A pair of Western Conference heavyweights will duke it out on Saturday for a spot in next week's MLS Cup final.
Reigning MLS Cup winners LAFC aim to repeat and extend head coach Steve Cherundolo's perfect streak in the playoffs, but have to get past a resurgent Houston Dynamo to get there. In year two of Ben Olsen's tenure, the team already collected their first trophy of the season with September's U.S. Open Cup triumph and are eager to add the Western Conference title to the cabinet.
Here's what to know before the game.
Golazo Starting XI Newsletter
Get your Soccer Fix from Around the Globe
Your ultimate guide to the Beautiful Game as our experts take you beyond the pitch and around the globe with news that matters.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox.
There was an error processing your subscription.
How to watch and odds
- Date: Saturday, Dec. 2 | Time: 9:30 p.m. ET
- Location: BMO Stadium -- Los Angeles, California
- Live stream: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV+
- Odds: LAFC -161; Draw +333; Houston Dynamo +420
LAFC: After finishing third in the west this season, LAFC cruised through the first round of the playoffs after a 5-2 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps in game one and a 1-0 win in game two. The margin was tight in their conference semifinal win, when the Seattle Sounders had 70% of possession and outshot LAFC 16 to seven but still lost 1-0. Best XI selectee Denis Bouanga was the difference-maker that night, and will serve as the team's main man up top after scoring four goals in three playoff games.
Houston Dynamo: The two-time MLS Cup winners finished just one point behind LAFC in the regular season, but their postseason journey has been about close encounters. They went through two penalty shootouts to beat Real Salt Lake in the first round, and then beat Sporting Kansas City 1-0 in the conference semifinals. Amine Bassi has two goals in the postseason so far, but the Dynamo's three other goals in the playoffs came from three different goalscorers, including Hector Herrera.
Bouanga's current form makes it difficult to bet against LAFC, especially on home turf. It might be a close one, but the hosts will likely end this one on top and return to the MLS Cup final a year after their victory. Pick: LAFC 1, Houston Dynamo 0