HOUSTON — Those who were curious as to whether there was any reason to be genuinely concerned about the Los Angeles Football Club’s recent struggles can stop wondering.
The team that has set the pace in MLS for most of the season and spent recent months making several high-profile roster additions is in a legitimate slump.
The host Houston Dynamo, the last-place team in the Western Conference, provided the latest evidence on Wednesday night, stunning first-place Los Angeles FC, 2-1.
Sebastian Ferreira and Griffin Dorsey scored for Houston (8-15-5, 29 points). It was the Dynamo’s first win in more than a month, with their last win coming July 17. In between were five losses and one draw.
LAFC (18-7-3, 57 points) fell into a tie with the Philadelphia Union, who won their game Wednesday, for the most points in the league, but LAFC has lost three straight matches (all on the road). None of LAFC’s high-priced superstars – Carlos Vela and Gareth Bale among them – have scored during the losing streak.
Cristian Arango scored for LAFC in the 19th minute on Wednesday, tying the score at 1-1. Ferreira had scored on a penalty kick for Houston in the 13th minute. Arango used his head to guide in a cross from Vela for his 14th goal of the season.
But it was the only time that LAFC’s high-powered offense beat veteran goalkeeper Steve Clark. The 36-year-old had six saves, tying his season-high. LAFC got off 19 shots and put eight on frame.
While Clark and the back line kept LAFC at bay, the Dynamo offense created the decisive goal in the 75th minute. After settling a ball from Adalberto Carrasquilla on the right wing, Dorsey dashed between two defenders and made his way into the box, then unleashed a left-footed shot that beat a sliding third defender and LAFC goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau. It was Dorsey’s first MLS goal of the season.
LAFC’s latest acquisition, Denis Bouanga, made his MLS debut in the 72nd minute, coming on for Arango.
Houston defender Darwin Ceren was sent off with his second yellow card of the night in the 97th minute.
LAFC next hosts Real Salt Lake (11-8-9, 42 points) on Sunday at 7:30 p.m.