After putting away its sixth win on the road this season against Toronto on Saturday, LAFC set the bar for fledgling teams in their inaugural season.
Since MLS first introduced draws in 2000 — previously, the league settled tied scores with shootouts — only two teams have notched five wins on the road in their first seasons. The Seattle Sounders set the initial record in 2009, and Orlando City SC tied the record in 2015.
With the Toronto win, however, LAFC notched six road wins, cementing one of the strongest aspects of its game with a newfound record. It was a welcome break for the team, which previously had won only one of its past seven games on the road. Yet despite the traveling slump, the team had based much of its early success on its ability to take away draws and wins in opposing stadiums.
Even if it wasn’t set in an inaugural season, this pace of play in away game situations is promising for LAFC. Only three teams notched six or more wins on the road last season, including Toronto, which won the MLS Cup twice in the last two years while winning six or more away games. It’s rare for a team to perform this well outside of its home stadium, and the ability to convert three points in an opposing stadium is typically an important reflection of a team’s ability to perform in the playoffs.
With three more road games left in the season, it’s possible LAFC could steal several more before the regular season comes to a close. It’s a long shot, but if the club clinches victories at all three opponents, it could tie the record for most away victories in a season for the first time since 2012.
And there are still other records to be set.
The team has scored 46 points over its first 27 matches of MLS game play, which puts it ahead of Atlanta United, which previously set the modern-era record. The Chicago Fire technically holds the record, but that was also set before the 2000 rule instated ties.
Despite the short time left in the regular season, there’s still plenty of history left for this new club to write.