Tag Archives: El Trafico

LA Galaxy Rivalry Round-Up and Aftermath

Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

Friday, July 19: 3-2 win

Saturday, July 27: 4-0 loss

Rivalry week started rough and made LA Galaxy fans nervous to face Los Angeles Football Club after losing to San Jose Earthquakes at home on June 29th. But, that game was soon to be forgotten.

On July 19, LA Galaxy were down early after LAFC’s Carlos Vela scored a penalty. Then Blue, White, and Gold roared to life with a Zlatan hat trick. The team played with the passion and urgency that fans had called for. The energy at the stadium was loud and intense.  LA Galaxy ended up winning 3-2.

Critics say LA Galaxy shouldn’t rely on a single player, namely Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but that day all of the Galaxy players worked well together to feed the ball to Zlatan and create chances. Even the defense held it together despite Vela scoring a late goal (that should have been called offside and gone to VAR).

The game against LAFC proves that Zlatan works well when the team plays well together.

The same line-up from El Tráfico was used against Portland Timbers, but this time Perry Kitchen and Sebastian Lletget were back from injuries. Efrain Alvarez was also available on the bench. 

Lineups:

LA Galaxy: David Bingham; Diego Polenta, Giancarlo Gonzalez, Daniel Steres, Rolf Feltscher; Uriel Antuna (Emmanuel Boateng 80’), Julian Araujo (Sebastian Lletget 56’), Jonathan dos Santos, Joe Corona, Favio Alvarez (Efrain Alvarez 69’); Zlatan Ibrahimovic ©.

Substitutions not used: Matt Lampson, Dave Romney, Perry Kitchen, Jorgen Skjelvik.

The Timbers punished the Galaxy for problems that have plagued them for most of this season (and the past two seasons if we’re being completely honest).

After defeating LAFC, fans hoped the Galaxy had made a turning point, but the match at Providence Park, this late in the season, brought to reality fans’ concerns. If Galaxy’s inconsistent play and dropping points continues this team won’t make the playoffs again this year. 

Fans are looking to head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto for answers and are holding him accountable. But, not much responsibility has really been taken and there aren’t any solid solutions in sight. 

Rumors that Cristian Pavón would join during transfer week and save the Galaxy have been dispelled. One man cannot and should not carry the team. We see that when they rely too much on Zlatan. The tactic of feeding the lion only worked against LAFC because the entire team came out with a fighting heart and spirit. 

But, again, they’re inconsistent. There are times when it looks like the defense doesn’t want to play. An attacking midfield would be highly essential to Galaxy living up to their potential and success. Jonathan Dos Santos did not play well on Saturday, but he is the strongest in the midfield. Though understandably frustrated, it’s no excuse and not a good look when the captain and co-captain don’t stay to talk to the media.  It begs the question: Who is leading this team?

David Bingham came up with major saves once again and kept the Galaxy in the game most of the time. But, he’s one man and has his limits, often getting scored on by rebounds. That night in Rose City, it was the defense and midfield that could be blamed for the loss.

This game against Portland saw the Galaxy losing possession and being taken advantage of on counter attacks. 

Turf is no excuse. The next matches are in Atlanta and Seattle, both of which are turf stadiums. The Galaxy will have to adjust. 

Lack of bench depth and players not being on their A-game also contributed to the Gs’ struggle.  Lletget hasn’t had a good game in a while, so why wasn’t Perry Kitchen the sub of choice? 

The Galaxy were outplayed, which wasn’t the case against San Jose, per se. It was a physical match that seemed to become a competition for which side could get more yellow cards. 

Ibrahimovic, Diego Polenta, and Efrain Alvarez will all be suspended for the next match – Polenta and E. Alvarez due to being issued red cards, Ibrahimovic due to yellow card accumulation.

LA Galaxy sit in third place in the western conference.  They have their moments when they play as well on the pitch as they look on paper. It doesn’t matter how capable the team is if they don’t deliver though. 

They’re on the road to face Atlanta United on August 3 and then D.C. United on August 11th. Their next home match is August 14 against FC Dallas. 

With this season already runs a tight schedule, the Galaxy lost in their second round of Open Cup to Portland, but managed to move on to semi finals in the Leagues Cup and are the only MLS team still in. They’re set to face Cruz Azul on August 20th at Dignity Health Sports Park.  Then 5 days later, they have to be ready to face LAFC again.

Featured image: LA Galaxy Instagram

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

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LA Galaxy vs. LAFC: Match Preview

Official LAFC Reporter

By Araceli Villanueva // @Aracelv1

Where: Dignity Health Sports Complex, Carson, Calif.

When: Friday, July 19th, 7:00 p.m. PT.

How to watch: ESPN, ESPNLA 710, KFWB 980

The highly anticipated fourth chapter of El Trafico is finally here and it’s time to blackout Carson once more!

Following a successful road trip in Houston, the Los Angeles Football Club will travel a grueling twelve miles (two hours by LA traffic) to visit the LA Galaxy – who are currently in third place – in search of their first win of the series.

Going into its second year of “El Trafico,” LAFC is currently 0-1-2. And the league leaders have proven to be a force to be reckoned with as they continue to cross out rivals off the list. With Carlos Vela and Zlatan back in lineup for their club, respectively. This is a match you won’t want to miss.

Image courtesy of MLSSoccer.com

It seems all odds are in favor for the black-and-gold. However, Steven Beitashour and Jordan Harvey should still be on high alert of not only Zlatan but prevent Uriel Antuna; from getting close on the wings. Antuna had strong performances while with Mexico in the Gold Cup, including a hat trick against Cuba. But he still does not level up to Diego Rossi.

Although Bob Bradley has been testing the waters lately with a slightly altered rotation for each match, I predict he will field a full-strength roster. Hopefully, with Tristian Blackmon back in the center back position. And Mohammad El-Munir, Dejan Jaković, and Peter Lee-Vassell on the bench.

Eduard Atuesta will likely rejoin the roster after serving his yellow card suspension in Houston. And his presence could without a doubt be the match’s game-changer for the black-and-gold, especially as he pairs up with Mark-Anthony Kaye and Latif Blessing in the midfield.

El Trafico, El Clasico, the 12-Mile derby?

No matter how you phrase it. It’s no secret, there is a deep-seeded rivalry between both clubs especially, with the fourth installment of “El Trafico” around the corner in its second year. To help get a deeper insight, I interviewed my colleague at MLSFemale and LA Galaxy reporter, Michelle Huitink.

Araceli Villanueva: It seems the Galaxy has been on a rocky roller coaster ride in their last few matches, recently falling to San Jose this past weekend, how are they expecting to turn things around for Friday’s rally?

Michelle Huitink: I think the Galaxy just needs some rest and have key players back in good shape. Antuna and Dos Santos had just returned from international duty. And Diego Polenta was suspended due to yellow card accumulation. Hopefully, Perry Kitchen and Sebastian Lletget can recover in time. The Galaxy knows how important this game is.

They weren’t necessarily outplayed when they were away in San Jose, and they won at home against Toronto FC, but this last match was worrisome. David Bingham came up huge with 13 saves. But I hope it exposed the defense weaknesses in time for them to tighten up and get it together to play against LAFC. The big problem seems to be lack of leadership and heart, so hopefully, morale and passion can be re-ignited so they’ll step it up for this Friday’s match. 

AV: With Jonathan Dos Santos and Uriel Antuna back from international duty – should we expect the Galaxy’s roster to be at full strength or who could be potentially missing the match? 

MH: Anything is possible. I don’t want to see Emmanuel Boateng start because, despite his hustle, he can’t get the cross nor finish in front of the net. But if he does, I’d bring Efrain Alvarez in as a spark off the bench. Hopefully, we will have a full roster. As much as I’d like to see Dave Romney start – Jorgen Skjelvik is a guy you know you can count on in the backline for a match like this. Daniel Steres has earned his spot. He is consistent, can win 1v1 situations and is overall a great defender. And Giancarlo Gonzalez is also a key player; having had some wild defending in the past. Efrain Alvarez can be a real threat. Jonathan in the midfield is legit lethal as a playmaker and a goal scorer. I would like to see Antuna bring that Gold Cup action on the pitch Friday. The Galaxy doesn’t lack talent on paper. And we’ve seen that they can gel well as a team.

As much as I’d like to say it doesn’t matter who we play or because of the rivalry, regardless it’s important at this point in the season for the Galaxy to win. They’ve slipped to 3rd place. So I feel like the fans have been let down and feel uneasy how the team is going to perform. The best START is for Galaxy to show up for El Traffico like they mean it. 

AV: What is your take on the Zlatan yellow card controversy and MLS’ odd explanation for it?

MH: There just needs to be consistency across MLS. Apparently, the yellow against him for the [Sean] Johnson incident doesn’t count. It is what it is. Besides I’d like to think LAFC would want to face a full roster – whatever the case. 

AV: Friday marks the fourth meeting between both rivals. Now in its second year, are fans more hyped for the rivalry? And what additional precautions have the club made for Dignity Park?

MH: There’s definitely going to be heightened awareness and security. They have made it so that there’s no [general admission]. Everyone has an assigned seat. Fans are definitely hyped. For a Friday, I know many are still planning to tailgate, most likely leaving work early. There’s always a concern for hooliganism. 

Bonus question: What is your score prediction?

MH: 2-1. My score prediction is LA Galaxy win but by one goal. If the Galaxy can score early, I think there’s going to be quite the struggle. I don’t really see based on the Galaxy’s past matches that they can keep LAFC from scoring. The club can get shots, it’s the finish that they’ll have to nail. David Bingham should be on top of his game.

Featured Image: Pro Soccer USA

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @Aracelv1

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

LA Galaxy Can’t Be Beat in Regular Season Derby

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

Starting XI

David Bingham; Rolf Feltscher, Jorgen Skjelvik, Dave Romney; Chris Pontius, Perry Kitchen, Servando Carrasco, Ashley Cole ©; Sebastian Lletget; Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ola Kamara.

Bench

Justin Vom Steeg, Daniel Steres, Sheanon Williams, Baggio Husidic, Bradford Jamieson IV, Emmanuel Boateng, Ariel Lassiter.

The Los Angeles Galaxy and Los Angeles Football Club faced off for their third match this season in a battle for the city in front of 27,068 fans on August 24th. This was a highly anticipated match and was aired on ESPN.

So, what new insights came out of this past Friday’s game and result?

The LA Galaxy played to their potential. The first half was every fan’s dream. The defense was on point, and there was even a Zlatan Ibrahimovic goal in the 15th minute, which had to be reviewed. LAFC’s Danilo Silva slid into the net to keep the ball out, but upon VAR the ball had in fact crossed the goal line. This was the first time in what felt like all season where VAR did not rule against the Galaxy.

The Galaxy continued to come on strong. Ashley Cole captained as usual and got a rolling tackle to stop LAFC’s Carlos Vela’s run near the corner of their pitch in the 37th minute.

Unfortunately, the Galaxy still couldn’t maintain their lead. A penalty kick was given up in the first few minutes of the second half. With that, Vela had made it 1-1. It wouldn’t be El Tráfico without some conflict.

From then on, it seemed the Galaxy had deflated and were running on fumes. LAFC tried to be too fancy and couldn’t finish. David Bingham made a crucial save to keep the game level in the 72nd minute. The other issue was, Ibrahimovic was only one goal away from 500 in his career, so the Galaxy kept trying to feed him goals rather than take the shot themselves.

Still, it was great to see Sebastian Lletget back to his former fitness level. He was on fire and giving 110 percent effort. In the 57th minute, he maintained possession for the Galaxy and got the ball to Ola Kamara, but it just wasn’t enough and ended up with a goal kick from Tyler Miller.

Having Rolf Feltscher back also made a big difference.

Coach Sigi Schmid’s sub choices were questionable at times. Ariel Lassiter could be seen warming up but wasn’t brought on. The Galaxy could have used Emmanuel Boateng’s speed, but he also wasn’t brought in. Schmid had no choice but to sub off Dave Romney in the 89th minute, and he decided to bring in Daniel Steres, which only makes sense because he’s not going to replace a highly paid defender with a college-aged kid. The best decision he made for fresh legs was to bring in Bradford Jamieson IV for Servando Carrasco.

Chris Pontius and Lletget both had clear chances and didn’t take any shots. All attempts on goal became predictable. The Galaxy kept giving too many chances to LAFC late in the game. Nearly every defender on the Galaxy had earned a yellow card that night.

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Pontius with the Galaxy throw-in during the second half. Photo Credit: Michelle Huitink

The third installment ended in a 1-1 draw, which gave the Galaxy the edge and kept them undefeated against LAFC.

Security at StubHub was amped up with police on horses, a helicopter, and the sheriff’s department, but luckily the rest of the evening was uneventful.

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Extra police presence at StubHub. Photo Credit: Leslie Chavez

At the end of a draining rivalry week, the LAG are winless this month and are now in 6th place, technically tied with the Sounders for 5th with 38 points. LAG’s problem is they bled goals in other matches. To make the playoffs, they need to get at least 12 points over the remaining 7 games of the regular season. Their next two matches are on the road.

Their next match is against Real Salt Lake on September 1, 2018. Kickoff is at 7pm.

The Galaxy are back home at StubHub on September 23rd against the Seattle Sounders.

Featured image of LA Galaxy warmup: Michelle Huitink

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

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Stalemate at StubHub: LAFC 1, LA Galaxy 1

Araceli Villanueva - LAFC/mlsfemale
Official LAFC Reporter

By Araceli Villanueva // @Aracelv1

Los Angeles Football Club drew their second of three matches this season against the Los Angeles Galaxy, drawing 1-1 to their LA neighbors at the StubHub Center. Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Carlos Vela scored both goals of the night.

LAFC started the third edition of El Trafico in a tense twenty minutes, as Danilo Silva most notably started alongside Walker Zimmerman in defense in lieu of Laurent Ciman. The pair hadn’t played alongside each other since June but seemed to mesh well. However, Silva was quick to grab his hamstring just a few seconds into the match, showing signs of an apparent injury. Silva would push through until the 23rd minute when he was substituted out early for Dejan Jakovic.

Ciman was notably absent from the 18-man squad and not listed on the injury report. ESPN’s Taylor Twellman reported during the match that Ciman may have offers from elsewhere and was not deemed to be focused enough to play.

The home side would draw first in the 16th minute when Zlatan’s shot rolled over the line before LAFC could clear it out. It appeared Silva cleared it out. VAR confirmed this and awarded the Galaxy the goal after the play was reviewed.

Tyler Miller constantly found himself in a 1v1 situation against Zlatan and did well to prevent the Swede from earning his 500th career goal.

The black-and-gold leveled early the second half in the 50th minute, when Diego Rossi found Vela in the left side of the box. Perry Kitchen clipped Vela inside the box, and gave LAFC the chance to equalize with a penalty. Vela converted the penalty and got LAFC back on track.

The remainder of the half proved to be frustrating for both sides, as they created multiple opportunities but failed to capitalize. Shortly after the penalty, Eduard Atuesta found Benny Feilhaber and Feilhaber decided to try to go around Bingham, instead of scoring head on in a 1v1 situation. This would cost Feilhaber as Bradley subbed him out for André Horta soon after.

Although LAFC had periods where they seemed to dominate possession and get more dangerous chances, the whistle blew before LAFC could put one more goal in the back of the net, concluding the third edition in yet, another draw.

LAFC will continue their run on the road when they travel to BMO Field to face Toronto FC on Saturday, September 1.

Featured image: Tyler Miller Instagram

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @Aracelv1

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