Different cultures, different identities, just one city…
MLS soccer is reborn in Los Angeles with the emergence of “El Trafico”, a birth of the new rivalry in Southern California, Galaxy vs LAFC.
The atmosphere at Banc of California Stadium Thursday night was euphoric; a sea of black surrounding the stadium – filled with tons of LAFC fans representing the team’s colors with jerseys, flags, and even smoke. Fans have been counting down 115 days’ since the first meeting between LAFC and the LA Galaxy, expressing their anticipation and love for the El Trafico.
Following Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s epic MLS debut on March 1st, the beginning of a new rivalry in LA quickly became about with LAFC’s illustrious play. LAFC has only been a MLS squad for seven months, but has established themselves to be one of the talented teams in the league.
For LAFC to lead most of the game against the Galaxy was surprising for most fans, and kept surprising everyone with their early success. Including World Cup pedigree on their side, Carlos Vela was a star on the Mexican National team, and now is for LAFC.
Vela is one of the central stars in the league, scoring his eighth goal of the season last night to give his team an early 1-0 lead within the seventh minute. He has been named the MLS All-Star captain on Thursday, giving even more recognition to his stardom.
This is huge for a team like LAFC, because sometimes it is difficult to attract household names to a brand new franchise. With talented attackers like Adama Diomande, Latif Blessing, and of course Vela, this is a special
With a balanced defense and midfield, led by Lee Nguyen and now André Horta, LAFC can be a very interesting team to say the least.
The anticipated Galaxy-LAFC rematch lived up to the hype, ending in a 2-2 draw. There was dominance, excitement, and drama last night as the LAFC once again dominated most of the game, but let The Galaxy come back in the final moments.
Taylor Twellman, ESPN and MLS broadcaster, stated that the rematch was like déjà vu, but still thought it was a better game. Prior to the second half of the game, Twellman spoke on the MLS-record deal with Vancouver Whitecaps star Alfonso Davies to Bayern Munich, and how this could change the league in a big way.
Pretty soon clubs all around the world are going to introduce players from the MLS, and this will help mature the growing process of the sport in the US. This is not only huge for the MLS, but soccer in general for this country.
Photo by andywitchger (Dos Santos – MLS – LA Galaxy – Soccer) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons