LAFC continues to prove they are the best team in MLS after reaching the Concacaf Champions League final for the second time club’s history. A 3-0 win over the Philadelphia Union at BMO Stadium in the second leg of the semifinals secured a 4-1 aggregate win.
The club will have a second shot at winning Concacaf’s biggest club competition when they face Club Leon from Liga MX in the final.
A dominant path to the final.
LAFC’s route to the final could be said to have been “easier” than back in 2020, but it was still as impressive. The club faced L.D Alajualense, Vancouver Whitecaps, and the Union, scoring 14 goals in 6 matches and grabbing four wins, a draw, and losing only one game.
It was a very different route to the final when you compare it to the 2020 campaign in which LAFC had to go through three Liga MX teams. The ties were also only one match, and all games were hosted in Orlando due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In that campaign, the team found themselves behind on the scoreboard in all 3 ties against Club Leon, Cruz Azul, and Club America. The team managed to go up 1-0 on the scoreboard in the final against Tigres but lost the final 1-2.
The momentum continues
After winning MLS Cup in the most dramatic fashion back in November against Philadelphia, the team has carried that momentum unto this season. They are yet to lose in MLS and are now in yet another final. The brilliant start to the season has had many people wondering if this could be MLS’ best team ever. An opinion is shared by Jim Curtin, Philadelphia Union’s coach, who, after Tuesday’s match, said LAFC was probably the best team in our league’s history. LAFC coach Steve Cherundolo disagreed, putting the team’s feet on the ground, and declared there is still a lot of work to be done to say that. Cherundolo has the possibility to win his third title at the club in the span of 15 months.
Old rivals meeting again
This will be the second time LAFC and Club Leon will face each other in the competition. We all remember that first series in 2020 before the pandemic in which LAFC went to Guanajuato and lost 0-2 in the first leg but secured a 3-0 win at home in the second leg. Carlos Vela scored his second of the night late in the second half, with Diego Rossi scoring a third and final goal only two minutes later. Jose Cifuentes, Eddie Segura, Diego Palacios, Jesus Murillo, Erik Dueñas, and Velawere are all part of that 2020 team and will get a second shot at winning the title.
Club Leon had an arguably easier route to the final than LAFC, facing Tauro, Violette, and Tigres on the way. They managed four wins and two losses in six games played, scoring 14 goals and receiving 3 against. Leon currently finished the regular season in 6th place in Liga MX and will play the playoff match against San Luis.
Like in 2020, LAFC will host the second leg of the tie at BMO Stadium, an opportunity for fans to see their team lift yet another title at home.
The first leg will be played in Guanajuato on May 31st, and the second leg in Los Angeles on June 4th. Murillo will miss the first leg due to an accumulation of yellow cards.