The dream matchup of the season will take place in the Western Conference semifinals of the MLS Cup playoffs.
LAFC and the LA Galaxy will meet for the third time in 2019 and this time it’s not for points, it’s for a chance to extend their season.
LAFC comes into the match with the Supporters Shield in tow as the best team in the regular season standings in MLS. They led the league in goals, goal differential, and fewest goals against.
LAFC dominated teams all season long except for one, the LA Galaxy. In their five matchups over their first two seasons LAFC has yet to defeat the Galaxy home or away.
Thursday’s playoff matchup gives LAFC the opportunity to get the monkey off their back and finally give them bragging rights in the City of Angels. Before the matchup here are the storylines.
Zlatan vs. Vela
From their first match the driving force for both teams in this rivalry was the play of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Carlos Vela. Both players get up for this game and elevate their play.
In the history of the matchup Zlatan has 8 goals and Vela has 7 goals. This season both men became the second and third players in MLS history with 30 goals.
Zlatan added fuel to the fire when he boastfully declared he was the better player, to which Vela replied he was playing better than Zlatan. Thursday’s game will give both a chance to show who is better.
History in the Making
Thursday’s matchup offers something that Angelenos have been craving for, a playoff match between the two teams in the city. The Lakers and Clippers, nor the Dodgers and Angels, nor the Rams and Chargers have ever faced off against each other in the high stakes playoff matchup.
When Chivas USA existed they played the LA Galaxy in a playoff matchup but that barely made a blip in the landscape of LA Sports. This matchup offers two teams with unique fan bases and the followings of a historical matchup.
It’s no wonder tickets on the secondary market for the game are upwards to $200 for entry. In the same week that the NBA season opens with the Lakers and Clippers and with stories of lack of fan support for both local NFL teams the hottest ticket in town is LAFC against the Galaxy.
Legacy is on the line
If LAFC wants to declare themselves one of the greatest teams in MLS history, an MLS Cup will justify that. To get to their ultimate goal they’ll have to get through their rival the LA Galaxy, a team they have yet to beat.
If the Galaxy want to maintain bragging rights in the city where they have dominated the market for 20 plus years they will once again have to break the heart of their new found rival.
Thursday we will find out who truly runs LA.
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