Los Angeles Football Club’s shocking MLS start comes down to scoring woes

LAFC head coach Bob Bradley. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
LAFC head coach Bob Bradley. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Los Angeles Football Club is struggling, a 2-0 loss on Sunday night at the Seattle Sounders just more evidence of a team that is clearly stumbling out the gate to start the MLS season. Injuries have limited forward Carlos Vela, one of the top attackers in all of MLS, to just 42 minutes played and two appearances this season.

And while LAFC is far from being in distress, especially with the steady and proven hand of head coach Bob Bradley at the helm, a team pegged to be a favorite for MLS Cup is certainly having a hard time getting out of their own way. To see Los Angeles Football Club, one of the top teams in all of MLS the past three seasons, at the bottom of the Western Conference is shocking at any time of the season.

Sunday’s loss drops LAFC to 1-2-2 (5 points) on the season. The shutout sees Los Angeles Football Club tied for the third fewest goals scored this season.

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“It’s new territory, this is a rough start for sure. We can’t be afraid of the moment, we got to find a way to just raise the bar in a lot of little ways,” Bradley said after the game.

“I still think we come out in every game with a good intensity, with a good idea of how we needed to get into the game. But the little things, we’ve not done a good enough job going forward in terms of making enough big chances and that’s certainly such an impart part of the way we play.

“I believe strongly that we’re going to become a very good team but the way the season has started with some guys not being completely fit, our attack not being as sharp as normal, we’ve gotten into some games where the margins are real tight and we haven’t made the important plays.”

Los Angeles Football Club is struggling, having scored five goals through as many games to start the season. The aforementioned Carlos Vela played 20 minutes off the bench last night but didn’t register a shot.

Some of it boils down to injuries and form, but all teams are going through these issues at this point in the season’s term. What is likely most encouraging is that, defensively, LAFC has only conceded five goals to start the season and the defensive side of the ball was the issue for the club going into preseason.

This Saturday, they will play the Colorado Rapids, fresh off a 3-1 home win over the Houston Dynamo. The Rapids have been a difficult team to break down this season and have won three straight games.