Memo Rodriguez may have been the most memorable moment of tonight’s goalfest in Orlando between Houston Dynamo and LAFC with his brace, but it was LAFC’s Brian Rodriguez that had the last and the one to rescue his team from opening their MLS Is Back Tournament debut with a loss. The goal-filled evening ended 3-3, filling the empty pitch with echoes of memories of a season of close calls and comebacks – the 2019 Supporters’ Shield winners completed the 2019 season with nine draws. The young Designated Player from Peñarol, Brian Rodriguez, finally notched his first regular season goal for LAFC in the 69th minute off an assist from Latiff Blessing who rescued a broken set piece.
The first half was all about Houston’s dynamic Memo Rodriguez who scored in the 9th and 30th minutes. Bradley Wright-Phillips, an MLS favorite, also notched his first goal for LAFC, temporarily equalizing the score in the 19th minute. Not long after, Houston retook the lead, then added to it when Alberth Elis headed in a free kick in stoppage time before halftime.
The second half spoke volumes for LAFC’s ability to catapult themselves over a challenging series of sloppy missed shots and a leaking defense. In the 63rd minute, LAFC’s first Peñarol trained signing, Diego Rossi, shot over Houston’s Marko Maric into the net and began a quick six-minute comeback. After Brian Rodriguez’s 69th minute finish, the stalemate was not to be broken. Both teams take with them one point. And two LAFC players take with them memories of their first goals for LAFC, one at the beginning of his career, the other, closer to the end.
Featured Image: Courtesy of MLS