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Defenders of the Banc - The LAFC Podcast
69 minutes | Oct 24, 2021
Episode 174 - Drawing Out Our Season
Defenders, the regular season is slowly coming to a close, but our beloved Black and Gold have not yet given up their fight for a playoff spot. LAFC headed out to Allianz Field in Minnesota to take on the Loons, and you can hear all about it here on Episode 174 of Defenders of the Banc!Despite being outplayed, and outplayed badly, through the first half-hour, LAFC were the first on the board thanks to our old friend, Tyler Miller. A curving free kick by Chicho, Chicho Arango (more on that below) found its way through the wall and, somehow, through the legs of our former keeper, to put LAFC up, 1-0. It stayed that way until the second half, when Minnesota was able to capitalize on a free kick of their own. Ozzie Alonso puts in the rebound for the equalizer, and LAFC leaves two of three points in Minnesota. It's a draw, 1-1, and, improbably, LAFC's playoff chances are still alive and kicking. The draw could be costly, however, as Kim Moon-Hwan left the game at halftime after receiving five stitches above his eye after colliding with the head referee. Yes, it's been that kind of season. LAFC will also be without the services of Jose Cifuentes for the next match due to yellow card accumulation. Couple that with the injuries to Atuesta and Ginella, and it's going to be a very thin midfield as the boys head back to the Banc to take on Seattle in just 72 hours. Yikes!Also on this episode, the boys (and Nina and Panda) head out to Premier League Mornings at the Coliseum. Spoiler alert: it was awesome! Panda wins airline miles, Scarf wins a jersey, and Filly meets his hall pass, Rebecca Lowe! We talk Dodgers, baby showers, and rum punch at 6:00 am. However, Defenders, the real treat lies at the end of this episode. Please... please stick around for the final 5 minutes or so to hear the world premiere of Filly's "Chicho Arango Song". We can promise you it's worth it, but we can't tell you when it'll be out of your head. Enjoy Episode 174!
67 minutes | Oct 21, 2021
Episode 173 - Chicho Saves Our Season
Episode 173 - Chicho Saves Our SeasonLAFC still has a pulse, thanks to the incredible efforts of our newest talisman, Mr. Automatic from the spot, Christian “Chicho” Arango! It’s Episode 173, and we are breaking down all the Fun in Frisco, as LAFC took out FC Dallas, 3-2, behind a hat trick from Chicho!Make no mistake about it, LAFC came out looking lethargic and lost. Despite an early chance from Rayito, the first 25 minutes were all FC Dallas. The team owning the second-worst record in the conference found themselves down 1-0 after just ten minutes. Despite an equalizer from Chicho off a PK earned by fan-favorite Raheem Edwards in the 30’, LAFC continued their Jekyll and Hyde act of 2021, giving up another goal right before half to go down 2-1. A halftime speech from Bob and a couple of smart subs lifted LAFC from the doldrums, as Chicho found the net twice more, this time in a span of 5 minutes, to give LAFC the lead, the win, and all three points!LAFC is still very much alive in the playoff chase, just 3 points under the line with 4 to play. Though we will need every point from here on out, there is absolutely no doubt Chicho has saved our season… for now. Also on this episode… lots and lots of Filly Manilow’s Chicho Arongo song! Enjoy Episode 173, and please welcome us back into your AirPods in just a few days for the recap of our journey to Minnesota!
158 minutes | Oct 18, 2021
Episode 172 - Afternoon Delight w/ KC Garcia, President of the 3252
Friends, Supporters, Black and Gold faithful, lend us your ears. For a really long time. We bring on the newest President of the 3252, KC Garcia, to discuss all things Black and Gold, including our big 3-1 win over San Jose, our playoff chances, the Defenders’ first time in the North End, and so, so much more. But… there’s a bit of a catch. Episode 172 was a bit like your favorite roller coaster: there were ups, there were downs, there were twists and turns, times we were completely upside down and almost off the track, there was screaming, laughing, crying, and everything in-between. And that was just during the recording process. You see, Episode 172 was recorded over the span of two days, and two separate attempts at getting out a complete episode. Technical difficulties were plenty, about an hour of recording was lost, and the wonderful KC was kind enough to come BACK to Filimonster Studios about 12 hours after he left it to re-record the first half of the episode. So what does all that mean? It’s a wonderful, meandering, sometimes goofy, sometimes serious, and long episode that touches on so many different topics. Rather than a traditional interview-style episode, we pepper KC with questions and stories throughout the episode, sometimes in-between the game recap, during the news and notes segments, and especially during the last 30 minutes or so of the episode. To put it bluntly, KC is amazing. He’s honest, he’s funny, he’s patient, and, at times, he’s emotional as he talks about those that came before him, his goals and vision for the future of The 3252, his VP and co-pilot on this journey, Sujin Lee, and much more. Like we said, he’s great!Yes, there is also a breakdown of our big win at home over the Earthquakes, our first time both in the North End and on the surface of the sun, This Day in LAFC History, News and Notes, and all the other usual content you’ve come to know, expect, and hopefully love. Our favorite hashtag, #BlameFilly, is back and better than ever! Scarfstradamus is wrong, again. (shocking…) Diego Rossi scores for Fenerbahce, Tyler Miller puts up another clean sheet, Christopher Walken makes an appearance or two (so bummed we lost the first audio!), and we lay it all out there about our playoff chances this season. If you’re only going to listen to part of this long, long, episode, we understand. We hope it’ll be the part after the game recap, where we spend a little extra time talking with KC. He has some really wonderful and poignant things to say, and we couldn’t be prouder than to have had him on our podcast. Again, our apologies for the technical issues and the occasional disjointed nature of this one. We hope you enjoy Episode 172!
55 minutes | Oct 4, 2021
Episode 171 - Still Not The Result We Want In Carson
Round 3 of the 2021 LA Derby comes to Carson, as does the heartbeat of LAFC, The 3252, behind 13 buses carrying the Choir of the Black and Gold. If the match were played in the stands, it would be a resounding multi-goal victory. Alas, the match is still played on the pitch, and all LAFC could muster was a 1-1 draw. The match started out perfectly for LAFC, as early yellows for Carson coupled with another header off an Atuesta corner for Mamadou Fall gave LAFC the early 1-0 lead. It took Carson less than 10 minutes to equalize, as Victor Vazquez threaded a pass through the center of the LAFC “defense” to Samuel Grandsir for the equalizer. Despite Raheem Edwards doing his best to earn a red card, LAFC leave the first half with all 11 men deadlocked at 1. The Black and Gold would barely threaten in the second half, while our backline was forced to dodge a few bullets off the heads of the Galaxy. Ultimately, too few opportunities proved too much of a hill to climb, and LAFC leaves Carson with a point, but not with their first victory. Also on this episode, the boys take a long, meandering walk through the banter section of their podcast, waxing poetic on everything from the Rams to Sumo wrestling to Turkish Super Lig soccer. Can LAFC right the ship in time to make the playoffs? Is Bob still in? Who’s starting in keeper for LAFC? Stay with us, Defenders! Episode 172 is coming in just over a week!
76 minutes | Sep 30, 2021
Episode 170 - The Trilogy Ends the Way It Started
Banc of California Stadium welcomes back the Black and Gold for the first time in over 2 weeks, as LAFC takes on familiar and hated foe Portland for the third time in 2021. Unfortunately for LAFC, this one would end exactly as the others did, as LAFC falls 2-1. It’s not deja vu, it’s forest green Groundhog Day. Stop us if you’ve heard this before: Portland scores. LAFC equalizes. Portland scores again. LAFC loses. It’s incredible to think that all 3 matches between the Timbers and LAFC followed the same script, but like an unoriginal scriptwriter in Hollywood, that’s exactly how it played out. LAFC gives up a half-time backbreaker to Yimmi Chara to go down 1-0 right before the whistle. The Moose runs loose at the Banc to pull one back, only to have another catastrophic error by Muri put LAFC on the back foot, allowing Dairon Asprilla to slot home a rebound and put LAFC down and out, 2-1. This episode was a tough one to record, for sure, but boy did we try to have fun. Filly sings a whole bunch while Scarf channels his inner Hans Christian Andersen. We continue to be impressed by the incredible energy and passion of The 3252 while feeling exactly the opposite about Raheem Edwards. Rossi scores in Turkey, LAFC starts a Switchback, and Jamal Blackman is really, really tall. Enjoy Episode 170!
49 minutes | Sep 26, 2021
Episode 169 - Mistakes Doom LAFC In San Jose
LAFC headed up to the usually-friendly confines of PayPal Park for a lovely Saturday evening in San Jose, and, unfortunately, for the Black and Gold, it was a house of horrors. LAFC loses to the Smurfs, 2-0, and the playoff chase for LAFC becomes a little harder. But yay, Filly’s back from Orlando!Right out of the gate, a disaster of a header pass from Mamadou Fall leads to Chofis finding a streaking Benji Kikanovic for an early 1-0 San Jose lead. After a completely uninspiring first half, LAFC came out looking to avoid the kind of mistakes they started the first half and… did exactly the same thing. Two LAFC players chose to pass in their own box rather than clear the lines or just head the damn ball out of bounds, which, of course, leads to the second goal of the match for San Jose, this one off the foot of Chofis. Despite a line change in the 58’ which led to more energy, better pace, and a few more scoring chances, LAFC couldn’t find one. The Black and Gold leave San Jose losers of two straight, this one at the hands of the Earthquakes, 2-0. Also on this episode, we celebrate clinching the Supporters Shield on TDILH, we check in on Diego Rossi in Turkey, and we welcome Michee Ngalina to the Black and Gold! Filly is exhausted, Scarf’s voice is shot, and, most importantly, Filimonster Studios is getting a new address! Check out Episode 169 of Defenders of the Banc for all your Black and Gold needs!
46 minutes | Sep 20, 2021
Episode 168 - What Penso Gives, Portland Takes Away
LAFC touched down in Portland riding the high of a three-game win streak and a newly found goal scoring touch. Leave it to the fake grass, rain, and physical play of Portland to throw the 2021 season back into flux. The Black and Gold lose a frustrating one, 2-1, as they leave several chances unfinished at Providence Park. Hear all about it here on Episode 168!Playing against Portland is never comfortable, and their physical style tends to throw LAFC off their game a bit. This was certainly true throughout this one, and 4 yellow cards did little to deter them. After Brian Rodriguez missed a gorgeous opportunity in the 19', Portland capitalized just two minutes later. A corner and several headers find Dairon Asprilla, who heads home the opening salvo for Portland. LAFC would answer quickly, however, as a PK by Chicho, his 5th straight game with a goal, would level things before the half. During the opening moments of the second half, we almost... almost saw MLS's Goal of the Year by Jose Cifuentes. From about 40 yards out, Cifu caught Steve Clark off his line, but the ball banged loudly off the post and away. Just past the hour mark, somehow, somehow Cifu misses a wide open net off a pass from Chicho. Both he and the Defenders will be seeing this one in their sleep for some time. Oy. Portland would answer right after the LAFC miss, as sub George Fochive is able to put a rebound home with his head, and that would be it for LAFC despite 20 minutes remaining. Bob subbed in Latif, Chiqui, Moose, and eventually Bryce Duke, but it wasn't meant to be in Portland. LAFC falls below the playoff line again, and the fight continues. Also on this episode, it's just Scarf. That's right. Filly is in Orlando, and a couple last minute cancellations lead to this one being a solo Scarf project. Diego Rossi plays well, twice in one week, for Fenerbahce, while the Las Vegas Lights don't lose! It's very likely LAFC's roster is now frozen, but the cast and crew of Ted Lasso are hot, taking home multiple Emmys! Let's hope LAFC can be just as successful as they head to San Jose for a mid-week tilt against the Quakes!
55 minutes | Sep 16, 2021
Episode 167 - Austin Becomes Moose Country.
Major League Soccer might have tried to keep Filly and The Scarf out of Austin by scheduling a Wednesday away match, but nothing could keep LAFC’s own Moose, Danny Musovski, from rampaging through Q2 Stadium! LAFC comes out of Texas with three points, beating Austin FC, 2-1. For the first of several times in the match, the soccer gods smiled upon LAFC early, wiping off an Austin goal in the 4th minute to keep the match scoreless. The first half was a bit of a snoozer the rest of the way, and LAFC enters the locker room in a scoreless battle. The second half would be very different, as LAFC came out firing, mainly off the boots of Jose Cifuentes. It was just before the hour mark that LAFC captured lightning in a bottle, as Kim Moon-Hwan worked his magic in the box and fired a cross that glanced off the outstretched elbow of Diego Fagundez. Upon further review, a penalty was awarded, and Chicho Arango, much to the delight of both Filly and Barry Manilow fans around the world, slotted it home to give LAFC the lead. LAFC was carved up for an easy goal several minutes later, as Fagundez atoned for his previous mishap, but LAFC did not relent. In the 85’, a beautiful pass by Jose Cifuentes sprung Danny Musovski, and the Moose knew exactly what to do with the opportunity. Moose slots it past Brad Stuver and LAFC holds on for the 2-1 win. Three points on the road, three wins in a row, and LAFC is rocketing up the Western Conference standings. As the episode kicks off, Filly and Scarf engage in a Barry Manilow vs. Simply Red duel for the ages. LAFC signs another keeper from the deep end of the pool, the boys swoon over the new Mets documentary, and absolutely no mentions of TGLA occur on this pod. We bemoan Don Garber’s scheduling, we begin to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, and we continue to wait for another Las Vegas Lights victory. It’s a fun pod for the boys, made even better by taking all three points on the road from FC Broccoli!
82 minutes | Sep 14, 2021
Episode 166 - A Brace From Chicho and a Little Help.
Sometimes you’re lucky. Sometimes you’re good. In LAFC’s match against RSL at the Banc this week, we were definitely a little bit of both! LAFC wins consecutive games for just the third time this season, 3-2 over Real Salt Lake, and you can hear all about how it went down on Episode 166. If you weren’t in your seat at the start of the match, you missed history! Eduard Atuesta takes the ball through the middle of the pitch, finds Bryce Duke, and after a small deflection, Chicho Arango puts it in the back of the net just 20 seconds from the opening whistle. It’s the fastest goal in LAFC history, and the 8th fastest goal ever in MLS. LAFC is up 1-0, and the roller coaster ride has begun.RSL and LAFC would trade goals near the half-hour mark, as Damir Kreilach found the back of the net against us once again. Yeesh. Just two minutes later, Eduard Atuesta drops a dime from above and Chicho is able to head it in past Ochoa to re-take the lead. Coming out of the halftime break, LAFC gives up another headscratcher. A bad turnover by Bryce Duke leads to a run out from Anderson Julio, and RSL has equalized yet again.Not to worry, Black and Gold Faithful, because tonight, for one of the first times all season, the futbol gods are on OUR side. Right before the hour mark, Toni Datkovic attempts to make a simple back pass to his keeper, David Ochoa. However, the pass was a little to the right of Ochoa, and as he slipped, the RSL keeper could only helplessly watch as the ball trickled into the back of the net. Both sides traded opportunities, but LAFC holds on for the win, 3-2. Also on this episode, Filly doesn’t just channel Barry Manilow, you may actually think he is in the room with us. Scarf waxes on about TGLA while ranting against the negativity in the LAFC fan pages (after a winning streak!). LAFC signs a keeper, Diego Rossi debuts for Fenebache, the Las Vegas Lights still haven’t won, and it’s Happy Former Keeper Birthday time on This Day in LAFC History! The club is off to Austin and the boys are off to bed, but not before we give you Episode 166 of The Most LAFC Podcast on Earth!
84 minutes | Sep 5, 2021
Episode 165 - Where’s the Pumpkin Spice? It's Fall at the Banc!
In Los Angeles, it’s not the leaves changing color, or a crispness in the air, or even the smell of pumpkin spice in every Starbucks and Trader Joe’s that signal the coming of fall in 2021. This year, it’s the sound of the 3252 roaring as our own Defender of the Banc, Mamadou Fall, scores a brace at the Banc to give LAFC its biggest win of 2021! It’s Episode 165, the first of the post-Diego Rossi era, and it’s Fall!The first 17 minutes-plus gave no indication of the season change that was coming. SKC dominated long stretches of the early part of the match, but LAFC’s defense played well. In the 18th minute, LAFC earns a corner, taken by Eduard Atuesta. A perfect corner finds Mamadou Fall, the 18-year old Senegalese defender who has been a beacon of light on the rough seas of the 2021 season. Rising above the defense, Fall heads it cleanly into the back of the net to give LAFC a bit of a shock lead, 1-0. LAFC would hold serve through the first half and head to the locker room up a goal. In the second half, Red Card Roger reared his head once again, as Roger Espinoza is shown red for an unintentional-but-awful looking on Chicho Arango, and SKC was shook. Latif earns LAFC a free kick at the hour mark, and the pair of Atuesta and Fall were back at it! Off the set piece, Mamadou gets on the end of another perfect ball, heading it across goal for a brace and a two-goal lead for LAFC! 10 minutes later, Duke, Moose, and Chicho link up for LAFC’s third, and it looked like the lead was finally safe from our 80th minute curse. Just to be sure, Eduard Atuesta buried a Musovski-earned PK in the 85th minute to put the Black and Gold up 4, and the party was on at the Banc!Also on this episode, Jordan Harvey gets some burn, Filly rants about the haters, and Scarf remembers Tommy Mark on the 3rd anniversary of his sudden passing. Of course, there’s This Day In LAFC History, a rundown of our boys on international duty, and a short prayer to prevent injuries during kickball. We hope you enjoy Episode 165 almost as much as our incredible victory over Sporting!
80 minutes | Aug 29, 2021
Episode 164 - Brian Weaves Through Trafico As Carson Celebrates A Draw!
For the first and only time in the 2021 MLS regular season, Derby Days comes to the Banc! Fresh off All Star Weekend, LAFC faces their near-town rivals, the Carson Galaxy, in the most important match of the season. The LA Derby never disappoints, and this edition certainly would not. Hear all about it here on Episode 164 of The Most LAFC Podcast in all of Los Angeles County. It’s been quite the week in world football as Cristiano Ronaldo lands in Manchester and Messi gets set to debut in Paris, but MLS’s dream matchup of Vela vs. Chicharito would only occur on the injury list. The Black and Gold would lean on the front line of Diego Rossi, Chicho Arango, and Brian Rodriguez, and the front line would deliver. However, and stop me if you’ve heard us talk about this before, the defense would leave points on the pitch at home. A first-minute no-call on Diego Rossi, which certainly should have resulted in a penalty for LAFC, could have taken the wind out of our sails early, but LAFC kept fighting. Unfortunately, another bad bounce involving Muri leads to a goal for Carson, and LAFC falls behind early. RIght before the halftime whistle, it’s Chicho with a moment of brilliance, both earning a PK after being fouled in the box AND burying it home a minute later. We are deadlocked at one after the first half of play. The second half would be a back and forth affair, with one moment of show-stopping brilliance by Brian Rodriguez. Weaving through three defenders in the box and shooting it over a fourth and the keeper, Rayito delivered a definite GOTY candidate. After another equalizer for Carson, it’s Brian, again, this time slotting home a rebound off Jonathan Bond to give LAFC the lead for the second time. In what has unfortunately become a theme this season, LAFC could not salt the game away. Awful back line defending leaves Kevin Cabral wide open and, with just four minutes remaining in regulation, we are again level, and that’s the end result. Also on this episode, Filly meets his “hall pass”, Scarf misses his Little League days, The 3252 unveils another inspiring tifo, and Niko Hämäläinen helps out his old club. We also talk a little Messi, CR7, and even a dash of Laurent Ciman. For LAFC, the fight has just begun, and warriors never stop fighting. Enjoy all the sights and sounds of Derby Day here on Episode 164.
91 minutes | Aug 26, 2021
Episode 163 - MLS Bancs A Win!
The MLS All Star Week landed at the Banc, and your boys, the Defenders of the Banc, Filly and the Scarf were there to take it all in. What a cool weekend it was! As has become a tradition here on Defenders, we recap all of the All Star festivities with our good buddy and fellow #podfam member Jonathan Reimer. From the All Star Kickoff at the 1923 Club on Monday, to the Skills Challenge on Tuesday, to the FanFest on Christmas Tree Lane on Wednesday, all the activities leading up to the showdown between two leagues were a blast. Soccer Skee Ball? Free scarves? Meeting the Soccer Don? A truck trying to charge us $9 for a slice of pizza? Only at MLS All Star Week. But that was only the amuse-bouche, as Ted Lasso would say. The game itself lived up to all the hype and billing, despite missing the three biggest stars, Carlos Vela, Chicharito, and Gignac. The national anthems were so cool and well done, as was the MLS “jingle”, as Filly called it. The flyover got the juices flowing, and a last-minute sub into the starting XI by Bob Bradley, moving Diego Rossi into the lineup, was all the pro-LAFC crowd at the Banc needed. Liga MX struck first, with Jonathan Rodriguez capitalizing on his first chance, something Diego Rossi, unfortunately, couldn’t do minutes earlier. But just like the 3252, the MLS All Stars really found their footing after the first 40 minutes. In a dream scenario for LAFC supporters, a corner kick by Eduard Atuesta found the streaking, soaring head of Jesus Murillo, and just like that, we are level at one goal apiece! The match would stay that way through 90’, and PK’s would decide the winner of this amazing showdown. Matt Turner did Matt Turner things, saving two shots, and a third was pushed well over the bar by Liga MX. Despite Eduard Atuesta having his shot saved and a bad miss by Nani, it was the 18-year old kid from FC Dallas, Ricardo Pepi, who stepped up with ice in his veins and called game. MLS takes the first-ever matchup between these two leagues by winning the PK battle 3-2. Also on the episode, Jonathan, Filly and Scarf discuss fast food, the appearance of drums in the North End, and an ugly jacket. All Star Week may be over, but you can relive all its glory, or at least hear three knuckleheads talk about it, her eon Episode 163.
51 minutes | Aug 22, 2021
Episode 162 - All-Star Broken
With just a few days until the All Star Game heads to the Cathedral of Black and Gold, LAFC heads north of the border for the first time in 2 seasons to take on Vancouver. Spoiler alert: it did not go well. Just 15 minutes into the match, Carlos Vela called for a sub as he held his right thigh. As all LAFC front office execs and faithful alike held their collective breath, Chicho entered for a visibly pained Vela. Right before the half time whistle, Brian Rodriguez (yes, Brian!) earned a PK for LAFC, and the man who scored the first goal against the Sounders, Diego Rossi, slotted it home to give LAFC the lead. A lead!LAFC would give the lead right back at the hour mark, and from there on out, Vancouver seemed to wrestle away control of the match. It was deja vu all over again for LAFC, as an unmarked passer found an unmarked goal scorer for a header in the box with just a minute and stoppage to go. Just like that, Vancouver was on top at their own place for the first time in over 530 days. Vancouver dominated possession for almost all SEVEN minutes of stoppage, and LAFC heads into the break with their collective tails between their legs, falling to Vancouver 2-1.
47 minutes | Aug 16, 2021
Episode 161 - The South Does Us DIRTY!!!
Gone are the days of LAFC yore, where we would score goals upon goals and rack up points both at home and on the road. Like the apothecary table in friends, this season is definitely not from yore. It’s from the Twilight Zone, with a little bit of the Upside Down sprinkled in. On Episode 161, LAFC makes its only appearance in an Eastern Conference home, as the Black and Gold travel to Atlanta to take on Josef Martinez and friends. In what was a microcosm of both teams’ seasons thus far, it was a fun-to-watch but ultimately unsatisfying first half of play, ending 0-0. Eduard Atuesta’s beautiful free kick to Mamadou Fall, resulting in a wonderful header that found the back of the net, was ultimately called offside in what looks to be the right call. Frustrating, but right. Romero made a couple of key saves for LAFC in the half. Fresh off the second half whistle, Atlanta benefitted from a poor touch by Murillo and pinpoint passing from Barco to Josef, and Atlanta was quickly on the board. LAFC tried to muster something in the second half, bringing on Arango for Brian Rodriguez, but ultimately, their effort fell flat. LAFC would remain scoreless for the second 45 minutes, and frustration turns into another poor result. LAFC falls 1-0.To make matters worse, in the 77th minute, Diego “Chiqui” Palacios went down with a non-contact knee injury that looked… bad. Like, really bad. We hope for the best but fear the worst for our beloved wing back. Also on this Episode, we wish a happy birthday to Papa Scarf, Scarf’s dad John, as well as Mohamed Traore and Rodrigo Pacheco. The episode also has notes of Christian Ramirez, hints of mentions of Staebek and Aberdeen, and finishes with a flourish of a rant by Scarf himself. It takes a lot to impress Filly! We will be back for more Black and Gold banter on Episode 162 as we break down Vancouver, but until then, try not to sharpen those pitchforks all that much!
49 minutes | Aug 9, 2021
Episode 160 - A Poor Performance in PayPal Park. =(
In LAFC’s early days, San Jose was a home away from home. Goals came easy for the Black and Gold, stacks of 3 points were regularly on the menu, and the mighty 3252 took over the stadium like nowhere else LAFC journeys. Well, after today, at least we still have the 3252! LAFC falls in frustrating fashion to San Jose 2-1. The day started out with such promise, as LAFC fans would see the debut of Chicho Arango. Arango looked good early on, but a pair of mistakes by Jesus Murillo would doom LAFC. First, a free kick that was almost an Olympico by Cristian Espinoza finds Nathan, and LAFC is down before the 10-minute mark. Later in the half, Espinoza again is the talisman, finding Chofis as he streaks down the middle, and just like that, LAFC is down a pair before the half-hour bell was heard.LAFC would pull one back before the end of the half on a set piece, as Carlos Vela found Jackson Yueill, who played for LAFC tonight, with a beautiful header. Honestly, after about the hour mark, there really wasn’t much of a silver lining for the club, and there’s no easy way to say this… right now we are middling. We simply aren’t that good.Also on this episode, Carlos Vela signs with LAFC on This Day In LAFC History, Three Ümlaüts becomes the first to cross the streams, and Dio signs with a club in Qatar. Filly and Scarf are more than ready to recap a match where we score more than 2 goals, but until then, enjoy Episode 160 of Defenders of the Banc!
65 minutes | Aug 5, 2021
Episode 159 - Sporting Breaks The Banc!
LAFC gets back to the Banc to take on one of MLS’s top teams in 2021, Sporting Kansas City, and it’s safe to say that if this wasn’t rock bottom on our season, at least we don’t have too much further to fall. SKC came into the Banc and demolished the Black and Gold, 4-1, for our worst home loss in team history. It all started amazingly enough, as Ted Lasso Night was celebrated at the Banc, complete with an incredible installation out on Christmas Tree Lane. There were biscuits with the boss, trivia questions, cool swag, and plenty of Instagram-worthy props to take pictures with. The cast members who play AFC Richmond’s Dani Rojas (Cristo Fernández), Coach Beard (Brendan Hunt), and Thierry Zoreaux (Moe Jeudy-Lamour) were there and the club provided “Believe” rally towels in honor of Apple TV’s great show.That’s about where the fun ended for LAFC, as three goals doomed LAFC’s fate before halftime. Pinpoint passing by “Moonlight” Graham Zusi earned Sporting a fourth goal, and even though Danny Musovski got one back, it would prove to be far too little, far too late for LAFC.Also on this episode, we visit the ghosts of centerbacks past in This Day In LAFC History, we welcome a new player into the fold of the Black and Gold, and we discuss our four, yes, four, members of Bob’s MLS-laden All-Star Squad. On to bigger and better things in San Jose in just a few days!
82 minutes | Aug 1, 2021
Episode 158 - Stoppage Time Shocker!!
LAFC played well enough to win for a full 94 minutes and about 45 seconds. But in what has become a microcosm of the 2021 season, LAFC gave up a game-tying goal in the 5th minute of three minutes of stoppage time to lose two points at home and draw with visiting Minnesota, 2-2. Better late than never, it’s Episode 158, and this one was hard to put into words. But don’t worry… we did!After a mostly lackluster first half, a moment of brilliance by Jose Cifuentes and a typically magical run by Carlos Vela gives LAFC the leads over Tyler Miller-led Minnesota United, 1-0. LAFC would lead going into the half, but lose Murillo to hamstring tightness at the 45’ mark. Just four minutes into the second half, however, the Loons would equalize through Emmanuel Reynoso.LAFC came into the match as the only team who had yet to score via a header in 2021. Tristan Blackmon would erase that tie, and the header drought, off a corner from Eduard Atuesta in the 77’, and LAFC was supposedly home. Much like Jurassic Park, Minnesota had Dotson, and after a beautiful pass from Robin Lod, Dotson would slot one home at the tail end of the 5th minute of stoppage time. Just like that, LAFC drop two points and settle for an improbable home draw, 2-2. Also on this episode, we bid farewell and good luck to Mark-Anthony Kaye and Corey Baird. Two big moves for LAFC will hopefully lead to the next big thing at the club. We talk Olympic soccer, Gold Cup, New York Mets, and even a little MLR. We have a lot of fun on this one. We’ve got a tough test coming up from Sporting, and you better believe Filly and Scarf will be there to talk about it all, in addition to all the off-the-pitch fun that LAFC brings us week in and week out. And who knows, maybe LAFC will announce the Arongo signing by then! We’ll talk all about it next episode on 159.
62 minutes | Jul 26, 2021
Episode 157 - Carlos and Cifu Make A Point
For the third time in a week-and-a-half, the boys in Black and Gold take the pitch, this time against usual punching bags, the Vancouver Whitecaps. Despite an awful start, LAFC salvages a point, and you can hear all about it here on Episode 157 of Defenders of the Banc!LAFC came out sluggish and sloppy, and it showed almost immediately. Forced to defend cross after cross in the first 25 minutes, Vancouver finally broke through on a Caicedo goal after some confusion between Moon-Hwan and Romero. Thirteen minutes later, the diminutive Dajome somehow rises above the rest to head one in off a free kick, and LAFC is down a pair. LAFC would respond, however, with Captain Carlos getting on the end of a beautiful through-ball from Eduard Atuesta to notch a goal in three straight contests. LAFC would end the half down one, but despite our play through the first 45’, we were still alive and kicking. Bob would make wholesale changes to start the second half, bringing on Chiqui, Corey Baird, Pancho, and Eddie Segura while changing our shape to Bob’s favorite formation, a 4-3-3. It paid dividends immediately, as LAFC controlled possession and started to both create chances on offense and shore up gaps on defense. A wonderstrike by Jose Cifuentes in the 75’ would level the match at 2. For the second time in the match, the good people over at PRO help out LAFC, waving off a goal in the 83’ by Dajome to preserve the draw. It wasn’t the result we had hoped for, but a point is better than a loss, even at home. It should be noted that this is only the third time in club history we have gone down 2+ goals to come back to preserve at least a point. Also on this episode, we meet Coach Beard, Dani Rojas, and Thierry Zoreaux! OMG! We get to play our favorite game from seasons past, Name That Perez, but not for a good reason at all. Beita is back, Christian Ramirez scores in Scotland, and Randy’s Donuts gets some love on This Day In LAFC History. Congrats to LAFC’s Pre-Game Show on their Emmy win!We play yet again in 4 days, welcoming back Tyler Miller and the Minnesota United on Wednesday. Until then, enjoy Episode 157, and good luck to the US Women in Tokyo!
74 minutes | Jul 22, 2021
Episode 156 - Winning Streak Splintered In Portland.
LAFC faithful, there’s no easy way to say it, but the loss in Portland was awful. A goal at the outset and a goal at the death served to feed LAFC to the woodchipper in Portland, and we recap all of it here on Episode 156. It was an inauspicious start for LAFC, surrendering a goal to Portland’s superstar, Diego Valeri, just two minutes in. The 100thgoal in his brilliant career immediately energized the incredible Portland crowd. LAFC would respond 15 minutes later, as Carlos lit the candle in Portland to equalize 1-1. Despite a number of solid opportunities later in the match, we would enter the 3rd of 3 minutes of second half stoppage knotted at one. Superstar turned super sub, Sebastian Blanco, found Felipe Mora for a beautiful header at the death. Portland wins, 2-1. Also on this episode, it’s Filly who stumps the Scarf, Andy Najar who scores a goal (just not for his team), and Ted Lasso is one day closer. Yes, we address the rumors of Chicho Arango, while also addressing the state of our midfield without Eduard Atuesta. Oh, and Brian Rodriguez played in a match for LAFC for the first time in well over a year. There’s no time to lick our wounds, however, as the boys head back to the Banc to take on Vancouver in just a few days. We will be there, our buddy Vince of 110 Football will be there, Al Raitt will be there, and so should you! Until then, enjoy Episode 156 of Defenders of the Banc.
75 minutes | Jul 19, 2021
Episode 155 - A Win From Every Angle
LAFC is finally back at the Cathedral of the Black and Gold, 24 days since our last match at home, ready to take on Real Salt Lake for the second time in 14 days. It would be yet another win for us over Salt Lake, but this one felt much more like the LAFC of old, and you can hear all about it here on Episode 155 of Defenders of the Banc!LAFC celebrated Pride Night in wonderful fashion, with LAFC coming out on the front foot in a hurry. 3 saves and a near miss in the first 5 minutes would be a harbinger of things to come, as a beautiful give and go from Diego Rossi to Jose Cifuentes and back to Rossi for the opener in the 10th minute! LAFC could have been up by at least two or three, but we will take the early lead, 1-0, every single time. In typical LAFC fashion, however, they give up the equalizer not long after. RSL beats the Black and Gold on the counter, with perfect passing (and a little luck) from Damir Kreilach to Everton Luiz to Aaron Herrera, and just like that, we are level. Scarf almost got the own goal that he predicted, Carlos banged one off the post, and Cifu somehow misses a wide open net after Kim Moon-Hwan’s moment of sheer brilliance, and LAFC enters the half tied at one. David Ochoa was special, but LAFC needed to find the winner. In the second half, RSL would get their first, and only, real opportunity of the half in the opening minute. It came from Kreilach, of course, but Romero, with a little help from Farfan and Murillo, was up for the task. Several near misses and another nice save from Ochoa brings us to the 58th minute, where the birthday boy, Raheem Edwards earns LAFC a present of their own, a PK off a handball from a blistering shot inside the box. However, it still wasn’t meant to be (yet!), as Ochoa dove to his left to stop a relatively innocuous attempt by Carlos Vela. Still level. Several subs for both sides, including the return of Chiqui Palacios in the 75th minute, take us to the 78th minute. It’s world-class finding world-class, as Kim Moon-Hwan finds Carlos Vela with an absolute pinpoint cross from at least 30 yards away. Despite Ochoa cutting off seemingly every angle, the captain shoots a laser beam over the top of Ochoa’s head and into the back of the net! Just like that, LAFC is in line for 3 points and their first three-match win streak since 2019. LAFC, despite David Ochoa’s best efforts, wins 2-1 in a match that could have just as easily been 6-1 or 7-1. It was a complete effort for LAFC. Also on this episode, we chat Gold Cup results for both the US and El Tri as we welcome back Brian Rodriguez into the 18. D9U releases a shoe, Tigers collab on a beer, Filly tees up Scarf perfectly as he works the GLA into the pod not once but twice (!), Dio is still without a club, and Tony Leone nets his first professional goal. It’s Scarf who rants on this episode after Filly runs down the upcoming schedule. Truly, everything is possible here on Defenders of the Banc! You’ll be hearing a lot of us over the course of the next few weeks, with three more matches in 10 days. And it will also be right here on Defenders of the Banc where you can hear recaps, breakdowns, and banter the night after every episode of Season 2 of Ted Lasso, starting July 23 on Apple TV! Lots of fun and lots more to come, but until then, enjoy Episode 155!
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