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LA Galaxy Need to Avoid “Trap” Game Mentality Versus Sporting KC

LA Galaxy LAFC
LA Galaxy forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic defended by LAFC's Joao Moutinho and Laurent Ciman | Photo by Jorge Galvez for LA Soccer Nation | March 31, 2018

We all know what transpired last weekend in the very first edition of “El Trafico” between the LA Galaxy and LAFC.

No? Well, let me tell you.

Last Game

The game would end 4-3 in the most spectacular of fashions. The LA Galaxy would come from three goals down to win the game against bitter new city rivals Los Angeles Football Club.

The game was already sold out before the LA Galaxy signed international superstar and giant of the game, Zlatan Ibrahimovic earlier in the week. Everyone hoped he would play from both sets of fans, but nobody could anticipate the game that Zlatan would have.

LA Galaxy

Zlatan Ibrahimovic showing his LA Galaxy jersey at his introductory press conference | Photo by Juan Contreras for LA Soccer Nation | March 30, 2018

Lets look at Zlatan’s day:

✓ Make debut
✓ Score first goal
✓ Score a BANGER!
✓ Take your shirt off to celebrate
✓ Pick up a yellow card
✓ Talk smack to the other team
✓ Score the game winner
✓ Give the fans Zlatan

It was a game where you tell people, “You had to be there!” The atmosphere, the noise, the game, was like nothing I have witnessed before at StubHub Center or the previously called Home Depot Center.

LA Galaxy

LA Galaxy forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrating his game-tying goal | Photo by Lisa Norro-Broome for LA Soccer Nation | March 31, 2018

Next Game

In the grand scheme of things, last week’s win is only one game and even though the feelings it brought out in the players and fans will last for a while; it is important to move on right away and shift focus to Sporting KC. Sporting KC are currently in first place in the Western Conference tied on 10 points with Vancouver Whitecaps.

After dropping their opening game 0-2 against New York City FC, Sporting KC have gone four games unbeaten while scoring an impressive 10 goals in those four games. Defensively they had not kept a shutout until last week’s victory over DC United.

Who to Watch

LA Galaxy – Isn’t it obvious? Zlatan. Will he once again come off the bench for the home team and thrill the crowd? Will he start and make sure the team gets started on the right foot? Only time will tell.

LA Galaxy

LA Galaxy star Zlatan Ibrahimovic | Photo by Jorge Galvez for LA Soccer Nation | March 31, 2018

The lingering injuries of Romain Alessandrini, Jonathan dos Santos, and Gio dos Santos is something to keep an eye on as the weekend approaches. Obviously key players for the squad, they will be eager to link up with Zlatan as soon as possible.

Sporting KC – Felipe Gutiérrez has started the season on fire, having scored 5 goals in 5 games. The Chilean midfielder looks primed and ready to continue his streak. He will be taking up the right side of midfield for Sporting KC, a position that LA Galaxy struggled to defend in the opening 60 minutes against LAFC.

Key to Victory

LA Galaxy

Ola Kamara of the LA Galaxy | Photo by Jorge Galvez for LA Soccer Nation | March 31, 2018

Ola Kamara was brought in to score goals. After netting a hat trick for his country of Norway two weeks ago, I fully expected a good performance against LAFC. However, the opposite happened as the quality of service from the midfield was poor, which in turn limited the quality and number of touches for Kamara. Kamara only had 24 touches the entire 90 minutes on the field. This may not sound terrible for a player playing by himself up top for most of the game until the introduction of Zlatan, but when you look at where his touches were, coupled with the fact that he had ZERO shots, it’s cause for concern.

Ola Kamara complete and incomplete passes vs LAFC 3.31.18 Courtesy of

LA Galaxy fans will be hoping that Kamara can add to Zlatan’s magic, and the rest of the squad can get healthy soon to see this team in full flight!

Details: LA Galaxy vs Sporting KC, Sunday April 8, 2018 at 6:00 pm at StubHub Center.

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Gabriel Montoya
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