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Los Angeles celebrates LAFC’s first playoff game

The stage is set for the first-ever playoff game at Banc of California stadium. LAFC will host Real Salt Lake in the knockout round of the MLS Cup playoffs at 10:30 p.m. ET Thursday.

Real Salt Lake is a team living on borrowed time in the postseason. The club should’ve been out of the playoffs after dropping a 3-0 loss to Portland. But when the Los Angeles Galaxy choked, allowing the Houston Dynamo to come back for a 3-2 loss, the team snuck into the playoffs with the No. 6 seed.

LAFC has fared well in past meetings between the two teams, especially in their first match, which ended 5-1 in favor of Los Angeles. Now, however, LAFC needs to continue its positive momentum from the end of the season, in which the team went 4-2-2 to close out the final two months of regular-season play.

As an attack-heavy team, LAFC will need to be prepared to bring the heat early. The team has only gone scoreless three times this season. That will be helpful against Real Salt Lake, which remains more possession-oriented as a team. For LAFC, the game holds particular weight as the club continues to carve a series of “firsts” into its history.

“We worked really hard all season to play in this game,” LAFC captain Carlos Vela said. “Everybody is ready to win.” 

The club has spent this week spreading the excitement throughout the city. With events at iconic Los Angeles staples like Randy’s Donuts and Pink’s Hot Dogs, LAFC has seen support from local teams, celebrities and fans.

Who: LAFC vs. Real Salt Lake

When: 7:30 p.m.

Where: Banc of California Stadium

How to watch: ESPN2, UniMás

How to listen: ESPNLA 710, KFWB 980

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