LAFC’s top three performers from their 2-0 win over Austin FC.
Two second-half goals propelled LAFC to their first victory of the 2021 Major League Soccer season. Despite being without last season’s Golden Boot winner Diego Rossi, the Western Conference club was able to find the back of the net twice in the 2-0 win over visiting Austin FC. Here are the top three performers from the victory.
The LAFC goalkeeper produced three fantastic saves to record his first clean sheet of the campaign. In the 23rd minute, he made a massive stop to keep out a header from Tomas Pochettino that would have given Austin the first goal of the match. Later on, in the second half, Sisniega made two big stops to preserve the shutout. Arguably his best save of the match was in second-half stoppage time when he denied Jon Gallagher from close range.
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This was a well-deserved clean sheet for Sisniega and it was an encouraging performance from the man who will be the go-to player for LAFC in net this season. After recording two clean sheets last season, he’s already on track to better that number by a good margin.
After Carlos Vela left the match in the 22nd minute, Opoku was the player who entered the match to replace him. The 19-year-old was making just his fourth MLS appearance. Opoku ended up making the most of his appearance as he registered his second career assist. In addition to his assist, he completed 93% of his passes, registered three shots, and recorded two key passes. Overall, it was a great performance from a player who wasn’t expecting to enter the match in the 22nd minute to replace the club’s star forward. The 2021 season could really be a breakout campaign for Opoku.
In his first MLS appearance for LAFC, Baird was able to find the back of the net. The offseason acquisition benefitted from a deflection in the 61st minute to put LAFC ahead 1-0. With Rossi out of the lineup due to a hamstring injury, the former Real Salt Lake player stepped up to deliver a goal for his new club.
Baird is going to be a key player for LAFC this season, especially if Brian Rodriguez ends up leaving the club after his loan spell in Spain ends. Much like the aforementioned performances by his teammates, this was an encouraging display by Baird. The forward recorded eight goals in his first MLS season and he could refind that form with LAFC in 2021.