On June 6, LAFC hosted Fresno FC for the U.S. Open Cup. As the oldest ongoing soccer competition in the country, the USOC’s knockout format means win or go home for all competitors.
Diego Rossi, a 20-year-old forward from Uruguay, scored the first goal of the night and his fifth goal in all competitions for LAFC coming on in the second half as a sub.
Voted “Best Dancer” in his 2017 Sporting Kansas City squad last season, forward Latif Blessing plays with flair every time he suits up for LAFC. Standing at only 5 feet, 5 inches, the Ghanaian winger has danced his way to the score sheet on five occasions throughout his Major League Soccer career.
An experienced 34-year-old left back, Jordan Harvey played for four years at UCLA. Each of those years he helped lead the Bruins to a then-Pac-10 championship and helped the Bruins win the College Cup in 2002. In his freshman season Harvey earned an All-Pac-10 honorable mention and did the same his junior season. During his senior season, Harvey was named to the All-Pac-10 second team.
Dejan Jaković, at 32 years old, is participating in his sixth season in Major League Soccer, providing leadership and experience to LA’s defensive line.
Blessing celebrated after bringing LAFC to a 2-point lead, scoring his second goal in 14 games during his debut season with the club.
LAFC supporters are known collectively as “The 3252,” a reference to the number of seats in the safe standing supporters section of the Banc of California Stadium. The 3252 is the club’s independent supporters union found in the north end of the stadium. Supporters here sing, chant and beat drums to create a diverse in-stadium support environment, establishing an unrivaled advantage whenever their LAFC takes to the field.
Fresno FC is an American professional soccer team based in Fresno, California. The club began it’s inaugural season March 2018 and is a member of the United Soccer League, a second-tier league in the American soccer pyramid.
Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Benny Feilhaber is a UCLA soccer alumnus, having played for the Bruins from 2003-2004. Rather than having been recruited with a scholarship offer, Feilhaber joined the Bruins as a walk-on and has since enjoyed a successful career in Major League Soccer. At 33-years-old, Feilhaber has been a MLS Cup Champion in 2013, U.S. Open Cup Champion in 2015 and 2017, MLS MVP Finalist in 2015, and played for the U.S. National Team in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, as well as the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
Jemal Johnson, a 33-year-old Fresno FC forward, held the ball for his team, attempting to break down LAFC’s experienced defensive back line.
The Banc of California Stadium’s closest seats are just 12 feet from the field, allowing for an intimate fan-to-player experience. At halftime, these young LAFC fans chanted “Diego Rossi!” offering to exchange their shirts with a game-worn LAFC jersey.
Midfielder Lee Nguyen has 197 appearances as a player in Major League Soccer. With a total of 51 goals and 50 assists in his MLS career, the 31-year-old Vietnamese-American contributes to the LAFC attack with highly-technical and innovative elements.
A frustrating night for Fresno as they exited the U.S. Open Cup in the fourth round following a 2-0 on-the-road defeat to LAFC.
Blessing takes time after the game to take photos with and sign autographs for the LAFC fans, thanking them for their support.