Where: Dignity Health Sports Park, Carson, California
When: Friday, July 19, 7:00 pm PT
How to Watch: ESPN in the United States.
Los Angeles Football Club will look to win their second match in a row and win their first game against the LA Galaxy as they travel to Dignity Health Sports Park to take on their arch-rivals. LAFC are coming off a 3-1 victory against the Houston Dynamo, which included several changes to the starting lineup.
LAFC’s win against the Dynamo was more than enough to right the ship for the Black-and-Gold, who had been thrown off by the Portland Timbers eliminating them from the U.S. Open Cup. Bob Bradley made several changes to the starting lineup, and LAFC still handled the Dynamo, putting the league leaders back on track.
LAFC currently sit in first place in the Western Conference and atop the MLS table with 46 points through 20 matches, and have an absolutely absurd +36 goal differential. Meanwhile, the Galaxy have 34 points, good for third in the West, just one point behind the Seattle Sounders. LAFC have seven wins and three draws on the road, as well as both of their losses on the season in MLS play. The Galaxy, on the other hand, have seven wins at home, with four losses along the way. The Galaxy also have four losses in their last seven matches.
The main story coming into this match, standings aside, is the history between the two teams. Not only are these two of the best teams in the Western Conference, with two of the biggest stars in MLS, but all three games the two played last season were incredible. The first match, which was in Carson, was in late March, in which Carlos Vela put the Black-and-Gold up in the first five minutes of the match. LAFC led 3-0 in the 48th minute, and the Galaxy were getting ole’d in their own stadium. Then, Zlatan Ibrahimovic made his MLS debut, scoring the tying and winning goals in ways that only Zlatan could. His first MLS goal caught Tyler Miller out of goal from almost the half-field line, and his second was a bullet header in added time. The Galaxy won the first tie, and a rivalry was born.
The second match took place in late July, where the teams battled to a 2-2 draw. Vela again put LAFC up early with a penalty in the 7th minute, and LAFC lead 2-0 after 20 minutes, but the Galaxy got two goals after the 80th minute, from Romain Alessandrini and Ola Kamara off Andre Horta making an appalling backpass on his debut, to tie it up. The teams then tied it up 1-1 in their final meeting, in August.
Safe to say, there is no shortage of history and drama between the two sides from Los Angeles.
Prediction: Galaxy 2, LAFC 2. LAFC are going to be out for blood, as they have not beaten the Galaxy and have a bad taste in their mouths. But the Galaxy, led by Zlatan, are mad about their back and forth record in the last seven games, and are also out for blood, as they want to knock LAFC off their perch atop MLS. This is going to be a FIRE game, and I think it ends as a stalemate.
Bonus Prediction: Something absolutely bonkers is going to happen this game, but for LAFC. I’m talking Vela bicycle-kick level stuff here. All of the Galaxy-LAFC games have been set with a Galaxy exclamation point, and it’s time for LAFC to make their mark.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!