Major League Soccer – LAFC vs. LA Galaxy (El Trafico)
Major League Soccer
The LAFC will host their city rivals, LA Galaxy, at the Banc of California Stadium on Friday, the 8th of July, at 10:00 PM ET. It is a local derby, and the fans will be pumped up to take home the bragging rights at the end of the game.
The last time these two teams met was in April when LA Galaxy won the game 2-1, with goals coming from Chicharito and Coulibaly.
With 18 games played this season, LAFC sits in top position in the Western Conference table. On the other hand, LA Galaxy has played a game less and currently sits 4th on the table with a tally of 29 points.
A win for LAFC will keep them in the lead in the Western Conference. However, all that can change if LA Galaxy can manage to win the game.
Star Players to Look Out For
Both teams have great talents on their rosters, with a mix of American talent and experienced European superstars.
The arrival of local talents into the scene is a massive bonus for these clubs as they boost the reputation of their teams around the country. However, without exposure to world-class players, the young local talent will not be able to reach their full potential.
Over the years, the MLS has done a great job of attracting some of the best, most experienced European players, resulting in American soccer getting immense exposure to the world. The LAFC and LA Galaxy have star players that can change the game at any given point.
LAFC recently announced the signing of Italy’s World Cup winner, Giorgio Chiellini, and the 5-time Champions League winner in Gareth Bale. They are eligible to start Friday’s game against LA Galaxy, and it will be an excellent sight for the fans to see them don LAFC colors. However, LAFC’s talisman is Mexico’s Carlos Vela, who has been their star player over the years.
LA Galaxy was one of the first American soccer clubs to attract players from overseas with the likes of David Beckham, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ashley Cole, etc. However, they currently boast of homegrown players like Delgado, Dunbar, Ferkranus, etc., contributing significantly to their team.
The most internationally-recognized player in the LA Galaxy roster would be Mexico’s Chicharito. He joined LA Galaxy in 2020 and has been one of their leading players. He scored the first goal in their last match against Montreal as they finished as winners with a score of 4-0.
LAFC vs. LA Galaxy – Preview
The last time these two sides met was in April 2022, in the MLS. The match ended with a 2-1 win for LA Galaxy over LAFC.
This match is not called the El Trafico for no reason. Both sets of fans were excited over the prospect of the two Mexican superstars, Carlos Vela and Chicharito, facing each other in a local derby.
Most LAFC fans consider Carlos Vela, the best player ever to represent their colors. He has been one of their mainstays in recent years, belting out extravagant performances game after game.
Vela hit the post in the first half and had another goal disallowed for offside. If the call had stood, it could have been the equalizer LAFC was looking for before the end of the first half.
On the other hand, Chicharito signed for LA Galaxy in 2020 and has hit the ground running ever since. He opened the scoring in the 15th minute the last time Galaxy played LAFC. He headed the ball into the net from an exquisite cross from Samuel Grandsir.
Coulibaly scored Galaxy’s second goal when Grandsir assisted him with a ball to the second post. Coulibaly gently tucked the ball inside the net as Galaxy took a 2-goal lead.
LA Galaxy managed to keep the 2-goal lead till the 80th minute, but their defense was breached when LAFC’s Arango took advantage of a rebound heading his way and tucked the ball into Galaxy’s net. After LAFC cut the deficit in half, Galaxy defended for the rest of the game with all the 11 players inside their half.
The final 10 minutes of the 90 felt like an actual local derby as LAFC was rejuvenated after Arango’s goal. They kept coming back attack after attack to try to find an equalizer, and there was a moment when LAFC’s Blessing scored. The Video Assistant Referee cancelled what was supposed to be an equalizer, and the score remained at 2-1, giving LA Galaxy the advantage still.
In the end, LA Galaxy was able to hold on to their 1-goal lead and walked away with three points after the final whistle.
With the addition of Giorgio Chiellini and Gareth Bale to their roster, LAFC looks like the favorite to win the game on Friday. On paper, LAFC has the better team.
However, LA Galaxy has a better history in this fixture, taking 6 wins, 5 draws, and 1 loss in 12 games. On the other hand, LAFC has only won 1 game in 12 games.
Both teams are in good form, so it will be interesting to see who comes out on top. The odds makers favor the LAFC for a big win this Friday night because of the new additions of Gareth Bale and Chiellini to their team.
The fact that LAFC is also one of the favorites to win the MLS this season also adds to the odds for this Friday’s game. Whatever the outcome is, soccer fans in LA are in for an exciting game on July 8.
Where to watch LAFC vs. LA Galaxy?
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