Playoff Scenarios

LAFC clinch Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs spot


Reigning MLS champions LAFC have officially joined the postseason party and are set to defend their title in the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs.

The Black & Gold made it six straight playoff berths since their 2018 expansion season via Wednesday's 5-1 rout of Minnesota United FC in Matchday 36, with two weeks to spare before Decision Day on Oct. 21.

Home-field positioning is now the priority for head coach Steve Cherundolo's squad, currently third in the Western Conference with two games remaining.

Key pieces

Inaugural signing Carlos Vela (9g/12a) remains the face and leader of LAFC, who are looking to become the first repeat MLS Cup champion since the LA Galaxy in 2011 and 2012. But in terms of production, Dénis Bouanga is arguably the Black & Gold's biggest threat, emerging as a Landon Donovan MLS MVP and Golden Boot presented by Audi leader in his first full season in the league behind 17g/6a thus far. Legendary Italian center back Giorgio Chiellini leads the defense.

In 2023, LAFC have acquired nearly half of their preferred matchday squad. Center back Aaron Long, fullback Sergi Palencia, midfielders Timothy Tillman and Mateusz Bogusz, wingers Stipe Biuk and Cristian Olivera, and striker Mario González have joined across the last two transfer windows.

LAFC remain among the West's favorites to reach the Dec. 9 final, but are hoping to regain momentum in a season where they narrowly missed out on Concacaf Champions Cup and Campeones Cup titles at BMO Stadium to Liga MX opponents.

Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs

MLS Cup presented by Audi is set for Dec. 9, while the playoffs begin Oct. 25-26 with Wild Card matches. All games can be watched on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.

  • Seeds 1-7 in each conference qualify for the Round One Best-of-3 series.
  • Seeds 8-9 in each conference qualify for the Wild Card matches.