LAFC became the first team in MLS to qualify for the 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs on Saturday night, needing just 25 games to clinch a postseason berth, tying the Club’s own 2019 MLS record for the fewest games played prior to clinching a spot in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, despite a 2-1 loss in San Jose.
LAFC’s club-record seven-game win streak came to an end in San Jose, as the Black & Gold suffered just its fifth loss this season and first since July 2, after a 2-1 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes at Pay Pal Park. LAFC maintains the best record in MLS (18-5-3) and leads the race for the 2022 Supporter’s Shield with 57 points.
San Jose took the lead in the 14th minute on a goal by Benjamin Kikanović. It would take until the 54th minute for LAFC to answer back, as Kellyn Acosta connected with Mahala Opoku, who leveled the score 1-1 with his seventh goal of the season.
San Jose would take back the lead in the 77th minute behind a goal from Cade Cowell. LAFC finished the match with 10 men after Ilie Sanchez, who entered as a substitute in the 64th minute, was issued a second yellow card in the 79th minute. Despite several late opportunities, San Jose held on for the 2-1 win.
LAFC will be back in action on Friday, August 26 as the Club continues its three-game road stretch with a trip to Q2 Stadium to take on Austin FC. That game kicks off at 5 p.m. PT and will be broadcast nationally on ESPN and ESPN Deportes. It will also be available on the radio on ESPN 710 AM, the ESPN LA App, and 980 AM La Mera La Mera.
NEWS & NOTES:
- LAFC became the first team in MLS to qualify for the 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs, needing just 25 games to clinch a postseason berth, tying their own MLS record set in 2019 for the fewest games played prior to clinching a playoff berth.
- With the win, LAFC is now 18-5-3 on the season for a league-best 57 points. The club is six points ahead of Philadelphia and nine points ahead of Austin FC in the race for the Supporters Shield.
- With its second half goal, LAFC has now outscored its opponents 38-7 in the second half this season maintaining the +31-goal differential.
- Mahala Opoku scored the lone goal for LAFC for a second consecutive game and has now scored a career-high seven goals this season.
- LAFC announced Friday that the club signed Danny Trejo to his first MLS contract. Trejo was previously signed to two short-term loan agreements (June 18 & 26) with the first team made his MLS debut on June 18 against Seattle. Overall, Trejo has made two appearances and has played 31 minutes for the Black & Gold this season.