Former English Premier League teammates Ashley Westwood and Scott Arfield each scored goals as Charlotte FC earned a 2-1 victory over visiting Los Angeles FC on Saturday in their return to MLS play.
Westwood scored his second goal of the season, while Arfield scored for the first time in his fourth MLS game after coming on as a substitute in the 72nd minute and scoring three minutes later. The players were teammates at Burnley in 2016-17 and 2017-18.
Goalkeeper Kristijan Kahlina made five saves for Charlotte FC (7-9-8, 29 points), who remained unbeaten in their last seven MLS matches, going 2-0-5 in that stretch. The club was playing its first match since a 4-0 defeat to Inter Miami on Aug. 11 in the quarterfinals of Leagues Cup.
Mario Gonzalez scored a second-half goal for LAFC (11-7-7, 40 points) as the club's high-powered offense was held in check. The defending MLS Cup champions entered with 17 goals over their last four games, going back to the start of Leagues Cup.
Goalkeeper John McCarthy made three saves for LAFC, who defeated the Colorado Rapids 4-0 on Wednesday in their return to MLS action. That game was delayed three days after Tropical Storm Hilary powered through the Los Angeles area last weekend.
Westwood gave Charlotte a 1-0 lead in the 29th minute, taking a left-footed centering pass from Karol Swiderski and slotting a right-footed volley past McCarthy.
Charlotte FC nearly made it 2-0 in the 61st minute, but Jaylin Lindsey's header from close range hit the crossbar.
LAFC tied the score in the 67th minute when Gonzalez gathered a long pass from Denis Bouanga and worked his way around a charging Kahlina to score just before the Charlotte defense scrambled back into the play.
Swiderski, Charlotte's leading scorer with seven goals, forced McCarthy into a diving save in the 75 minute and Arfield collected the rebound to score into a wide-open net.
It was the second all-time meeting between the clubs, with LAFC earning a 5-0 victory in August of last year.
—Field Level Media