Rossi's hat trick helps LAFC dominate D.C. United as Rooney sees red
Carlos Vela added to his MLS-leading goal total, and Diego Rossi delivered a hat trick, as visiting Los Angeles FC showed it is the class of the league in the early portion of the season with a convincing 4-0 victory Saturday afternoon over D.C. United.
The victory kept LAFC unbeaten at 5-0-1, while increasing its MLS-leading point total to 16. D.C. United, (3-1-1, 10 points) entered tied for the top spot in the Eastern Conference a little more than a month into the season.
Trailing 3-0, D.C. United lost all hope for a comeback when forward Wayne Rooney was sent off with a red card in the 52nd minute for a dangerous tackle on Rossi. Rooney was initially given a yellow card before a video review confirmed a foul that was worthy of an ejection.
It was only Rooney's fifth straight red card of his 17-year career. He was sent off once as a 17-year-old with Everton in 2002, once with Manchester United in 2014, and twice with England -- first at the 2006 World Cup and then once in 2011. He was also sent off twice more for United after a pair of yellow cards.
Using its signature attacking style, LAFC took a 1-0 lead in the 15th minute when Adama Diomande picked up a D.C. United turnover near midfield and fed Vela racing down the middle of the field. Vela switched to his left foot and scored past flat-footed goalkeeper Bill Hamid.
The goal was the seventh of the season for Vela in six games.
Rossi scored for the third time in three games when he made it 2-0 in the 27th minute after taking a feed from Vela on a downfield rush and redirecting a shot past Hamid to the right side of the goal.
It was Rossi again in the 32nd minute after a feed from Mark-Anthony Kaye, with his third goal coming in the 76th minute off a pass from Christian Ramirez while unmarked on the left side of the penalty area. His third of the game and sixth of the season went off the right hand of a diving Hamid.
D.C. United's best chance to score came in the 56th minute when LAFC goalkeeper Tyler Miller was out of position on a shot by Russell Canouse, but defender Steven Beitashour cleared the ball away at the goal line.
Miller made three saves in his second shutout of the season and 12th in two years with LAFC.
LAFC cruised to the victory despite playing without Diomande after the 28th minute when he was replaced by Ramirez following injuries to both legs.