Diego Rossi and Brian Rodriguez scored six minutes apart midway through the second half, and Los Angeles FC rallied for a 3-3 draw with the Houston Dynamo in the MLS is Back tournament on Monday night.
The opening match of Group F turned into the highest scoring game of the tournament.
LAFC, the reigning Supporters’ Shield winners, trailed 3-1 at halftime after Houston took advantage of its counter-attacking opportunities in the first 45 minutes.
Memo Rodríguez scored twice in the first half for Houston. His first goal came in the ninth minute with a right-footed shot that beat LAFC goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer. Rodríguez added his second in the 30th, collecting a perfect pass behind the LAFC defense. Rodríguez’s first shot was saved by Vermeer, but the rebound deflected off Rodríguez’s leg and into the net.
Alberth Elis added a third for Houston just before halftime with his header off a free kick. The goal was originally waived off as being offside, but video review showed Elis was onside and the goal was allowed.
MLS veteran and LAFC newcomer Bradley Wright-Phillips scored his 109th career regular-season goal in the first half tapping in a cross from Rossi. Wright-Phillips started at the top of LAFC’s attack with reigning league MVP Carlos Vela sitting out the tournament. He moved into seventh-place on the league’s all-time list for regular season goals.
While Rossi was a distributor in the first half, it was his strike in the 63rd minute that sparked LAFC. The Uruguyan’s right-footed shot from 15 yards was no match for Houston goalkeeper Marko Maric.
Get Los Angeles's latest local news on crime, entertainment, weather, schools, COVID, cost of living and more. Here's your go-to source for today's LA news.
Just a few minutes later, Latif Blessing found Brian Rodriguez on a run from the wing and scored his first goal after the 22-year-old signed with LAFC last summer.
LAFC (1-0-2) opened the season with a victory over Inter Miami and a draw against Philadelphia prior to the league’s stoppage in March.
Houston (0-1-2) is still searching for its first victory under new coach Tab Ramos.