The Los Angeles Football Club capped off an incredible regular season with a 3-1 victory over the Colorado Rapids Sunday afternoon.
With that win, LAFC finishes as the first seed in the Western Conference and will receive a bye in the first round of the playoffs.
The Black and Gold dominated the Rapids, as LAFC gained 65% of the possession in the game. LAFC also outshot Colorado 15-10 and were more pass-accurate with LAFC hitting 88% out of 614 passes compared to Colorado’s 79% of 325.
“Like every game, we try to make the football good,” said LAFC head coach Bob Bradley after the game. “The first 35 or 40 minutes, for me, [there was] a lot of really good ball movement...I thought we did a good job coming out in the second half...getting the third goal.”
A relevant storyline of the game came from the opposing side, as Rapids goalie Tim Howard played the last game of his career.
Howard made a name for himself during his stint as the keeper for the U.S. Men’s National Team during the 2010 and 2014 World Cups. He had vital roles in those championships, helping the United States earn famous victories against Algeria and Ghana. After his last World Cup game in 2014, Howard was named “Man of the Match” in the round of 16.
Alongside Howard’s retirement, the Black and Gold made big news with the records they broke.
The first record came from star LAFC forward Carlos Vela, who scored all three of the team’s goals on Sunday. Vela ends the regular season with a grand total of 34 goals, breaking Atlanta United player Josef Martinez’s all-time season goals record of 31.
Vela’s 33 goals won him the Golden Boot, an award given to the player who scores the most goals each year in MLS. Vela will also be a contender for the MVP award.
“I’m so happy, I’m enjoying every minute I pass in the field,” Vela said. “Every moment I spend on this club with my teammates is special.”
The team as a whole broke yet another record. The Black and Gold ended the year with 72 total points, breaking the all-time team season goals record. This surpasses the previous record set by the New York Red Bulls last season, when they scored 71.
“It’s a total compilation of everything we put in this season,” said LAFC goal keeper Tyler Miller. “To move to 72 points was a very exciting opportunity for everyone and that is something we strived for all season...We just wanted to come out and show what we’re capable of.”
Although the newly-set records leave the team spirit high, LAFC defender Walker Zimmerman suffered a brutal head injury after colliding with Colorado forward Kei Kamara in the 70th minute. Zimmerman needed stitches, and was promptly put into concussion protocol.
Zimmerman is a key player for LAFC’s defensive line, and this head injury could put his status in jeopardy for LAFC’s first playoff game.
The Black and Gold and the rest of the MLS will be off for the next two weeks. Due to the first-round bye, LAFC plays its first playoff game on Oct. 24 and will take on the winner of the Minnesota United and Los Angeles Galaxy game.
The game will be broadcast nationally Oct. 24 at 7:30 PT on ESPN.