Diego Rossi

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Rossi salvages point for Vela-less LAFC in Orlando (video)

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The game in 200 words (or less):  With serious possibilities of losing back-to-back games without the league’s best player in Carlos Vela, Diego Rossi stepped up for LAFC. The Uruguayan’s goal in the 78th minute – his 15th of the season – earned the Supporters’ Shield favorites a point in their visit to Exploria Stadium on Saturday night. Despite dealing with injuries and international absences, Rossi’s impact was a quick reminder of the type of firepower that Michael Bradley possesses. Orlando City, playing inspired in front of their home crowd with hopes of making playoffs intact, also tested their all-around depth through the legs of what seemed like vintage Luis Nani. LAFC, however, didn’t fold in front of the Portuguese, proving to be the better team when defending and in moving the ball forward. Four points out of playoffs and with four games to play, Orlando’s playoffs hopes hang by a thread, while LAFC remain on track to lift silverware sooner rather than later.

Three moments that mattered

13′ — Vintage Nani levels the game  — We’ve seen this before from the 32-year-old.

20′ —  Michel finishes a lovely sequence — A beautiful goal.

78′ — Rossi earns LAFC a point — There are reasons why European teams are closely monitoring the Uruguayan.

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Man of the match: Luis Nani

Goalscorers: Perez (12′), Nani (13′), Michel (20′), Rossi (78′)

Unstoppable LAFC end Revs’ 11-game unbeaten run (video)

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The game in 200 words (or less): Coming into the weekend’s premier matchup in MLS, Bruce Arena’s New England Revolution found itself above the playoff cut line on the back of an 11-game unbeaten run that began all the way back on May 11. In that time, the Revs took down the likes of San Jose, LA Galaxy, Houston and Orlando, to name a few, but they had face no one on par with runaway Supporters’ Shield leaders Los Angeles FC. All of the above changed on Saturday, when Bob Bradley‘s men walked out of Gillette Stadium with a 2-0 victory. Diego Rossi and Latif Blessing scored the goals — one in each half — and LAFC ran their modest recent run of results to five wins in their last six games. Their lead in the Shield race walkover is 13 points with 11 games left to play.

[ MORE: Saturday’s transfer rumor roundup | Friday | Thursday ]

Three moments that mattered

8′ — Rossi loops it high and back down for the opener — How many players in MLS even see the 10-foot-high looping finish as an option in this scenario, let alone have the technical wherewithal to pull it off? The answer is a small number, but it includes Rossi.

41′ — Farrell saves his own embarrassing blemish on the goal line — Andrew Farrell almost scored an embarrassing, if unlucky, own goal, but managed to sprint to the goal line and clear the ball away in the nick of time.

72′ — Blessing finishes a fantastic team goal for 2-0 — Champagne football from LAFC, innit? There should be about five secondary assists handed out on this one.

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Man of the match: Jordan Harvey

Goalscorers: Rossi (8′), Blessing (72′)

Report: LAFC on the verge of $11.5 million transfer signing

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Los Angeles FC seems to believe it has found the next Diego Rossi, and it didn’t have to look far from the source.

According to major Uruguayan newspaper El Observador, LAFC has acquired 19-year-old winger Brian Rodriguez from Uruguayan giant Penarol with an $11.5 million transfer fee. Rodriguez made his debut for Penarol in March 2018 and has, in the last two years, become an integral part of the squad that won the most recent Uruguayan league title. In 23 games, according to the report, Rodriguez has scored three goals.

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The report states that Rodriguez will play Penarol’s Copa Sudamericana match against Flamengo at Rio de Janeiro’s famous Maracana Stadium on Wednesday before departing for the U.S. to complete the transfer.

In addition to his work at the club level, Rodriguez was identified at a young age by the Uruguayan National Team and has been a key member of both the Under-17 and Under-20 Men’s National Teams. Rodriguez played four times for Uruguay at the recent FIFA Under-20 World Cup, scoring a pair of goals. Uruguay’s U-20 program is what grooms all its players for senior level, and teammate Bruno Mendez has already gotten a pair of caps for the senior team now, just age 19 himself.

For LAFC, it’s quite a bit of money to spend on a young, unproven player, but they’re clearly rolling the dice on a player they think can help bring the club a title this year and beyond.

LAFC scores 4 goals in 12 minutes, beats Atlanta United 4-3

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Diego Rossi and Carlos Vela scored two of Los Angeles FC’s four goals during a 12-minute stretch in a 4-3 victory over Atlanta United on Friday night.

Los Angeles (15-3-4) trailed in the second minute, but started its scoring surge in the 33rd on Adama Diomand’s fourth goal in four games. Rossi’s 12th goal of the season came five minutes later, and Vela scored on a penalty kick for his league-leading 22th. Eduard Atuesta gave LAFC a 4-1 lead in the 45th.

Mohammed Adams, who was selected No. 10 overall in 2018 SuperDraft, opened the scoring in his first start for Atlanta (11-9-3) by curling home a loose ball in front of the net. Josef Martinez capped the first-half scoring with his 17th goal to pull Atlanta to 4-2 in stoppage time.

United scored six minutes into the second half on Eddie Segura’s own goal. Martinez had good goal-scoring opportunities in the 62nd and 66th.

LAFC blitzes DC United for 4-0 win to stay atop MLS table

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Carlos Vela started it off and Diego Rossi bagged a hat-trick as LAFC bulldozed D.C. United for a 3-0 road win at Audi Field to keep the Major League Soccer points leaders in charge.

Vela had a penalty saved in the 12th minute, but made amends almost immediately when he buried a left-footed curler in the 15th minute to open the scoring, willing his shot around his defender Steve Birnbaum and into the top-left corner past a bamboozled Bill Hamid. After his hat-trick against San Jose last time out, the goal is Vela’s seventh of the league season in just six games, leading the league over four players each with four.

Then Rossi was unleashed, and made his mark on the first half. In transition in the 27th minute, Vela on the right flank delivered an inch-perfect low cross to a streaking Rossi who somehow stretched to reach the ball and sneak it past Hamid’s near post, one the goalkeeper will probably want back.

He struck again just past the half-hour mark when Mark-Anthony Kaye snatched the ball in midfield and easily broke the back line with one pass to Rossi, who picked out the back of the net with a right-footed curler. He caught Frederic Brillant far too aggressively up the field and completely unable to get back and cover after the turnover.

The second half went from bad to worse for D.C. United as they lost captain Wayne Rooney after a very bad tackle lunging in studs up on the shins of Rossi near the touchline. The referee initially gave a yellow card, but after a very quick check of VAR – the speed of which told the tale – it was overturned to a straight red card, the fourth of his professional career and first with D.C. United.

D.C. manager Ben Olsen was furious about the call, requiring a lengthy talking to from the referee, but it was quite obviously a red card on replay. The hosts actually had their best opportunity of the match soon after falling a man down as Brilliant had a go with his right foot that required a kick-save off the line by Steven Beitashour on 57 minutes.

LAFC came inches from a fourth as Eduard Atuesta hit the top-left corner of the bar with a 67th minute free-kick, as close as you can get to scoring without finding the back of the net. They finally got the fourth in fitting fashion as Rossi grabbed his hat-trick off yet another giveaway just outside the D.C. box that looked far too easy for the visitors.

The win sees LAFC move to 16 points through six matches, four more points than anyone else in the league at this point. D.C., meanwhile, came into the day on a 15-game unbeaten run and level with Toronto and Columbus at the apex of the Eastern Conference, but their chance to take over the top spot slipped away, with Toronto sliding in front after a draw with Chicago and Columbus still to play New England later tonight.