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US Open Cup round of 16, Mexicans Abroad: What we learned

MLS: U.S. Open Cup-San Jose Earthquakes at LAFC Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Only one LA team made it through to the next round as Pablo Sisniega had his best game yet with the black and gold. Here’s what we learned from the US Open Cup round of 16.

Efrain Alvarez will have his bad days too

It wasn’t meant to be for Efrain Alvarez and the LA Galaxy after the five-time MLS Cup champs were knocked out by the Portland Timbers in 4-0 thumping at Providence Park.

Apart from a late shot into the woodwork, Alvarez, who turned 17 earlier in the week, didn’t have the best of games, although it is worth mentioning that the rest of the Galaxy squad didn’t do much either.

Obviously, the Galaxy’s elimination means less playing time for Alvarez going forward, but the Mexican youngster should still come off the bench in future MLS matches. The main takeaway here is not every game will be easy for Alvarez, and these are the matches he should use the most as a learning experiences

Vela can celebrate an All-Star selection

In a night when it was announced that Carlos Vela will play part in the 2019 MLS All-Star Game, Carlos Vela celebrated with a goal as Los Angeles FC progressed to the Quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup with a 3-1 win over the San Jose Earthquakes.

Matias Almeyda’s side started the match brightly, but ultimately, it was Carlos Vela and Co. who triumphed with an impressive win at home. Vela’s goal came close to the end of the match, in the 85th minute, after cutting inside and having his shot ricochet into the back of the net for the 3-1.

For Vela, this will be his second MLS All-Star selection and will join fellow Mexican Jonathan dos Santos.

Pablo Sisniega has his coming out party

But Carlos Vela wasn’t the only Mexican celebrating on Thursday. Pablo Sisniega got his second consecutive start for LAFC and had arguably the best performance of his professional career. The 23-year-old Mexican goalkeeper was monumental on several occasions, making save after save, and earning all the praise from his teammates and home side fans.

For Sisniega, it has been a long time coming. After struggling with injuries earlier in his career, this was his moment and he took it perfectly.

Sisniega should continue to be the team’s starting goalkeeper as long as LAFC remain in the U.S. Open Cup, and nobody is more delighted about this than coach Bob Bradley, who now has serious competition for his starting goalkeeper Tyler Miller.