Minnesota United paired young Honduras National teammates Kervin Arriaga and Joseph Rosales in the starting 11 midfield together during Sunday's 2-0 loss at Los Angeles F.C.

Coach Adrian Heath praised what he saw on a night his team played on without suspended captain Wil Trapp and injured Hassani Dotson in that two-man midfield.

"I thought they did some really good stuff," Heath said by video teleconference after the game. "Both are talented boys. Both have a lot of energy. We like the pair of them. We think there's two really good players there. Considering [LAFC] is a team that plays with three men in the middle of the park, they covered a lot of ground, made a lot of tackles, had a lot of interceptions."

Trapp was suspended one game for yellow-card accumulations, and Dotson is out for the season following knee surgery to repair a torn ACL.

So the fellow countrymen were called upon to start together on a night the Loons surrendered two goals late. Ryan Hollingshead's reactive, opportunistic volley off a corner kick — and from just outside the 6-yard box — in the 82nd minute was all LAFC needed.

Midfielder Jose Cifuentes' goal was the clincher in the 90th minute.

LAFC moved back atop the Supporters' Shield race by improving to 7-1-1. The Loons had been unbeaten in five games — 2-0-3, including 1-0-1 in Los Angeles — against LAFC dating to 2018.

But they squandered chances to change the game with a goal, most notably Robin Lod's right-footed shot that sailed over a wide-open goal just after halftime, in the 48th minute.

Heath praised his team's play against LAFC's press but lamented his players turned the ball over too many times, made too many wrong passes with the ball and missed too many scoring opportunities.

"As I said to the players, we cannot go to teams that are going to be top of the table and turn the ball over as much as we did in their half of the field when we had very good controlled possessions," Heath said. "That was the biggest issue for us. We had four or five glorious opportunities — 4-on-2, 3-on-2 — and we picked the wrong pass. You can't do that in places like this."

Heath shook up his starting 11 by starting Abu Danladi and Bongokuhle Hlongwane for Luis Amarilla and Franco Fragapane after those first two had changed the game with their second-half substitutions in victories over Colorado and Chicago.

Danladi and Hlongwane were among those who Heath said picked the wrong pass too often. Amarilla and Fragapane came on for them in the 65th minute to play with Lod, who started up top and played all 90 minutes as a "false" striker.

"They were on the front foot at that stage," Heath said about Amarilla and Fragapane. "It was still nil-nil, still having them little isolated breakaways. I thought maybe there'd be a bit more quality with Robin there. LAFC, they're relentless here. They keep you on the back foot. They take chances with their press. They try to steal the ball as high and as often as they can in your half of the field — and they're good at it."