– by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief
WASHINGTON — In a matchup between the top two teams in Major League Soccer, Showdown Saturday turned out to be Separation Saturday.
The lethal strike combination of Carlos Vela and Diego Rossi both tallied for the visitors, the latter coming up with a hat trick, as LAFC dominated the Eastern Conference leader, DC United, 4-0 at Audi Field on Saturday afternoon. The win gives Los Angeles its fifth win in six outings this season as it continues to stay atop the Western Conference with 16 points.
Vela was denied from the penalty spot in the 12th minute by DC United goalkeeper Bill Hamid, but then put the visitors on the board just over three minutes later with a left-footed strike from the top of the box in the 16th minute. Vela then turned provider for Rossi’s first-time strike in the 27th minute.
LAFC and Rossi made it 3-0 in the 32nd minute before being in the middle of another turning point in the game, as he was fouled by DC United forward Wayne Rooney as the latter spiked Rossi on the right calf going in for a challenge. After video review, Rooney’s yellow card was rescinded and was given a red card in the 52nd minute. Rossi then scored in the 76th minute to complete his hat trick and the scoring in the game.
*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Saturday afternoon’s game, with all photos taken by DC-area photographer Yusuf Abdullah. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 11 pictures in total.