Battle For The West And The Hearts Of LA: LA Galaxy Vs. LAFC
Cross town rivals, LA Galaxy and LAFC are currently in a fight for the West. Both teams have played exceptionally well this season, with LAFC in first place and the LA Galaxy in second.
LA Galaxy trails by one point and is one game behind. LAFC has continued their dominant performance from last season; however, the Galaxy’s performance is far more impressive considering the troubles they’ve overcome from last season. The Galaxy have acquired new players, gotten rid of players, switched coaches, and changed management.
LAFC, however, is no fluke, as they have demonstrated that they are a team to contend with; however, they have yet to beat the LA Galaxy.
LAFC said that they would make history their first year, and they sure did, as Zlatan Ibrahimović from the Galaxy was awarded the AT&T MLS goal of the year against LAFC.
The rivalry between the two Los Angeles’ teams is fierce as the stadiums are a mere 12 miles away from one another. The competition between the Galaxy and LAFC is good for the sport and should continue to boost the growth of the MLS. Both teams should perform well this season; however, the Galaxy may have more obstacles to overcome, as several of their players this season have already battled injury.
LA Galaxy midfielder Romain Alessandrini is out until September as he recovers from meniscus surgery. Alessandrini’s injury is a tough loss for the team, as he is a player who is fiery, passionate, and knows how to find the back of the net. Alessandrini provides the spark the team needs.
Last season the LA Galaxy played LAFC at Banc of California Stadium and were down 2-0 until Alessandrini scored in the 81st minute giving the Galaxy enough fight to eventually tie to the game.
Battle Of The Titans
Both teams have the talent to go far in the season, LAFC has the Mexican superstar Carlos Vela and the Galaxy have the Lion, Zlatan Ibrahimović.
Carlos Vela, the first designated player for LAFC, has 25 goals for LAFC in 39 games, while Ibrahimović has 30 goals in 34 games. Both players are on the list of people to watch for in 2019 in the MLS. They have vowed to put forth their best performance, with some comparing Vela’s current performance to Lionel Messi and Ibrahimović needing no comparison as he continues to perform as one of the top strikers in the world.
For Galaxy fans, it comes to no surprise that Zlatan is continuing his great performance from last year. As Zlatan humorously states, “Zlatan makes no effort to score goals, goals make an effort to be scored by Zlatan.” Both Vela and Ibrahimović make scoring goals in the MLS look easy, but who will outscore the other?
LA Galaxy’s defense has vastly improved, which is part of the reason why the LA Galaxy have been successful this season. Even with Ibrahimović phenomenally scoring 22 goals last season the team fell short of playoff contention. The defense should not pose as much of a problem this season, as the LA Galaxy currently have one of the strongest defenses in the league thus far. If they are able to maintain their performance and stay healthy, they should be able to qualify for playoffs this season with ease.
Winning the Western Conference is far more about bragging rights than about winning an actual title as the MLS does not follow European style of play, in which the team with the most points earned wins the championship. The MLS is unique in that any team in the top 7 could contend for the cup. So it comes down to bragging rights for Los Angeles in the Western Conference, with the Galaxy already established and LAFC strongly trying to make a name for themselves.
So who will win the Battle for the West, the LA Galaxy, LAFC, or neither?