A second chance at winning one of the more illustrious trophies an MLS side can win, has arrived for LAFC. Just three years removed from coming up short in what was their first-ever appearance in a finals match, the black & gold is back in the final with a different format, but the same opportunity at accomplishing something great. If you remember, the road to that CCL Final in 2020 was filled with thrills, none more than when LAFC completed a 0-2 deficit in the second leg of the Round of 16 match against León. The team pulled off an incredible 3-0 win at home. Now, LAFC face León once again, will come home to a second leg down once again, 2-1, but this time, everything is on the line.
24 Hours. For Los Angeles.
— LAFC (@LAFC) June 4, 2023
The first leg of the final was rough for LAFC, especially considering the team played a match on a week’s rest, something they hadn’t had in a while. Yet, they came out in Mexico flat, putting on one of their worst performances of the season. “No one can say they played a good game” said LAFC forward Carlos Vela in a press conference ahead of tonight’s match. “I don’t know exactly the reason, but we played, sorry for the word, a shit game and the only positive is we come here [Los Angeles] just one goal down.”
Coming home down a goal is not only a much more manageable deficit for a team like LAFC, considering the alternative, it’s really a huge amount of fortune. Near the end of leg one, it looked as though León were getting set to add a third goal, but a foul in the build-up called it back. Just minutes later, LAFC scored a goal for themselves, not only nearly avoiding a three goal deficit, but putting them in a great position for the second leg in friendly confines.
Despite having played a few years ago, these two sides are vastly different from the 2020 squads. León isn’t quite the powerhouse that they were back then, and LAFC are almost completely different, with vastly more experience not to mention a squad that, together, has already won a championship. However, that experience will be pivotal for the home side if they want to overcome their deficit.
— LAFC (@LAFC) June 3, 2023