History was made on Saturday night, as Los Angeles Football Club became the fifth MLS expansion team in league history to reach the playoffs their debut season, after defeating the Colorado Rapids 3-0 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo.
LAFC join the 1998 Chicago Fire (coached by LAFC boss Bob Bradley, who also won the 1998 MLS Cup), the 1998 Miami Fusion, the 2009 Seattle Sounders and 2017 Atlanta United team as the only expansion teams to clinch a postseason berth in their first year in the league. For context, there have been a total of 16 MLS expansion teams to have played in the league to date.
It’s worth noting that LAFC have not really acted like an expansion team on the field very much at all this season, insisting their goal is to win titles, not to simply reach the playoffs. To be sure, given the investment made in the team, it’s good to hear the ambitions are high, but it seems safe to say the minimum goal for the season coming in would be to reach the playoffs. In that regard, mission accomplished.
There are still three more games left in the regular season for LAFC, as they try to improve their place in the standings, and possibly earn a first-round bye in the playoffs, before the playoffs themselves begin at the end of the month or early November, depending on where they finish. Congratulations to the entire LAFC organization on reaching the playoffs this year, and let’s hope this is just the start of a special run in the debut campaign.
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