Bob Bradley’s side rolled to another win on Saturday and locked down a spot in the MLS post-season with a little help

The MLS playoff race may be a tight one this season, but Los Angeles FC won’t be sweating it out. 

Bob Bradley’s league-leading side clinched a place in the 2019 MLS Cup playoffs with nine matches remaining in the season. 

A 2-0 win over Real Salt Lake in a match that saw both sides finish with 10 men, coupled with FC Dallas’ 3-3 draw against the Montreal Impact, was enough for LAFC to earn its playoff spot in mid-August. 

Carlos Vela has been the star man all season long and scored from the penalty spot on Saturday to open up a lead for LAFC, who were playing with 10 men at the time following a second booking for Walker Zimmerman​. 

Vela won the penalty himself before tucking it away, with Salt Lake’s Aaron Herrera the man guilty of pulling the Mexican star down in the box just after the hour mark.

Herrera was sent off for the tackle, putting the sides back even in terms of players on the pitch, but LAFC didn’t stop there. 

Adama Diomande​ tucked home a second in the 84th minute, giving the side a bit of a cushion for the final few minutes of the contest. 

LAFC have now racked up 18 wins to just three losses and four draws across 25 matches. The 58 points leaves the club 21 better off than Dallas and Portland and 20 ahead of San Jose, the clubs currently sitting sixth, seventh and eighth in the Western Conference standings. 

Bradley’s side is 16 points clear of nearest challenger Minnesota United, and holds a game in hand on the Loons as well. 

​The win continues the club’s assault on the MLS points record, which sits at 71 and was set last season by the New York Red Bulls. 

Should LAFC break the current record, it would mark the third season running a club has hit a new record points total, with Toronto FC having hit 69 points in 2017. 

The win also saw Vela continue his assault on the MLS record books. His opening strike saw him reach 39 combined goals and assists for the season, one better than the 38 Sebastian Giovinco contributed during the 2015 season. 

Vela’s 24th goal of the season also pulls him close to Josef Martinez’s single-season record of 31, with the Atlanta United star having set that mark just last year. 

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