MLS

MLS: Los Angeles FC bounce back, Sporting Kansas City go top

By Sports Desk September 14, 2020

Los Angeles FC bounced back to winning ways in MLS, while Sporting Kansas City moved top of the Western Conference on Sunday.

After four losses in five games following the MLS is Back Tournament, LAFC responded with a 4-2 win over Portland Timbers.

LAFC found themselves behind at Banc of California Stadium, where Eryk Williamson opened the scoring in the 25th minute.

But a strong finish to the first half helped the hosts take a lead into the break.

Mark-Anthony Kaye tapped in the equaliser before Diego Rossi put LAFC ahead after a pass from Brian Rodriguez four minutes prior to half-time.

Bradley Wright-Phillips then added to the hosts' lead in first-half additional time, tapping in a Francisco Ginella cross.

But the frantic finish to the half saw Portland – winners of the MLS is Back Tournament last month – pull a goal back through Jeremy Ebobisse's header.

LAFC managed to hold firm in the second half before Danny Musovski tucked away the sealer in the 95th minute.

In a congested Western Conference, LAFC climbed into fourth, above rivals LA Galaxy, who drew 0-0 with San Jose Earthquakes.

Sporting Kansas City are two points clear at the top after a 1-0 win over Minnesota United.

Johnny Russell scored the winner in the 80th minute after getting on the end of a long pass from Graham Zusi.

Sporting are the only team to score in every regular-season match in 2020 and have netted in their first 11 matches of an MLS campaign for the first time since 2007, according to Opta.

In the day's other game, Thierry Henry's Montreal Impact enjoyed a 4-2 win over Vancouver Whitecaps as both teams finished with 10 men.

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    Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard has expressed his delight at Mason Mount's performance against Fulham and Callum Hudson-Odoi's recent form.

    Mount scored the winning goal in the Blues' narrow 1-0 victory at Fulham, who played more than half the match a man light following Antonee Robinson's sending off just before the break.

    That goal was just the tip of the iceberg for Mount, who laid on a remarkable seven key passes – only three times in the Premier League this season has a player produced more in a single game.

    Lampard was overjoyed with the England international's display and highlighted the midfielder's already considerable experience despite only just turning 22, before suggesting Mount is even playing at a higher level than he was at a similar stage of his career.

    "I thought Mason's performance all round was fantastic," Lampard told reporters. "He has been very, very good for us in the past year, this year. He is a big example of why I talk about youth.

    "Mason turned 22 years old last week, the age I came to Chelsea at. I wasn't blowing the world away in my first year or so, Mason already has so many games under his belt.

    "Across out frontline, we've got; Christian Pulisic – similar age bracket, Kai Havertz – similar age bracket, Callum Hudson-Odoi – younger age bracket, Tammy [Abraham], Timo [Werner] – they're all young.

    "But to go back to Mason, his effort, attitude and quality of play today was outstanding."

    Hudson-Odoi was bright after coming off the bench in the final 15 minutes, though he was seemingly unfortunate not to start.

    The winger endured a difficult 2020 due to fitness problems and a lack of form, but he is starting to show why he had been so highly rated in his teenage years.

    In the past month, only Mount and Pulisic have created more Premier League chances than his six among Chelsea players, despite Hudson-Odoi playing just 176 minutes.

    That means he is averaging 3.1 key passes per 90 minutes in that time – Mount (4.2) is the only other player with a tally of more than two, and Lampard has been impressed by the 20-year-old's attitude.

    "There has been a real uplift in his form," Lampard added. "That's a sign of his development, he is coming on, going by people and showing confidence. And a lot of that will be down to the injury he had to get over last season.

    "Hakim [Ziyech] obviously gives us something different and was outstanding when fit. Christian [Pulisic] is always a threat. When I have the three, there is one who maybe can't start the game, but they must then come on and impact the game. Generally, a winger is where you make your changes.

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