Expansion club LAFC clinches top-2 seed

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Carlos Vela scored two goals and had two assists, helping expansion club Los Angeles FC beat the Houston Dynamo 4-2 on rainy Friday night to clinch a top-two seed in the Western Conference.

Los Angeles (16-8-8), which became the fifth expansion club to clinch a playoff spot last week, is tied with the 1998 Chicago Fire for the most points by an expansion team with 56.

Vela tied it at 1 on a penalty kick in the 44th minute. He was tripped up by goalkeeper Tyler Deric, who got a hand on the penalty kick but couldn’t stop it. Vela scored his 13th goal of the season in the 78th for a 4-1 lead.

Adama Diomande made it 2-1 in the 53rd minute with an easy redirection of Vela’s cross and Walker Zimmerman volleyed home Vela’s corner kick five minutes later.

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Houston (9-15-8), which is eliminated from playoff contention, was without stars Alberth Elis and Romell Quioto for international duty with Honduras.

The game was delayed late in the first half for 103 minutes due to weather. Member of the youth soccer team from Thailand that got trapped in a flooded cave were honored before the match.

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