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LA Galaxy can continue pattern of playoff success

The LA Galaxy have quite a storied playoff history, and occasionally it's nice to reflect on just how dominant the Galaxy have been. LA and RSL have been top teams in the Western Conference, but LA's back to back finals are built off a surprising RSL goalless streak.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

The LA Galaxy have quite a storied playoff history, and occasionally it's nice to reflect on just how dominant the Galaxy have been. LA and RSL have been top teams in the Western Conference, but LA's back to back finals are built off a surprising RSL goalless streak.

The Galaxy have won their last six conference semifinal series in the MLS Cup Playoffs. After losing in the first year the two-leg format was adopted (2003, to San Jose), the Galaxy have reached at least the conference championship in each year they have made the postseason since (2004-05, 2009-12).

Reflect on that reality for a moment. LA has one moment in franchise history where they didn't make the playoffs (06-08). Outside of the turmoil of that moment the LA Galaxy have either won the West or been the Western Conference runner up in all but one season.

Year Finish
12 Champ
11 Champ
10 Runner-up
09 Champ
05 Champ
04 Runner-up
03 Loss quarters

It wasn't until last year that the Western Conference final became a two leg affair as well as the semi-final. Those four years where the LA Galaxy were the Western Conference champ represent three MLS Cups. It really is quite the run.

RSL on the other hand have had the opposite trajectory:

Since a 3-0 win vs. Seattle in the first leg of their 2011 Western Conference Semifinal Series, Real have gone winless in their last five postseason matches. They have not scored a goal in their last 335 minutes of play in the MLS Cup Playoffs.

This includes LA's 3-1 victory over RSL in the 2011 Western Conference Finals, and carries over through their goalless series with Seattle last season. The last player to score for RSL in the playoffs was Alvaro Saborio in the 25' of the '11 Western Final, equalizing after a Landon Donovan penalty.

RSL did some rebuilding last offseason, and get praised for their defensive consistency. `If LA can hold RSL goalless on Thursday, then it might be fair to question if they've made the offensive moves necessary to make another deep playoff run. It'll also be a continued show of the dominance LA have had in the Western Conference over he past decade.