I can still remember my first thought when it was confirmed LAFC would start its inaugural season on a six-match road trip.
All LAFC needs is eight points from the six matches. Eight points, and the Club would be in good shape coming home to open Banc of California Stadium.
I wasn’t the only one thinking it, too.
“In the start of the season, we said ‘Maybe, if win two or three games, it would be good because it’s on the road,’” Carlos Vela said after LAFC’s 5-3 win in Montreal.
After the six matches, LAFC has 12 points from four wins on the road.
It’s a feat that’s not just exceptional in relation to the Club’s goals for 2018. Historically, LAFC’s road start this season is unprecedented.
Seven MLS teams have started a season on longer road trips than LAFC’s six matches to start 2018. Not a single one of them earned 12 points. In fact, only two of the seven came close. Toronto picked up 11 points on the road to start the 2016 season. Columbus did the same in 1999. But the 11 points came in eight matches for Toronto, while Columbus needed seven.
It’s not just the points total either. As an expansion side, LAFC’s four wins on the road are nearly unheard of.
Since 2009, including LAFC, nine teams have joined MLS. Only Orlando City had more away wins (5) over the course of its entire inaugural season than LAFC has through six matches away from home.
As for already established teams having success on the road in MLS. During the 2017 season, only one Western Conference playoff team had more than four wins on the road for the year (Vancouver with 6).
All that being said, the historical significance of the LAFC's results really only tells half the story.
After the comeback win in Montreal, Bob Bradley had this to say about his side:
“When you have a new team, you create history day by day, page by page. That’s a new page in our history book to comeback and finish a game like that.”
Before the Montreal win could be written into LAFC's history, there was the Club's trip to Seattle. Going into one of the most hostile environments in the League, where the Sounders had not lost a match in their last 15, LAFC raced out to an early lead and held on for its first three points.
Turning that page, Black & Gold supporters can’t forget LAFC’s highflying 5-1 victory the following week at Real Salt Lake. A win that was the worst defeat in RSL history at home.
Disappointments followed in the next two matches, as not all histories are written with happy endings to each chapter. But Bradley vowed his team would learn from the defeats. LAFC bounced back, ending Vancouver’s 11-match unbeaten streak a week later.
Now, following the 5-3 victory in Montreal, another new chapter in team history begins April 29 at Banc of California Stadium.
And if the first part of LAFC’s story is any indication, history will continue to be made.