Rossi scores twice in first half, LAFC beats Rapids 2-1
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Diego Rossi scored twice in the first half and Los Angeles FC beat the Colorado Rapids 2-1 on Saturday night to snap a two-game losing streak.
Michael Barrios scored for the Rapids, who had won three straight.
LAFC was buoyed by the return of forward Carlos Vela to the starting lineup. Vela injured his right quad in the April 17 opener against Austin and missed the next three games before he played the final 20 minutes last Sunday in a loss at Seattle.
The return of one of Major League Soccer’s top playmakers left plenty of open chances for Rossi, who had his seventh multi-goal game with LAFC. On both goals, Vela — who played 59 minutes — drew multiple defenders, which allowed him to find attackers in 1-on-1 situations.
“His ability to take certain balls and find the right passes allows us to become more fluid,” LAFC coach Bob Bradley said of Vela.
LAFC (2-2-2) opened the scoring in the 13th minute, when Vela passed it to Barid, who then made a touch pass to Rossi for his second goal of the season. Rossi was able to slide it into the near post after William Yarbrough was caught off balance.
Rossi made it 2-0 in the 33rd minute with a left-footed shot into the near corner of the net after getting the feed from Vela.
“We dug ourselves a little bit of a hole early on,” Colorado coach Robin Fraser said. “We can’t let good players come into the middle of the field. We didn’t have enough in the middle to prevent their numbers forward and keep their players wide.”
Colorado took advantage of an LAFC turnover in the 50th minute when Barrios beat a pair of defenders and shot it past goalkeeper Pablo Sisniega.
The Rapids (3-2-1) had two chances to tie, but Sisniega saved an on-target shot from Barrios in the 60th minute. In the 87th minute, Andre Shinyashiki had a wide-open attempt in the box but was wide right.
Rapids: Host FC Dallas next Saturday. The teams played to a scoreless draw in the season opener on April 17.
LAFC: Hosts NYCFC next Saturday.
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