LAFC finding success in the CONCACAF Champions League

LAFC (Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images)
LAFC (Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images) /
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LAFC have reached their first cup tournament final in club history.

The 2020 Major League Soccer season did not end as Los Angeles FC would have hoped but their continental success has been a welcome result. After the suspension of the CONCACAF Champions League in March, LAFC have picked up where they left off in the competition and have continued their winning ways. With victories over Cruz Azul and Club America, the MLS club will be headed to the tournament final against Tigres UANL. This is the first time in club history LAFC have reached the final of a cup competition.

A massive success for LAFC

Success has not come for LAFC in the MLS Cup playoffs or U.S. Open Cup. This remains the kryptonite of a club that has already shown they can dominate in the regular season. After winning the Supporters Shield in 2019, they were unable to follow-up their success with a deep run in the postseason to reach the MLS Cup final. This was the same result in 2018 after exiting in the first round of the playoffs and in 2020 as well.

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In the U.S. Open Cup, LAFC came within one match of reaching the final in 2018 and exited in the quarterfinals in 2019. During this summer’s MLS is Back tournament, they were knocked out in the quarterfinals after a dominating performance against Seattle Sounders in the round of 16.

The consistency just wasn’t there yet in a cup competition format but now they have shown capable of reaching a final.

By defeating three Liga MX clubs, LAFC are displaying what they can do when they are at their best. This is a club that is capable of being a highly competitive side in MLS and CONCACAF when they are firing on all cylinders.

After the setbacks in the MLS playoffs and U.S. Open Cup, reaching the CCL final is a huge step forward for the club.

Vela continues to lead the way

Carlos Vela continues to be the dominant player for LAFC. In the quarterfinal and semifinal, he found the back of the net. Against Club America, he scored two goals in quick succession including what proved to be the match-winner in the 3-1 victory. Vela is currently tied with Tigres’ Pierre-Andre Gignac for the most goals in the CCL with five apiece. If LAFC are going to win the CCL title, Vela will have to put together a masterclass performance when they face Tigres in the final.

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History awaits

LAFC are closing in on becoming the first MLS club to win a CCL title in its current format. Rivals Los Angeles Galaxy won in 2000 under the Champions Cup format but the competition has since seen a restructuring. LAFC have already made history en route to the final as they become the first MLS club to defeat three Liga MX clubs in a single tournament. Considering Liga MX clubs have dominated the CCL over the years it’s certainly an impressive accomplishment. This is shaping up to be a special tournament run by LAFC.