LA GALAXY

LA Galaxy in Must-Win Game vs LAFC

LA Galaxy Cozmo celebrating win | Photo by Jorge Galvez for LA Soccer Nation
LA Galaxy in Must-Win Game vs LAFC

LA Galaxy are trending down. We all see it. Even during their seven game unbeaten run LA Galaxy were not playing very well. They were fortunate to get some results to put it lightly. Now on the back of a four-game winless streak, the LA Galaxy face bitter rivals LAFC.

Let it begin: El Trafico III.

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LA Galaxy Sebastian Lletget jogging towards corner kick | Photo by Jorge Galvez for LA Soccer Nation | March 31, 2018

If the LA Galaxy fail to win Friday, they will have gone winless in August for the third consecutive year. They will also be opening the door even more for the two teams beneath them in the standings to step through. The Portland Timbers are tied on points with the LA Galaxy but have three games in hand. The Seattle Sounders are only two points behind, but have two games in hand on the LA Galaxy.

The way the LA Galaxy have been playing, a tie would be a great result for the home side. LAFC will be eager to win the third match up this year between the two teams. The previous two times the LA Galaxy have come from behind to win and tie respectively. This will prey on the mind of LAFC fans, coaches, and players.

The Comeback Kids

The LA Galaxy vs LAFC match ups have not been short of drama. Back in March the Galaxy came back from three goals down to win 4-3 in the most memorable debut ever courtesy of one Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Then in July LAFC once again squandered a two-goal lead at home to allow the Galaxy to tie it up 2-2 in a game where the visiting side seemed completely out of it.

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LA Galaxy Ola Kamara (left), LAFC Diego Rossi (right) battling for ball possession. | Photo by Jorge Galvez for LA Soccer Nation | March 31, 2018

The recurring theme? LAFC have both times outplayed the LA Galaxy for the majority of the match. However, a dip in focus and organization have allowed the Galaxy to come back into the matches in the second half. The Galaxy cannot afford to have this mentality again. LAFC will be aware of this fact and my prediction is if they get the lead, they are going to fight tooth and nail to not give it up again.

Zlatan

It seems like I think this every week: The LA Galaxy need a miracle from Zlatan. Whether it’s setting up Ola Kamara, creating fouls, scoring goals, or firing up his team, the big Swede will need to do it all on Friday. He needs to lead from the front, stay positive, put fear into the opponent, and most of all punish any mistakes made by LAFC.

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LA Galaxy striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic (left), LAFC Laurent Ciman (right) in contest during first El Trafico | Photo by Jorge Galvez for LA Soccer Nation | March 31, 2018

After the last home game Zlatan said the team doesn’t “deserve to make the playoffs.” To put it bluntly, nothing deserved is given in soccer. Everything is earned with blood, sweat, and tears. We cannot play like we “deserve” something, we need to go out there and TAKE IT.

Angry Fans

If you have visited any social media platforms during LA Galaxy games, they are filled with tirades and plenty of ‘F’-bombs. The main complaint is that the Galaxy can’t seem to play defense. Then there is the fact that many fans don’t think coach Sigi Schmid is doing his part in employing the proper tactics for this team to succeed. The next set of complaints seems to be that the midfield is completely lost and contributes ZERO to the defense and the offense. Towards the end of the match the anger turns towards the front office and their decisions to sign certain players and the fact that they have contract extensions coming off the back of the worst season in club history.

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LA Galaxy fans in suspense | Photo by Jorge Galvez for LA Soccer Nation

All these complaints are valid, and I for one do not turn a deaf ear to our supporters and neither should the front office.

Prediction

The LA Galaxy will give it a go, and grab the lead in the first half. However, the inability to defend as a unit will ultimately doom the home side as LAFC will come from behind in a role reversal to snatch all three points and win their first ever El Trafico match-up 2-1.

  1. Galaxy fans will leave the stadium angry and rightfully so, but also optimistic in what they saw.
  2. Zlatan and Kamara will cause fits for the LAFC back line.
  3. Not being clinical in front of goal will come back to haunt them.
  4. Carlos Vela will score a second half free kick.
  5. Second half sub Latif Blessing will come on to score the winning goal, using his blinding speed on the counter attack to snatch the game.

Match Details

LA Galaxy vs LAFC, Friday 7:30p.m. StubHub Center, Carson, CA.

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Gabriel Montoya

Contributor at LA Soccer Nation
Contributor for LA Soccer Nation and The Stoppage Time. Player, fan, and coach of the beautiful game.

Contact: gabriel.montoya@lasoccernation.com
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Contributor for LA Soccer Nation and The Stoppage Time. Player, fan, and coach of the beautiful game. Contact: gabriel.montoya@lasoccernation.com

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