The Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) tied Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund 1-1 in the first international friendly at Banc of California Stadium on Tuesday night. It is fitting that both teams walked after from Tuesday nights friendly with half of the spoils. While the game was a few yards north of a scrimmage for the players, it was a chance to see some of the best players in the world in their backyard for the announced crowd of 22, 000.
Dortmund rolled out World Cup stars Mario Gotze, Andre Schurrle and Christina Pulisic. LAFC had its share of World Cup players in Carlos Vela, Omar Gaber, Marco Urena, and Laurent Ciman. Walker Zimmer will be joining Pulisic on the USMNT for some friendlies. While the timing of Tuesday’s match was a bit odd in that Dortmund finished their season 11 days ago and while LAFC is the middle of its inaugural season and will play six games in the next three weeks.
The payoff for the two teams is that the Budelisa giants created an opportunity to put their stake in the upcoming hotbed of American Soccer while Bob Bradley was able to play some of his players who were void of minutes in recent matches.
After a scoreless first half, LAFC winger Aaron Kovar gave the home side the lead in the 77th minute when he directed a Lee Nguyen cross. Dortmund’s Maximilian Philip’s pirouette between two LAFC defenders and unleashed right footed shot that leveled the game at 1-1 ten minutes later leaving the two sides satisfied with the day’s works.
For Pulisic the game was somewhat of a homecoming as he was able to play in front of family and friends on his home soil.
“So this year, I would definitely say there were a lot of ups and downs. In the end, we didn’t finish so strong, but we won the games that we needed to, and we ended up accomplishing our goal of getting into the Champions League again. So, we’re going to work to improve even more for next season and do everything we can to finish even higher. Just to return home is awesome, man. I missed home. It was great. I had some family out here. It was just an awesome day.”
Los Angeles: Miller (Lyon 46′) – Blackmon, Ciman (c) (Brewer 51′), Jakovic (Harvey 73′), Moutinho – Atuesta (Murphy 73′), Feilhaber (Nguyen 29′), Kaye (Mallace 46′) – Vela (Kovar 26′), Rossi (Czornomaz 60′), Diomande (Blessing 26′)
Unused substitutes: Roberts
Absentees: Lopez (broken leg), Ureña (facial surgery)
Coach: Bob Bradley
Dortmund: Weidenfeller (c) (Reimann 46′) – Toljan, Sokratis (Gomez 73′), Zagadou, Schmelzer – Sahin, Götze (Castro 46′) – Pulisic (Isak 55′), Sancho (Yarmolenko 46′), Schürrle (Dahoud 46′) – Philipp
Unused substitutes: Weigl
Absentees: Akanji, Bürki, Guerreiro, Piszczek, Akanji, Reus (international duty), Toprak (thigh)
Coach: Peter Stöger
LAFC (6-3-2; 20 points) returns to league play this Saturday against D.C. United. Kickoff at Banc of California is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. PT and will be broadcast on YouTube TV and UniMás 46.