mexican international who is the pulse of the team and its attack.
“You can tell his personality comes through in the team,” Bradley said. “I think everybody appreciates what he brings.”
The biggest difficulty for Vela, Rossi, Urena and Blessing may be continuing this moment through an idle week. With an odd number of teams in MLS this season, there is no way for every team to be in action every weekend. Still, LAFC would prefer to have a fixture before their long-awaited derby match against the LA Galaxy in three weeks' time.
“We would like to play next weekend because we have momentum going forward, but it’s one of those things where we’re still an expansion team and we’re getting comfortable playing with each other,” Beitashour said.
For Bradley, one sign that this club may be for real is the ability to win games in multiple ways, romping RSL after a hard-fought 1-0 victory in Seattle during their season opener.
“We work in a good way," Bradley said. "We think we have good players. It’s two weeks in, so we’re not going to go crazy, but we’re happy we can follow up that win in Seattle with a different type of win."