Even without Carlos Vela, few anticipated LAFC sustaining their first home loss of the season Sunday night, as they did in a 2-0 defeat to Minnesota United on the strength of Mason Toye's brilliant brace.
But how much damage did the Loons inflict on LAFC's pursuit of history? Not as much as you might think.
Through 28 league games, the second-year club are still on a record-breaking trajectory with a 19W-4L-5D record and a plus-44 goal differential that is more than double the league's second-highest.
They're right in the conversation to re-write the record books come Decision Day presented by AT&T. Despite a hamstring injury, Vela remains on schedule to break the single-season scoring record. And LAFC are still there point-for-point and goal-for-goal as compared to the previous seasons of record-holding clubs.
A closer look:
Most points (first two seasons)
LAFC still have a couple wins in hand on Atlanta United's record-setting point total from their first two MLS seasons. Atlanta would eventually reach 124 points, a mark LAFC will pass if they can win just two of their remaining six matches.
In terms of game-for-game pace, LAFC actually didn't lose any ground on the 2018 New York Red Bulls with Sunday's defeat. They did, however, use some of their margin for error in trying to match or surpass the Red Bulls' eventual record-setting total of 71 points. Over their final six matches last season, New York earned 16 of 18 possible points to set the record, while fending off Atlanta for the Supporters' Shield in the process.
Wins (post-shootout era)
Again, it's worth noting how hot the Red Bulls got in September and October of last year, picking up five wins out of six matches to set a record with 22 victories. Coach Bob Bradley's men will now need four wins out of their last six to break it, but they could also set the points record while only tying the wins mark.
This is looking like it might be the toughest benchmark for LAFC to conquer, though certainly don't count out them out yet. The 1998 LA Galaxy saw their production slow over their final four matches of a then-32-game season, finishing with 85 goals. It would take quite the outburst for LAFC to equal 85 goals in 32 games. Over their 34-match schedule, however, it's still very doable, since the Black-and-Gold are scoring at a 2.64 gpg clip this year.
The 1998 Galaxy finished with a differential of plus-41, so LAFC just have to put in as many as they let in from here on out.