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LAFC prove why they're on top of MLS with victory over RBNY

LAFC defeated the weakened New York Red Bulls 2-0 at home thanks to a goal from Cristian Arango in the 67th minute, his third in as many games.

In the 70th minute, Diego Palacios scored his first goal of the season for LAFC (10-3-3, 33 points), moving them four points ahead of Real Salt Lake at the top of the Western Conference and standings.

The 21st and 22nd goals scored by LAFC in the second half of the season-both MLS records-were assisted by Carlos Vela and Brian Rodriguez.

LAFC extended their unbeaten streak to four games after Maxime Crepeau made four stops to keep his fifth clean sheet of the year (3-0-1). And after European superstars Georgio Chielini and Gareth Bale are formally added to the club roster when the secondary transfer window opens in early July, it is anticipated that the Black and Gold will only get stronger.

In part because of three unanticipated late scratches brought on by the MLS health and safety protocol, Carlos Coronel made three saves for the Red Bulls (7-5-5, 26 points), who only had six players dressed on their bench.

Those absences included Aaron Long, the Red Bulls' top defender and a regular with the United States men's national team, and regular starters Luquinhas, who is second on the team with five goals.

The visitors held their own for the first 45 minutes, but on a hot day with water breaks every half, they eventually ran out of gas against a team with one of the league's deepest benches.

When Arango entered in the 65th minute and put the home team in front, destabilizing whatever sense of security New York had going into the second half.

The Colombian took advantage of Vela's possession by making a deft diagonal run to stay onside, sprinting into plenty of space to meet Vela's through-ball, and then calmly beating Coronel one-on-one.

Three minutes later, Rodriguez made another break down the right while dodging his defender near midfield. He then spotted Palacios to his left, making the score 2-0.

Palacios tricked one defender who was backing away before hammering a low shot into the far right corner, giving Coronel little chance.

With a draw in the middle of this brief unbeaten streak, the victory is LAFC's second in three games. They only have a brief period of rest before hosting FC Dallas in a match between the top five Western Conference teams the following week.

Today was definitely a celebratory day, with the team feeling good about its position, the fans excited about the recent developments, and of course, securing the three points in a victory at home. Even the French international and megastar forward Kylian Mbappe chose to spend some of his free time soaking up the mythical ambiance that has come to define The Banc.

Overall, the black and gold had a great Sunday out. the beginning of a streak that many believe will result in the team winning the MLS Cup in the fall.

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