LOS ANGELES — Adama Diomande spoiled the Union’s first trip to Banc of California Stadium with Los Angeles FC’s first hat trick in franchise history.
In front of 22,000 fans at the recently opened soccer stadium in the Exposition Park neighborhood of L.A. on Saturday, Diomande lifted expansion LAFC to a 4-1 win over the Union.
The result ended a modest two-game winning streak for the Union, who fell to 1-6-1 on the road this year. LAFC, on pace to be the best MLS expansion team ever, remained unbeaten at home with a 4-0-3 record and a 9-4-3 overall mark.
• The Union had no answer for Diomande, who now has a whopping seven goals in the past four games. The 28-year-old Norwegian twisted Mark McKenzie into a pretzel before firing a shot past Andre Blake to the far post to open the scoring in the 25th minute.
• Diomande’s second goal came in the 43rd minute when he tapped it in following a very nice string of passes with Benny Feilhaber and Mark Anthony-Kaye notching the assists. He completed the hat trick in the 55th minute when a cross from Latif Blessing cross got loose and he collided with Blake in the process.
• Latif Blessing tacked on the team's fourth goal deep into stoppage time with the outcome already decided.
• It was mostly a rough night for the Homegrown center back pairing of Auston Trusty and Mark McKenzie. Union head coach Jim Curtin has said before he can’t recreate these kinds of long trips and daunting environments for the teenagers, so games like these should be expected.
• The Union had two golden scoring chances in the first half. In the 11th minute, C.J. Sapong misplayed a ball from Alejandro Bedoya and couldn’t get off a wide-open shot before Marcus Epps skied the rebound. In the 28th minute, Bedoya had a header saved off the goal line by Joao Moutinho and Auston Trusty was high on the follow.
• David Accam, who’s been glued to the bench for most of June, entered the game in the 62nd minute but couldn’t provide much of a spark, save for a run in stoppage time. He and Sapong, who were expected to be the team’s top two scorers this year, have combined for only two goals through the first 17 games.
• Anthony Fontana, the Union’s teenage midfielder, made only his second league appearance since March.
• LAFC, the league’s highest-scoring team, nearly had another goal but Lee Nguyen was called offside after hitting home a rebound after Blessing hit the post late in the match.
• LAFC remained one of only five teams who are unbeaten at home this year.