Match Recap

Century City

Led by a tireless defense lined up in a fresh formation, LAFC secures a milestone victory 2,000 miles from home

LAFC 100 wins locker room Atlanta 05252024

Two clubs entered Major League Soccer’s second-largest stadium on Saturday night, both with 99 regular-season wins to their credit. Only one had a chance to make history.

When the dust settled on LAFC’s raucous, nervy, double-red-card, 1-0 victory over Atlanta United in front of 43,128 fans at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the Black & Gold had tied the MLS record for fewest games needed to reach 100 wins in the league’s post-shootout era.

For clarity: from 1996 to 1999, MLS regular-season games that were tied at full-time were decided by an NASL-style shootout. Over the next four years (2000-03), regular-season games that were tied at full-time continued into a 10-minute, sudden-death extra time. In 2004, commissioner Don Garber announced that "now is the right time" for MLS games to end in a draw if the two teams are level after 90 minutes, as happens in every other top-tier league in the world. From that point forward, no team has recorded its first 100 wins faster than LAFC has since it joined the league in 2018. Only the Seattle Sounders did it in the same number of games, 206, reaching the century milestone in 2015.

“It’s huge, man,” said defender Aaron Long, who has been part of 21 of those 100 wins since he joined LAFC prior to last season. “I mean, how many clubs are in this league now? … To be the fastest to 100, or tied as the fastest to 100, is a huge, monumental step. I think it's something that the club should be proud of. It's something that the ownership and the technical staff should be proud of. Any player that's ever played here and has helped get this club to that goal … There's a lot of blood, sweat, and tears that goes into this, a lot of time and hours put in by a lot of people. So huge shout out to everyone that's a part of the organization.”

“It speaks for all of LAFC, since day one,” said head coach Steve Cherundolo. “It's been run phenomenally and has been pushed by our fans, forward, all the time ... So congratulations to everyone involved, and to the LAFC family.”

Ninety-six total players – from [Kellyn] Acosta to [Walker] Zimmerman – have appeared for the Black & Gold in MLS regular-season play since the team’s inaugural season in 2018. Those 96 players not only achieved 100 wins in record time, they amassed more wins, points, and goals than any other MLS team in that span.

MLS Since 2018

“It's huge,” said Mateusz Bogusz, who was a 16-year-old prodigy at Polish club Ruch Chorzów when LAFC earned its first win on March 4, 2018, and whose goal on Saturday provided the difference in its 100th.

“I'm very happy that I can be part of this success. Let's go for 200.”


The result in Atlanta was LAFC’s second MLS road win of 2024, its second consecutive such victory, and its third overall in all competitions this year. It was also its third away win in the last 18 days. LAFC has conceded just one goal in those three road triumphs.

Wearing the all-black kits that it usually wears at home (because Atlanta was wearing its third kit), LAFC created early chances, with a Bogusz 1-v-1 opportunity against ATL goalie Brad Guzan parried away by the former USMNT mainstay in the 17th minute, and a dangerous cross from Omar Campos just missing a sprinting Cristian Olivera in the 30th. After Atlanta’s Daniel Ríos missed an open chance in front of goal in the 36th minute, the game’s pivotal moment came in the 56th, when Bogusz chased a long pass into Atlanta’s defending third that was headed away by the onrushing Guzan, Atlanta’s last defender on the play, who earned a red card by then tripping Bogusz.

The young Pole’s ensuing free kick was deflected by Atlanta’s wall past substitute goalkeeper Josh Cohen, and into the net.

“First of all it was an amazing ball [by] Denis [Bouanga],” Bogusz explained. “I just see that he's ready to pass me this ball, so I make this run. The ball was a little bit too long, but I just go to the end and it was a foul, a red card.

“It was my turn [to take the free kick] because we have a structure in the team— [whoever] makes the free kick is then going to take the next one,” Bogusz added. Bouanga had tried a free kick in the 32nd minute that was denied by Atlanta’s wall, so “it was my turn and I used it,” Bogusz said with a smile. “So the next free kick is again mine.”

“It takes a lot of effort to win games on the road in this league,” Cherundolo said. “It takes some individual, very good performances … and sometimes, you know, a little good fortune. But I'm very pleased with the effort the guys are putting into it, the commitment they're showing to win games on the road over the past two games. That's what we were missing in the earlier stages of the season.”


For the first time this season, LAFC took the field in a three-back setup, with center backs Long, Maxime Chanot, and Jesús Murillo providing the foundation in front of goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

“We felt, tactically, it had some advantages for us, also due to injuries that we have currently in our roster and limitations on certain players physically,” Cherundolo said of the lineup. (Defensive midfielder Ilie Sánchez did not play and defender Ryan Hollingshead contributed just 10 minutes.) “So sometimes it forces our hand. Tonight we decided to give it a go. I thought the team interpreted it very well.”

After midfielder Eduard Atuesta was shown his second yellow card and sent off in the 81st minute, Cherundolo placed a fourth center back on the field, Eddie Segura, to help protect the 1-0 lead.

“I mean, it's pretty simple, you’re just trying to win a game and get the result over the end of the finish line,” Cherundolo said.

“In those moments, it's just time to grind, man,” Long said. “It's time to react and make plays. You're gonna get pulled out of position—again, you're playing 10-v-10, it's not like it's gonna be a straight up 4-4-1 or whatever it is on the day—they're gonna be throwing a ton of numbers forward. So it's gonna have to be guys reacting and making the right decisions at big moments, which tonight they did.”


LAFC’s newest signing, Olivier Giroud, scored a goal on Saturday in his final appearance for Italian club AC Milan (which has won more than 1,500 games in the 96-year-old Serie A). Giroud, who will join LAFC in July, was given a standing ovation by Milan’s home crowd when he was subbed off in the 84th minute of the 3-3 draw with Salernitana, hugging his teammates as the crowd sang his name.

The moment capped the most productive of Giroud’s three seasons with Milan. He finished with 15 goals in league play, tied for the third-most in Italy’s top division. Overall, Giroud scored 49 goals in his three seasons for AC Milan, helping the club to the Serie A title in 2022. The leading goalscorer in the history of France’s national team, Giroud will reunite in Los Angeles with his friend and fellow 2018 World Cup champion, Lloris.


Of LAFC’s 100 regular-season wins, 65 have come at home, in front of more than 1.4 million fans. LAFC has sold out every MLS regular-season and playoff game it has ever hosted.

LAFC has not conceded a goal in its last 301 minutes of MLS play, and its last 394 minutes in all competitions.

During its playoff run in 2023, LAFC went 400 consecutive minutes without allowing a goal, a streak that stretched from its first postseason win (over Vancouver on October 28), into the MLS Cup final against Columbus on December 9.

When Bouanga was subbed off in second-half stoppage time against Atlanta, it marked the first MLS action he has missed this season. He had previously played every minute of every league match in 2024.

LAFC hosts Minnesota United on Wednesday, May 29, at BMO Stadium at 7:45 p.m. PT. The game will be broadcast for free on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV. Fox Sports 1 will also televise the game, which can be heard on 710 AM ESPN LA, the ESPN LA app, 980 La Mera Mera (Español), and Sirius FC on Sirius XM.

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