LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Diego Rossi scored on a penalty kick early in the first half and provided the clinching goal in the 82nd minute, and Los Angeles FC thumped the reigning MLS Cup champion Seattle Sounders 4-1 early Tuesday morning.
LAFC advanced to the quarterfinals of the MLS is Back tournament by getting a measure of revenge for last year’s Western Conference final when Seattle pulled off a 3-1 upset in Los Angeles on its way to winning the league title.
“We created a lot of chances, which is something that we feel very good about, and when we needed them to finish the game out we kept going,” LAFC coach Bob Bradley said.
Even without reigning league MVP Carlos Vela, LAFC pressured and flustered the Sounders early and never let up. LAFC outshot Seattle 25-11. At times, the Sounders couldn’t play the ball out of their own defensive end due to the pressure of LAFC.
Except for a brief stint of the second half when Seattle threatened, it was a dominant performance by LAFC that set up a matchup with Orlando City in the quarterfinals on Friday.
“It was a measuring stick for us. And we failed tonight,” Seattle coach Brian Schmetzer said.
Rossi was the leader of LAFC's buzzing attack. He scored twice and probably should have scored two or three more times. Rossi drew Xavier Arreaga’s foul in the penalty area and beat Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei in the 14th minute for the early advantage.
Latif Blessing doubled the lead in the 39th minute when his shot toward the far post was deflected by Seattle defender Shane O’Neill and into the net. Frei appeared to be in position to make the save, but O’Neill shifted his shoulder and deflected the attempt.