If there’s one team that has played LAFC evenly consistently over the years, it’s the Philadelphia Union. Go figure, since these teams, the top seeds in their respective conferences this year, will meet in the MLS Cup Final on Saturday at the Banc.
So what’s the history between the teams? Considering both teams have been among the best in the league for much of the last five years, they haven’t played each other much and when they have, little has separated them.
All-time competitive record: LAFC lead 1W-0L-3D
The only win between these teams came way back on June 30, 2018, when LAFC rolled 4-1. Adama Diomande scored the first hat trick in LAFC history, before Latif Blessing added a capper late in stoppage time.
But since then, nothing separates these teams, as they’ve drawn three times in a row. The 2020 draw between these teams, also at The Banc, was the final game before the COVID shutdown and the 3-3 result is one of the most fondly remembered draws in league history.
But what happened this year between the teams? Well, I already spoiled it but here’s the rundown.
May 7: LAFC 2, Union 2
This game had everything. It was a battle, especially on LAFC’s side, even if it was at The Banc.
LAFC had a bunch of chances to open the game, but Philly took the lead in the 9th minute against the run of play, as Kai Wagner set up Daniel Gazdag to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
That held into the 2nd half, when LAFC maintained their trademark this season of stepping up in the 2nd 45. Kwadwo Opoku had the equalizer in the 56th minute for LAFC, but Julian Carranza hit a circus shot 11 minutes later to give the Union a 2-1 lead.
But LAFC got another equalizer, and this one stuck, in the 82nd minute. After Jose Cifuentes forced a save from a Carlos Vela corner kick, Franco Escobar cleaned up the rebound, scoring his only goal of the season.
LAFC have been playing great in the playoffs so far, and they’ve taken on tough opponents, no question. But given the track record between these teams and this being the championship game, this will definitely be a battle, there will likely be multiple goals, quite possibly on both sides, and it may get very, very tense. But this is why we watch the games, for a cup final like the one we’re about to see on Saturday. Bring it on!
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