For a second straight year, an expansion team will participate in the postseason.
This time, it's LAFC who secured their spot in the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs, riding Adama Diomande's brace and Walker Zimmerman's opener to a 3-0 victory over the struggling Colorado Rapids on Saturday night.
Diomande's 10th and 11th goals of the season were his first in nearly three months, coming against a Colorado side that recorded one a shot on target at DICK'S Sporting Goods Park during a seventh consecutive defeat.
After Zimmerman gave the visitors the early lead from a corner, Diomande's completed a brace with a pair of first-touch strikes three minutes to either side of halftime.
Lee Nguyen did the heavy lifting to turn defense into transition and set up the first ,before Benny Feilhaber and Aaron Kovar combined to help create the second.
- 15' - LAFC - Walker Zimmerman
- 42' - LAFC - Adama Diomande
- 48' - LAFC - Adama Diomande
- THE BIG PICTURE: In addition to securing their postseason place, LAFC also assured themselves of expansion history, becoming just the second such side to earn 53 points in an expansion season? The first, current LAFC coach Bob Bradley's 1998 Chicago Fire side, which went on to win the domestic double.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Colorado didn't have many chances, but the match might've unfolded differently if not for a heroic early block from LAFC defender Jordan Harvey. Just two minutes after Zimmerman's opener, the lunge denied Shkëlzen Gashi an equalizer.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Diomande was already excellent in his running and distribution before getting himself on the other end of Nguyen's throughball. Opponents should be warned the Norwegian marksmen has shown a penchant for scoring in bunches. His previous nine goals came during a stretch of six games.
- COL: Saturday, October 13 at Minnesota United
- LAFC: Friday, October 12 vs Houston Dynamo