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