Los Angeles FC and Union triumph to advance to MLS final
Los Angeles FC and the Philadelphia Union, the champions of both MLS associations, triumphed on Sunday and will meet in the final of the MLS Cup.
Cristian Arango gave his side the lead for the second straight game and Los Angeles FC beat Austin FC 3-0 to reach the MLS final for the first time.
For their part, the Philadelphia team came from behind and took the measure of New York City FC 3-1. Los Angeles FC will host the Union in the MLS Cup final on Saturday afternoon.
Regular-season champions LAFC become the first Supporters Shield winners to reach the league title since Toronto FC in 2017.
In the second half, former CF Montreal Maximiliano Urruti scored an own goal and Kwadwo Opoku completed the scoring for the California team.
Arango headed a cross from Carlos Vela on a 29th-minute corner kick. The striker has scored at least one goal in 26 of his 52 career MLS games since he made his circuit debut in August 2021.
After Urruti’s own goal in the 62nd minute, Opoku took advantage of a turnover and unleashed a left-footed shot that eluded goalkeeper Brad Stuver.
Los Angeles FC have won 11 of their last 12 home games, including the playoffs.
Austin FC finished the campaign ranked second in the Western Conference, just their second year in MLS.
The Union turns the corner
Julian Carranza and Daniel Gazdag scored two minutes apart in the second half to lead the Union’s comeback against CF Montreal’s NYCFC.
Cory Burke also scored for the Union, who are unbeaten in 19 home games this season.
Gazdag appeared to score for Union in the 16th minute but was offside. The score was tied at halftime before Maxi Moralez scored a spectacular goal that eluded goalkeeper Andre Blake to give NYCFC a 1-0 lead in the 57th minute.
Union equalized in the 65th minute thanks to Carranza’s first qualifying goal. Moments later, Carranza headed in a header at Gazdag, who scored to put Union ahead. Burke added a goal in the 76th minute.
For the second year in a row, both teams reached the Eastern Conference Finals. Last season, the Union was without 11 players due to COVID-19 protocols and NYCFC won 2-1.
NYCFC went on to beat the Portland Timbers in a penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw for the MLS Cup championship.