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Ryan Hollingshead praises ‘special’ LAFC supporters after Western Conference Final win

LAFC defender Ryan Hollingshead has heaped praise on the role of the club’s supporters in their run to the MLS Cup Playoffs Final.

The Black and Gold cruised past Austin FC 3-0 in Sunday’s Western Conference Final, setting up one last clash with the Philadelphia Union on Saturday.

As Supporters’ Shield winners, LAFC have the advantage of hosting MLS Cup in front of another raucous crowd at Banc of America Stadium. Speaking after Sunday’s win, Hollingshead was keen to highlight the LAFC fans – especially the famous ‘3252’ supporters’ group.

“They drive us, the 3252 especially, they’re something special, man,” Hollingshead said. “And every time we step on that field at home especially, we’re excited and honored to play for them. So, to put together that performance in the way that we did it with all the chatter all week about [Austin] beating us in the regular season and us being afraid of them or whatever they were saying – pretty amazing to put them in their place in that sort of way.

“I mean, without stretching, it could have been 7-0, no problem. What a dominant performance from us and I think just, again, it shows what we can be when we play at our best.”

LAFC have experienced so much success since entering MLS in 2018, adding this season’s Supporters’ Shield to their 2019 title, as well as reaching the final of the Concacaf Champions League in 2020.

However, they’re now heading into uncharted territory having never gone beyond the Western Conference Final.

“Obviously people are going to talk about Supporters’ Shield and what we did in the past, but right now it’s the now, which is MLS Cup, so all focus is on that,” US international Kellyn Acosta said. “And it’s going to be a game like this. I think for us to win the game we need to have a similar performance, maybe even better to lift the trophy.”

Midfield partner Ilie Sanchez added: “We are very pleased with the game we played and the trophy, but this is not the one we want to have, or not the only one that we want to have. We look forward for the bigger one.”

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