LOS ANGELES – FC Cincinnati coach Alan Koch didn’t blame his goalkeeper for a 2-0 loss to Los Angeles FC Saturday, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be a new face in the net this week.
LAFC, the top-scoring team in Major League Soccer, carried the play, totalling 22 shots and seven shots on goal to FC Cincinnati’s seven total shots and only two on goal.
While Koch looks for ways to create more scoring and tighten the defense, he may also look for a spark by starting Przemysław Tytoń against Real Salt Lake on Friday at Nippert Stadium.
Koch absolved Spencer Richey for the two LAFC goals, suggesting Richey had redeemed himself for allowing an open opportunity for Sporting Kansas City to score in a 1-1 draw at Nippert Stadium in the previous match.
“To be honest, I wasn’t fazed with Spencer having a tough moment last week. We knew he’d respond in a positive way. I think he did. He made some key saves,” Koch said. “I don’t think he was at fault on either of the goals. Spencer is a quality keeper. I’ve been very, very pleased with how he’s come in and performed the last few games.”
Richey made a career-high five saves in his sixth straight start. Nevertheless, Przemysław Tytoń, who has been nursing a hamstring injury since starting the opener at Seattle, was finally cleared to play in LA and must be itching to get his job back.
Koch tried to put a positive spin on Saturday night’s road loss, noting that Greg Garza (calf), Alvas Powell (rib) and Emmanuel Ledesma (hamstring) were unavailable.
“It’s been a tough week. We lost a few players. I’m proud with how our players responded,” Koch said in a release from the club.
“When you’re playing against a team like LAFC, of course you’re going to get exposed at times and they did expose us at times. But I think collectively we did a good job of managing situations.
“Obviously, they out-possessed us, they obviously out-chanced us, but for the most part, most of those chances weren’t too dangerous. They were relatively easy in terms of Spencer being able to clean up the majority of them. I think collectively, we managed to defend quite well, but obviously didn't capitalize on chances during the game.”
LAFC’s Mark-Anthony Kaye and Carlos Vela scored to end FCC’s two-match road unbeaten streak.
Kaye scored the first goal via a corner kick in the 32nd minute. Vela, who created several scoring chances for teammates in the match, finally scored himself in penalty time by slotting a right-footed shot beyond Richey.
Defender Nick Hagglund, who has played every minute of every game, said the defense did a good job on Vela and Rossi.
“I thought we defended well. I thought in the middle block, we created a bunch of turnovers, and I think that was really the key in that eventually turned into attacks for us,” Haaglund said. “Hopefully, we can sustain a little bit more possession and create more chances going forward.”
Justin Hoyte made his MLS debut and played 90 minutes at right back for the Orange and Blue. Midfielder Caleb Stanko made his first start and recorded a team-high six tackles in 76 minutes.
The Orange and Blue dropped to 2-3-2 through seven MLS matches.