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History for Guanajuato as LAFC Falls to León in the 2023 SCCL Final

LAFC came close to winning it in 2020. A victory would have made them just the fourth Major League Soccer team to win the title, an honor shared by DC United (1998), LA Galaxy (2000), and Seattle Sounders (2022). LAFC fans were left wondering if the third time would be the charm…

2:07 PM PDT on June 5, 2023

    Photo by Ivan Fernandez for L.A. TACO.

    Photo by Ivan Fernandez for L.A. TACO.

    A sports final is the final draft written at the end of a tournament that becomes an eternal marker in history etched into the metal of the trophy awarded to the winners. On Sunday, June 3rd, the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League trophy would be consecrated with one of two names: Los Angeles Football Club or Club León.

    The SCCL trophy was a coveted prize for both teams. Neither team had ever won the title, which is awarded to the best team in a competition featuring teams from North America, Central America, and the Caribbean region.

    LAFC came close to winning it in 2020. In an empty, COVID pandemic-regulated stadium, the Black-And-Gold was on its way to the title in a final against Club Tigres UANL thanks to a lone goal by Diego Rossi. Tigres responded with two goals and ran away with the title.

    In that same year, LAFC humbled León on its way to the final. The Liga MX side handily won the first leg 2 - 0. The second leg was a different story as LAFC humiliated León with a 3 - 0 victory.

    History did not repeat itself this time. León narrowly won the first leg with a 2 - 1 scoreline that flattered their rivals. LAFC needed a single goal to tie the aggregate score. León scored in the 20th minute. LAFC squandered numerous early chances and came within inches of turning the game around numerous times in the final quarter-hour of the game, but the goals never arrived.

    Club León celebrated their first-ever SCCL trophy, while LAFC saw it slip away for a second time. A victory would have made them just the fourth Major League Soccer team to win the title, an honor shared by DC United (1998), LA Galaxy (2000), and Seattle Sounders (2022).

    LAFC fans were left wondering if the third time would be the charm; followers of MLS were left wondering if they’ll have to wait another 22 years to see one of their own lift the title again.

    All photos by Ivan Fernandez for L.A. TACO.

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