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2
Ryan Hollingshead 43',Franco Escobar 79' (pp)
Finished

LAFC - Houston Dynamo summary: score, goals and highlights | MLS Cup Playoffs

Update:
LAFC crowned Kings of the West

LAFC vs Houston Dynamo: As it happened

LAFC proved too strong for Houston Dynamo with a 2-0 victory in the Western Conference final. 

Steve Cherundolo's side took the lead shortly before halftime when Ryan Hollingshead reacted fastest in the box to poke home a loose ball. 

Houston began to take control of the game after the break but they struggled to fashion any clear-cut chances. As the game wore on they were forced to push forward in search of a goal and LAFC took advantage on the counter-attack. 

With 15 minutes remaining Denis Bouanga and Diego Palacios combined down the left to force an own goal from Franco Escobar, giving LAFC the two-goal cushion they desired. 

They saw out the game fairly comfortably to clinch the Western Conference title and set up an MLS Cup clash with Columbus Crew next weekend. 

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LAFC are Western Conference champions!

They were made to work hard for it, but LAFC saw off a spirited Houston Dynamo side to clinch the Western Conference. Their experience was key and they proved too strong for Houston on the night. 

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90+8

FULL TIME!

That's that! LAFC are Western Conference champions for a second consecutive year!

Steve Cherundolo's men will advance to MLS Cup next Saturday, where they look to retain their title. 

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90+7

Bouanga takes the corner kick short and manages to win another for his team. 

We're nearly at the end of added time now. 

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90+6

Huge chance for Denis Bouanga who is through on goal. Just as he is about to pull the trigger Griffin Dorsey makes a brilliant sliding tackle to clear the immediate danger. 

LAFC win a corner kick. 

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90+5

The visitors are not giving up and continue to build down the left. They force a throw-in, which Brad Smith will take. 

He finds Herrera but the Mexican's attempted flick is easily cut out. LAFC win the ball back and are back on the attack. 

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90+4

Houston hurl the ball forwards but they can't get anything out of LAFC, who now have five players across the backline. 

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90+3

Artur has a wild shot from distance for Houston but it flies well wide of the goal. Frustration for Houston. 

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90+2

Good play from Bogusz near the corner flag, winning his team another free kick. 

Houston lookout on their feet now, there's not much that suggests that they can turn it around from this point. 

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90+1

LAFC are still on top and continue to pose an attacking threat. 

Denis Bouanga does brilliantly on the corner of the box to make some space for a cross and fire the ball across goal. Houston get bodies in the way and win the ball back. 

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90

There will be a minimum of eight minutes of added time at the end of the second half. 

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89

There's a late defensive shift for LAFC as Long comes on to replace Olivera. It looks like a back five for the final moments. 

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88

LAFC win a free kick near the corner flag, allowing them to use up a few more seconds. 

Cristian Olivera does well to keep possession for his team. 

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87

The visitors win a free kick and Herrera clips the ball to the back post. Houston win the first ball but Crepau comes out to claim comfortably. 

LAFC are closing in on victory now. 

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84

Houston's lack of attacking firepower has been painfully apparent in the second half. They have looked good on the ball and dominated possession in the middle of the pitch, but they have had no cutting edge against a wildly experienced LAFC side. 

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83

Another change for LAFC as Kellyn Acosta is replaced by youngster Nathan Ordaz.

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LAFC take a two-goal lead

With just ten minutes of normal time remaining the MLS Cup holders look to be closing in on a famous victory. The 3252 section behind Steve Clark's goal is bouncing now, they think they're nearly there!

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79

Goooooaaal! LAFC

Tragedy for Houston Dynamo as Franco Escobar puts the ball into his own net. 

It was very unfortunate from the Houston defender who failed to deal with a teasing ball from Diego Palacios. 

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77

And a first substitution of the evening for LAFC.

Mateusz Bogusz replaces Carlos Vela, who receives a huge ovation as he leaves the field for what could be the final time at BMO Stadium. 

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77

Double change for Houston as Smith and Ulfarsson replace Bassi and Quinones. 

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75

Tillman does well to get his head on the ball and clear the anger for LAFC.

We're into the final 15 minutes now. 

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74

Herrera shows a good turn of pace to win a free kick for his team in a dangerous position. 

Are 35 yards from goal, from the left, at a nice angle for Herrera's right boot. What can he muster here?

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72

Houston captain Hector Herrera is booked for a cynical foul on the halfway line. He's a little lucky not to receive a second yellow after screaming at the referee in frustration, but the Mexican international survives. 

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70

As we head into the final 20 minutes, what will Houston Dynamo boss Ben Olsen be thinking? Houston don't really have many attacking options on the bench and they are struggling to break through the LAFC defence. 

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68

Chance for Bouanga from the corner kick!

The ball took a touch off a Houston head and landed at the feet of Denis Bouanga, who scuffs his attempted volley. He should have done better there. 

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67

Brilliant play from Olivera on the right but his cross is too long for Carlos Vela, waiting in the middle. Houston get back to intercept and LAFC win another corner kick. 

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66

A freak deflection gives Carlos Vela a clear sight of goal, but Steve Clark makes a solid save. The ball bounces back to Bouanga but Clark smothers the rebound. 

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65

LAFC clear the initial delivery and Carlos Vela does very well on the touchline to win a throw-in for his team. 

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64

Houston win a free kick on the halfway line and Hector Herrera chips the ball forward. Giorgio Chiellini gets his head on the ball but can only nod it out for a Houston corner kick. 

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63

Hector Herrera brings his team forward and Houston look to turn up the pressure on LAFC. Amine Bassi tries to play a neat ball through the middle but it hits the referee. 

Houston will regain possession. 

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62

That stoppage created a bit of a lull in the atmosphere but the 3252 are back on good voice now, with the pounding rhythm of drum at the heart of their sound. 

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60

Second substitution for Houston Dynamo and it's young defender Hadebe coming on to replace Micael

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58

Micael is back on his feet but it doesn't look like he'll be able to continue for Steve Clark's side. That's a blow for the Dynamo. 

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57

Bit of concern for Houston now as Micael goes down after a clash of heads in the box. 

The Houston defender is receiving treatment on the pitch and looks to be a bit groggy. 

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56

First change of the game is made by Houston Dynamo. 

Corey Baird is replaced by Ibrahim Aliyu

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54

Good combination from Bouanga and Vela on the left for LAFC. Vela gets to the touchline and clips a delicate cross into the box but Escobar does well to get the ball clear. 

Bouanga has a chance with the follow-up but Clark is equal to it. 

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52

Another corner kick for Houston, who did not win a single one in the first half. 

The ball drops to Carrasquilla in the box and he tries an ambitious pass over the top for Baird, who can't bring the ball down. LAFC goal kick. 

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51

Houston have looked much more authoritative in the opening few minutes of the second half. LAFC have not been as successful in their high press and it's giving Houston space to breath and build from the back. 

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50

Dangerous ball in from Herrera and Ilie does well to head it out for a throw-in. Dorsey trots across to take the throw. 

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48

Herrera lofts the ball to the back post and it's headed out by Murillo for a Houston Dynamo corner kick. 

Their first of the game. 

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47

Murillo hoofs the ball clear for LAFC, giving his team the chance to get up the field. The ball comes straight back and Murillo gives away a foul for an over-eager challenge on Baird. 

Free kick to Houston. A chance for Hector Herrera to cross into the box. 

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46

Griffin Dorsey is clipped on the halfway line and wins a free kick for his team. 

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45

And we're back!

LAFC get us underway in the second half. 

No changes for either side at the break.

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For LAFC, Steve Cherundolo will be demanding more of the same. They have limited Houston's potency going forward and look a threat with their fluid front three. 

Bouanga, Vela and Olivera all had chances in the opening 45 minutes and they could easily be three goals ahead. If LAFC can find an early goal in the second half that could be enough for the hosts. 

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What can Houston do to turn it around in the second half? The US Open Cup winners have not been at their best so far tonight, struggling to build with much impetus through the middle. 

Herrera has done well but Carrasquilla and Bassi have barely featured so far. As the game goes on Griffin Dorsey will have to take a few more risks and push further forward. However that will inevitably leave space for the Denis Bouanga counter-attack in behind. 

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WATCH: Ryan Hollingshead fires LAFC ahead

The LAFC right-back showed the finishing instincts of a seasoned striker with his opener tonight. Half time was nearing when the hosts won a corner kick and Hollingshead pounced on a loose ball after Giorgio Chiellini won the first header. 

LAFC have the lead, can Houston fight back?

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45+6

Half time at BMO Stadium, where LAFC have a one-goal lead at the break. 

They are 45 minutes away from a return to MLS Cup. 

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45+3

LAFC have the free kick on the right flank and Vela chips the ball down the line towards Olivera. Herrera wins the ball back for Houston and is fouled on the edge of his own box. 

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45+2

There's a booking for Franco Escobar after a cynical foul on the halfway line. 

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45+1

LAFC came forward against with Olivera, but he can't quite find the final ball. 

Houston are under the cosh here and could do with making it to the break without conceding a second. 

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45

There will be a minimum of six minutes added time at the end of the first half. 

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It was a brilliant delivery from Carlos Vela and a powerful header from Giorgio Chiellini to turn the ball goalwards. Clark make a sharp save but he could only parry the ball into the path of a very grateful Ryan Hollingshead. 

That's his third playoff goal of the season!

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43

GOOOOAAAAAAAL! LAFC

The hosts have the lead through Ryan Hollingshead, who acted fastest to pounce on a loose ball in the box.

LAFC 1-0 Houston Dynamo. 

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43

Clever ball from Chiellini to work the ball out to Olivera on the right. He looks to make some space for a cross but it's deflected out of play. 

LAFC win another corner. 

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41

Another chance for LAFC as Cristian Olivera latches onto a loose ball in the Houston box and strikes a fierce volley. Steve Clark is worried but Olivera's effort flies harmlessly over the crossbar. 

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39

Brilliant work from Carlos Vela on the right, skipping past challenges and dragging across Houston defenders. He is eventually crowded out by three opposition players but still wins his side a throw in. 

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38

LAFC win it back and there's a first real opening for Denis Bouanga. He blitzes past Amine Bassi on the wing and gets into a crossing position in the box. 

He whips the ball in, left-footed, but Clark is out to claim easily. 

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37

Houston get a little lucky as Hollingshead misjudges the ball on the halfway line. A chance to break now perhaps?

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35

For a second it looks like Denis Bouanga has space on the left, but the linesman's flag is up again. It was Carlos Vela, standing in an offside position earlier in the move.

Houston are living a little dangerously with the offsides now. 

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34

Houston win it back and come forward with Herrera. The ball is worked out to Nelson Quinones, who cuts inside from the left and lashes a shot at goal from 25 yards. 

Giorgio Chiellini stands his ground in the penalty box and simply heads the ball away. 

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33

He hasn't found the breakthrough yet but Carlos Vela has looked very dangerous in the opening 33 minutes tonight. He's showing for the ball well but also offering a threat in behind, making life difficult for the Houston backline. 

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30

Clark certainly caught Vela without getting the ball, but it looks like the Houston stopper have been saved by the assistant's flag. Had Vela have been offside, Clark could easily have been looking at a red card there. 

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29

Long ball from Ilie Sanchez puts Carlos Vela through on goal, but he is clattered into by Steve Clark. 

The Houston goalkeeper brings him down, but the offside flag is up. It will be checked though!

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28

Ball is worked to Denis Bouanga on the left of the box. He squares up Sviatchenko but the Ukrainian defender does brilliantly to shuffle him away from danger. 

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27

After a brief pause in play so Steve Clark can receive a bit of medical treatment, we're back underway. 

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24

The corner ball is whipped in towards Murillo who connects well, but he can't generate any power on the effort. Clark saves comfortably. 

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23

An almost immediately LAFC are back on the attack with Bouanga, who ins a corner kick for his team. 

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22

Brilliant turn from Artur on the halfway line to shimmy away from two LAFC players. He plays forward to find Carrasquilla, who shoots at goal from distance. 

It's easily saved by Crepau but it was a nice spell of play from Houston. 

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21

The noise from LAFC's 3252 supporter group has been non-stop in the opening 20 minutes. Brilliant atmosphere at BMO Stadium for this Western Conference final!

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20

Strong tackle from Hector Herrera near the LAFC corner flag as he looks to win the ball back for his team. LAFC do well to keep possession and win a goal kick. 

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19

Ryan Hollingshead gives away a foul on the halfway line, a little too eager is his pressure on Quinones. The LAFC defender is furious with the call but he did clip the Houston winger. 

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17

Good play from Ilie Sanchez to pinch the ball in the middle and win a free kick for his side. The LAFC midfielder will need to be disciplined against Houston's fluid, rotating midfield. 

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16

Hector Herrera drops deep to orchestrate the play for Houston. He tries to feed to the ball through to Baird but LAFC intercept and the ball bounces loose on the edge of the box. 

Carrasquilla pounces on it and lashes a shot at goal but Chiellini is there to block the effort. 

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14

More good play from LAFC to work the ball out to Olivera on the right. He is operating as the out-ball in the early stages, keeping his width to allow Bouanga to drift inside on the opposite flank. 

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13

Vela delivers from the left but Carrasquilla is there to head the ball away. 

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12

Houston get the first ball cleared but LAFC regain possession and deliver once again. It's headed out for another LAFC corner. 

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10

Another chance for Carlos Vela! 

Brilliant interplay between Denis Bouanga and Vela to play the Mexican into space in the box. He lets fly with a fierce left-footed shot but Clark tipped the ball out for a corner. 

 

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9

Houston are starting to make there mark on the game now, enjoying a solid spell of possession. Artur is playing as the deepest in midfield, allowing Hector Herrera to push further forward and find pockets of space. 

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6

Big chance for Houston has Herrera picks out Baird at the back post. The Houston striker looks to volley the ball past Crepau but the LAFC stopper is equal to it. 

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5

LAFC are looking much more proactive than they did in the semi-final against Seattle, where they seemed pretty happy to sit back and hit them on the counter-attack. 

Tonight Tillman and Acosta and hassling the Houston midfield and forcing mistakes. 

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4

Carlos Vela has the ball in the back of the net but he was in an offside position!

The Mexican had just strayed offside, but LAFC have done really well with their high press in the opening stages. It's causing Houston problems. 

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2

LAFC hit the crossbar!

First opportunity for the hosts as Tillman finds Carlos Vela in the Houston box but the Mexican can't convert. He lifts the ball over Clark but it clips the bar and goes over. 

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1

Solid defending from Ryan Hollingshead in the opening stages to block Nelson Quinones. That could be a key battle as this game progresses. 

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And we're off!

The visibility is far from perfect, but we're underway at BMO Stadium. 

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It looks like there might be a delay of a few minutes here while the officials wait for the smoke to clear. The players are knocking a ball around on the field, trying to keep focused. 

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Both sets of players are out on the field now. Or at least, I assume they are. 

The field is currently shrouded in a thick cloud of smoke, the result of the pyrotechnics in the crowd ahead of kick-off. We're expecting plenty of fireworks tonight.

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LAFC nearly ready to go

The MLS Cup champions are looking to become just the fourth team in MLS history to retain the title. They have not always been the most consistent this season, but at their best they remain the most devastating attacking force in the league.

Can they produce against a well-drilled Houston side? We're about to find out...

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Ben Olsen interview: ‘Houston Dynamo was a blank canvas’

Houston Dynamo head coach Ben Olsen spoke to AS USA recently to reflect on a stunning first year at the helm. The former DC United coach has taken to life in Houston and admitted that he has been surprised by the rate of improvement. 

Here's what he had to say...

Read more

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Houston put through their paces ahead of kick-off

The visitors are looking sharp in the warm up at BMO Stadium and will have to be at their very best to get past an experienced LAFC side. Ben Olsen's side have already lifted the US Open Cup and have showed that they know how to get the job done in big games. 

William Gittins
LAFC - Houston Dynamo: Key players in the Conference final | Vela, Herrera, Bouanga...

The stakes are high and there is very little to choose between LAFC and Houston Dynamo going into the Western Conference final. These games are often decided by a moment of genius and both teams have plenty of players capable of delivering on the biggest stage.

Here's the ones to watch this evening...

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William Gittins

We're around 20 minutes from kick-off in the Western Conference final and the atmosphere is building at BMO Stadium. 

With Denis Bouanga in red-hot form LAFC have the be the pre-game favourites, but this will not be easy. Houston Dynamo have shown real growth this season and Hector Herrera has proved to be one of the most effective players in the league. 

This game could come down to a battle of influences: Bouanga vs Herrera. 

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Preparations underway at BMO Stadium

The MLS Cup holders are out on the field at BMO Stadium as they prepare for the Western Conference final. Carlos Vela is looking to lift MLS Cup for the second successive season, but the Black and Golden will have to see their way past an in-form Houston Dynamo side first. 

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Steve Cherundolo expecting an unlikely hero for LAFC

Steve Cherundolo admitted this week that he has no idea who the hero will be in his side's Western Conference clash against Houston Dynamo. The LAFC head coach said that he wanted to ensure that every one of his players are ready to make an impact if required. 

“What we learned from last year is that you don’t know who is going to impact the match, and when. It’s very important that everyone is engaged,” he explained.

“I don’t know who’s going to be the hero. It’s so important that we’re all engaged and we all know our roles so that we’re ready when we are called upon.”

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And here's the Houston Dynamo starting XI...

Houston boss Ben Olsen also names an unchanged side. Corey Baird leads the line for the Dynamo with the ball-playing trio of Artur, Herrera and Carrasquilla in midfield. 

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LAFC lineup announced

Here's how the hosts start off this evening. No surprises from Steve Cherundolo, who names an unchanged side. 

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Houston arrive for Western Conference final

And here are tonight's visitors, Ben Olsen's Houston Dynamo. The team are far ahead of where many expected for Olsen's first year in charge and they have already won the US Open Cup. 

Can they lift the Western Conference tonight?

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LAFC in the house

The Black and Gold arrive at BMO Stadium, with family members in tow for the occasion. 

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LAFC - Houston Dynamo: Why is the Western Conference final game played in Los Angeles?

Tonight's game will be held at BMO Stadium, home to reigning MLS Cup champions LAFC. But why do they get home advantage? Here's everything you need to know...

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William Gittins

Hello and welcome to AS USA, where we will be bringing you full live coverage from the Western Conference final between LAFC and Houston Dynamo

I'm Will Gittins and I'll be taking you through all of tonight's action...

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