This Friday, we will have the 16th edition of El Trafico

This Friday, we will have the 16th edition of El Trafico

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08 Jul 2022
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El Trafico

Los Angeles teams first met on March 31, 2018. LAFC took the lead with a brace from Carlos Vela and an own goal from Daniel Steres in the second half.

El Trafico – one of the most compelling match-ups in MLS

El Trafico, or the Los Angeles Derby, is one of the most compelling match-ups in Major League Soccer, with the rivalry starting just four years ago when Los Angeles FC were first formed. This Friday, we will have the 16th edition of the duel, with both teams in good form heading into the playoffs of the 2022 season. These Los Angeles teams first met on March 31, 2018. LAFC took the lead with a brace from Carlos Vela and an own goal from Daniel Steres in the second half. However, Los Angeles Galaxy returned to their feet thanks to Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Swede came on in the 71st minute, just two days after his arrival in the Californian city. Having come on, Ibrahimovic scored a brace to turn the game on its head.

Carlos Vela and Zlatan Ibrahimovic

The rivalry began as soon as the first match between the two teams took place. In the aftermath of that first clash, a difference emerged between the two stars of both teams: Carlos Vela and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Even once the Swede returned to Europe, he continued to claim that the Mexican’s popularity was due to his appearance in El Trafico. In fact, the top scorers in this fixture are Ibrahimovic and Vela. The Swede scored nine goals to the Mexican’s ten, and so far, the Galaxy lead with seven wins to LAFC’s three. Once Zlatan left, Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez became the Galaxy’s star name. Vela made his debut in March 2018, marking it with a brace.

 

In July of that year, they crossed paths again, and he scored his third goal in a match that ended 2-2. In October, they had their third match, which ended 1-1, again with a goal from Vela.

The teams subsequently crossed paths in the quarterfinals of the playoffs

In July 2019, Vela scored another brace, but LAFC lost 3-2. In August that year, he scored a goal in 61 minutes in a 3-3 draw. The teams subsequently crossed paths in the quarterfinals of the playoffs, in which LAFC won 5-3, with Vela scoring twice. In August 2020, Vela played only 58 minutes, and for the first time, he drew a blank. When they met again, he scored a goal in LAFC’s 2-0 win. He then missed a series of games through injury. Finally, in 2021, he returned to play 90 minutes in their first match, with no goals. He also faced them in the round of 16 of the US Open Cup, playing 20 minutes in his team’s defeat. For his part, Hernandez scored his first goal in May 2021 in a 2-1 Galaxy victory.

 

In October of the same year, he played 90 goalless minutes in a 1-1 draw. In his previous match, he scored a goal in his team’s 2-1 victory. The rivalry’s name is an ode to the notorious traffic in the Californian city. The population is used to suffering from this problem and even more so when there is chaos to get to the stadiums where the games are played. Los Angeles traffic is considered the worst in the world, according to INRIX’s Global Congestion Ranking.

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