MLS Wednesday Rewind: Vela, LAFC thrash Earthquakes and more
There were only three matches on the docket Wednesday night, but the MLS action didn’t disappoint.
New York City FC won its second straight match and pulled to within one point of Eastern Conference leaders Atlanta United, while the New York Red Bulls topped rivals D.C. United in a wild affair at Audi Field.
Meanwhile, out west, Los Angeles FC thrashed the San Jose Earthquakes behind a strong first-half performance, which included a brace from top goalscorer Carlos Vela.
Here’s a closer look at all of Wednesday night’s results.
NYCFC, 1 – Crew, 0
Valentin Castellanos scored his 10th goal of the season on Wednesday night, propelling NYCFC past Crew SC at Yankee Stadium.
NYCFC now sits just a point behind Atlanta United at the top of the Eastern Conference, while Dome Torrent’s side has a game in hand over the defending MLS Cup champions.
The hosts held over 70 percent of the game’s possession, and had more of the chances as well. Alex Ring nearly opened the evening’s scoring in the 19th minute when the NYCFC midfielder struck a shot from the top of the box off a corner kick.
NYCFC now await a massive fixture against rivals New York Red Bulls on Saturday night at Yankee Stadium.
D.C. United, 1 – Red Bulls, 2
(Kamara 55′) (Kaku 6′, Royer 58′)
A wild first half saw Kaku score inside six minutes, however, each team had a player sent off before the halftime whistle.
D.C. striker Wayne Rooney was dismissed in the 24th minute for shoving Cristian Casseres Jr. in the neck, before Red Bulls defender Amro Tarek was shown a second yellow card on the stroke of halftime on a questionable decision.
Despite the setbacks for both teams, Ola Kamara got D.C. back in the game in the second stanza with a tremendous curling effort from outside the box, but a curious officiating decision restored the Red Bulls lead moments later.
Michael Murillo drew a penalty kick just before the hour mark, and Daniel Royer smashed home the ensuing spot kick to give New York a 2-1 lead, and ultimately the road victory.
The Red Bulls will meet NYCFC over the weekend, while D.C. travels to face the Philadelphia Union.
LAFC, 5 – Earthquakes, 0
(Rossi 6′, Vela 17′, 41′, Perez 80′, Diomande 90+2′)
This one was over early, as LAFC continued to do what they have done all season; win games. Diego Rossi struck in the sixth minute, before Carlos Vela added two more goals before halftime.
Vela improves his 2019 goal tally to 26 on the campaign, which is just five shy of tying the MLS single-season record set last season by Atlanta’s Josef Martinez.
U.S. youth international Josh Perez scored his first MLS goal in the 80th minute after starting just his third match in 2019, while Adama Diomande tacked on a fifth goal in stoppage time to complete the rout.
LAFC won its fifth straight match on Wednesday, as Bob Bradley’s side progressed to 61 points on the year. The West leaders are now 16 points clear in the Supporters’ Shield race with eight matches remaining.
Meanwhile, the Quakes remain in sixth place in the Western Conference, sitting on 38 points.