For over two decades, Los Angeles was home to one football team. Ever since the coming of the Galaxy’s cross-town rivals, things have certainly spiced up and fans have been treated to thrilling matches.
The moniker of “El Trafico” has reverberated around the walls of the MLS with its inaugural meeting back in March of 2018, when LAFC looked to defeat the Galaxy early on with a 2-0 lead. Right after half-time, they tallied yet another goal and held a 3-0 advantage, but LAFC ultimately collapsed as the Galaxy and Zlatan Ibrahimovic stole the show and ended up pulling off an unforgettable 4-3 victory at home.
The rest of the matches have been well documented. Ranging from another comeback after trailing 2-0 in 2018, to ultimately falling to them for the first time in the 2019 Playoffs, and to leaving the rivals shutout on two occasions in 2020. With these types of matches in just a short couple of years garnering so much attention, 2021 will be no less of a disappointment.
This rivalry is arguably the most exciting in the league, with both sets of fans ready to throw shade at one another in full support of their club. Some of this however, can quickly turn into acts and behavior of hooliganism in some instances.
The next-door neighbors have made plenty of noise. A new stadium, new fans, and the backing of some wealthy investors whose marketing plan for their club has surely seen some success in the few years since their inception.
All of this however, does not even remotely begin to erase the rich history that the Galaxy have built for years. The foundations of the club have been so importantly rooted that it has not only impacted the way Major League Soccer handles contracts and allocates the teams funds, but it is through the Galaxy that the US has gained worldwide recognition and not to mention being the most successful team to grace football in the United States.
Not only this, but team has the support of an enormous dedicated fanbase who love this team to the point that the colors Blue, White and Gold run through their veins.
When the other side begins the claims of being called the best, they are entitled to the opinion. Nevertheless, it needs to be understood that this is sports. In order to be called the best, you need hardware to prove it. Star players need to be brought in. Memorable moments need to occur. Most of all though, championships need to be won. The Galaxy have five.
There has been an ongoing saying in the hispanic culture that says “los perros que ladran, no muerden”. Which is to say “the dogs that bark, don’t bite”. This has certainly been true as the Galaxy have not been fazed by any of the other sides antics.
With there now appearing to be some shedding of light of hope to return to a sense of normalcy this year, a limited number of fans are expected to be able to return to live sporting events.
As with other derbies, this is the one that soccer fans want to see in Los Angeles. This is the match that neither team wants to lose. As the supporter groups in the stands chant, cry, cheer, and yell in both joy and frustration, this is what makes the game of football so passionate.
It has been almost a year since the lights at Dignity Health Sports park shone under the stars with a stadium full of supporters wearing white, and the sounds of drums and chants of Victoria Block and LA Riot Squad leading the way in the stands. With a new vision on the horizon, the Galaxy look to enter a new era.
These are the sounds of LA’s soccer derby that we want to see and hear in 2021.
Featured Image: Arch Bell/Marca.com