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Supporters’ Shield celebration: LAFC 0, Nashville SC 1

Not even a loss at home could sour the celebrations as LAFC lifted their second Supporters’ Shield in five years

MLS: Nashville SC at Los Angeles FC Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Today was far more celebration than match day, and it should have been. After all, LAFC handled business and came into the regular season finale having already won the Conference, secured home-field, have the first-round bye and were setting the stage to lift their Supporters’ Shield post-match. The result on the day, in the grand scheme of things, truly didn't matter. However, this is LA, and if there's score being kept and players on the field, a win is expected, especially at home.

Standing in the way of the perfect end to what has been an incredible regular season, was Nashville SC who while having a playoff spot secured, still needed a win on the road to avoid possibly slipping all the way to seventh-place in the conference, making their road to a championship that much harder. Not to mention, this was the first return to The Banc for former LAFC defender, Walker Zimmerman. Despite being in the league for a few years, Nashville began their MLS voyage in the Eastern Conference, and with Covid regulations keeping schedules regionalized the last couple of years, these two sides never met. Now that the visitors are in the West though, it was time to introduce them to what playing in The Banc is like.

If you've been to an LAFC match at any point since their arrival to the MLS, I don't have to tell you what the atmosphere was like. The place was packed, fans were rabid, loud, and all too ready to properly welcome Nashville to the Western Conference. The team followed suit, and started off the match strong finding plenty of space to run, finding a couple goal-scoring opportunities early on. Carlos Vela ended his day in the 40th minute, as the team looked to keep key players healthy heading into the postseason.

The half finished scoreless, much to the disappointment to the home side. Arango had a golden opportunity to take the lead with a late half penalty, but had the awkward shot saved easily. LAFC finished the half with more possession (61%) and had way more shots than the visitors. While Nashville got off five shots with none finding the target, LAFC had unloaded 15 shots with seven finding the target, but none finding the back of the net before the break.

Anyone who’s watched soccer for more than one match will undoubtedly know what came next. I mean, LAFC only completely dominated the first half aside from scoring, so naturally, Nashville came out and scored first early in the second half to give them a lead on one of only a few shots that found the target up to that point. Teal Bunbury found himself in the right place at the best time during a corner kick, in which the ball found him with enough time to get a shot off for the lead.

Despite a valiant effort to finish the match, LAFC couldn't find the equalizer, and fell at home in the season finale 0-1. While the loss did leave a sour taste in the mouth of everyone, it didn't really matter in the end. After a brief, half-second period of grief for the L taken, the atmosphere resumed to celebratory and the party resumed ahead of the team lifting the Supporters’ Shield for the second time in five years.

This is normally the part where I tell you all about the upcoming match, what you may expect, and start the early hype. However, there is no next match, at least for now. With the first-round bye to open up the postseason, LAFC will have to wait until the conclusion of the first-round before knowing just who will be the first to make the trip to The Banc. For now, we can all bask in the glory achieved in 2022, as the team prepare to finish the job with what we all hope will be an MLS Cup winning postseason run.

Which team would you want to play the least in the playoffs? Leave a comment below!