The regional power shift between the Los Angeles Galaxy and Los Angeles FC has been bubbling up for years, but it has never felt more apparent than this season with some of the splash signings made before the season and over the summer. Recent history suggests that the Galaxy would’ve been the L.A. club most likely to add a star caliber player the likes of Gareth Bale and Giorgio Chiellini. That has not been the case in 2022 as the El Trafico rivalry is prepared to reach new heights.
With Steve Cherundolo taking the wheel, LAFC lead the Western Conference and the Supporters’ Shield race and have only improved the squad by adding Bale and Chiellini. The team even resolved its biggest worry by inking Carlos Vela to a contract extension. For such a talented squad, anything less than winning MLS Cup would be a disappointment, but LAFC have lived up to the hype thus far.
Gregg Vanney and the Galaxy have improved their stock this season, but the team is still not performing as expected as it is closer to dropping out of playoff position than reaching the top of the conference. Vanney will hope that adding Gaston Brugman from Parma will help improve their defensive prospects, but that can’t help hide the lack of production from Douglas Costa, who has two goals and no assists in 13 appearances.
When Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez and Dejan Jovelic need all the help that they can get in attack, Costa’s struggles puts too much pressure on the wing backs. The Galaxy are vulnerable defensively when they venture forward but the attack also doesn’t have options when they don’t get up the pitch. If Brugman is able to improve those attacking prospects by offering more of a defensive shield, that will help the Galaxy compete. Otherwise, they’re an afterthought when listing the top teams in the league.
Here’s our storylines, how you can watch the match and more:
How to watch and odds
- Date: Friday, July 8 | Time: 10 p.m. ET
- Location: Banc of California Stadium — Los Angeles, California
- TV: ESPN | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
- Odds: LAFC -133; Draw +280; Galaxy +295 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Featured Game | Los Angeles FC vs. Los Angeles
LAFC: After receiving his visa, Bale has finally touched down in California. Since he arrived on matchday and has not practiced with the team, it would be hard to imagine a scenario where Bale would crack the squad, let along log any minutes off the bench. That said, there wouldn’t be a more Bale-like Hollywood arrival than to hop off of a plane and score in this match, which could see fans of the 3252 get louder than we have ever seen before at the Banc of California Stadium. Chiellini could make his first start for the team and Cherundolo has almost a clean injury report for the first time in a long time. Ismael Tajouri-Shradi and Brian Rodriguez are questionable, but with the depth that the team has at their disposal, they’ll be able to manage things.
Galaxy: Performance-wise, the Galaxy have been such a mixed bag. Wins where they scored four goals on Austin FC and CF Montreal have bookended a draw to the Portland Timbers and Minnesota United along with crashing out of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup to the Sacramento Republic. Costa is suspended for this match, but that might be a blessing in disguise for Vanney, who won’t have to find a new reason to bench his Designated Player.
The Galaxy seem to perform at their best when the lights are brightest, but LAFC have been unstoppable at their best. On regular rest, LAFC will avenge their loss to Vancouver. Pick: LAFC 3, Galaxy 2