D.C. United’s undefeated run came to a stunning halt after a devastating 4-0 loss against Los Angeles Football Club. Diego Rossi’s hat trick keyed the visitors to a resounding victory, while Wayne Rooney’s 53rd minute red card only compounded a miserable afternoon for the Black-and-Red. Carlos Vela also scored for LAFC, who were dominant throughout.
The action started quickly. In the 9th minute, a run from Jordan Harvey saw Leonardo Jara take extreme defensive measures by sliding and extending his arm out to block the shot, resulting in an immediate penalty to LAFC. Carlos Vela stepped up to the penalty spot, but Bill Hamid, who timed his dive perfectly, stretched to punch the ball away. Vela managed to get a foot to the rebound, hitting the post, but United escaped, with Hamid sending Audi Field into an absolute uproar.
As the minutes passed, United’s momentum dwindled, and LAFC’s ability to pounce on turnovers began to show. In the 14th minute, United gave away the ball in the midfield after a subpar passing sequence, allowing Diomande to gain possession and get creative. The Norwegian striker passed to Vela, who found space from outside the box and powerfully curved the ball into the top left corner for the 1-0 lead.
12 minutes later, Vela found himself with the ball again, racing past United players to set up Diego Rossi, who smashed the ball into the net and doubled the lead.
United simply could not keep up. The back four failed to contain Black Thunder’s attack, and were caught on the counter repeatedly.
The visiting side continued to take advantage of United’s inability to maintain possession after Paul Arriola gave the ball away immediately after a faulty pass to Russell Canouse in the 31st minute. Mark-Anthony Kaye won the rebound, and supplied Rossi, who did a sterling Vela impression, curling the ball into the far corner for the 3-0 lead.
The halftime stats told the story: LAFC had 11 shots (4 on goal), while United could only manage a paltry 2 shots (1 on goal).
Minutes into the second half, Wayne Rooney made the mistake of lunging into Rossi with a tackle. Rooney first received a yellow, by after careful consideration and VAR review, he was issued a red card in the 53rd minute.
The home side, however, found motivation from the expulsion and immediately sprung into action. Lucas Rodriguez gained possession on the left, and smashed the ball into the side netting for the first attempt of the half, fooling much of the crowd into believing that a goal had been scored.
United kept plugging away despite the numerical deficit. Ulises Astarted Segura nearly scored on a free kick immediately after coming in as a sub. The action continued when Frederic Brilliant found the rebound and forced Steven Beitashour to block his goalbound shot on the line. Canouse recovered the ball, but his shot was blocked by a diving Harvey.
In hopes to spot LA from the possible counterattack, Brilliant fouled Rossi and awarded the visiting side a free kick from a dangerous area. Vela stepped up on the left, and drove the ball into the left corner, forcing Hamid to leap and touch the ball over the post for the save.
In the 76th minute, the visiting side developed a steady passing sequence that saw them work the ball through the shorthanded Black-and-Red, with Christian Ramirez finally teeing up Rossi for his hat trick.
United kept working for at least one goal, with Quincy Amarikwa going close at one point on his debut for D.C., but ultimately there was no good news for DCU on the day.
United will have a quick turnaround to recover their morale. They host the Montreal Impact on Tuesday night at 8:00pm.
MLS Regular Season (Game 5)
D.C. United 0
Los Angeles FC 4 (Vela 16; Rossi 27, 32, 76)
DCU (4231): Bill Hamid; Leonardo Jara, Frederic Brillant, Steven Birnbaum, Chris McCann (Ulises Segura 57); Junior Moreno, Russell Canouse (Chris Durkin 77); Paul Arriola, Luciano Acosta (Quincy Amarikwa 73), Lucas Rodriguez; Wayne Rooney (C)
LAFC (433): Tyler Miller; Steven Beitashour, Walker Zimmerman, Eddie Segura, Jordan Harvey (Mohamed El-Munir 70); Latif Blessing, Eduard Atuesta, Mark-Anthony Kaye; Carlos Vela (C) (Adrien Perez 79), Adama Diomande (Christian Ramirez 28), Diego Rossi
DCU - Rooney 53 (red), Brillant 64, Rodriguez 88
LAFC - None