How soccer in Los Angeles will change forever

How soccer in Los Angeles will change forever

By Andre Sarkissian

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          On October 30, 2014, the soccer world was stunned when it was announced that five-time MLS champions LA Galaxy would have a new rival to contend with after the dissolution of Mexican-owned Chivas USA.  

          That new rival comes in the form of Los Angeles Football Club (or LAFC), who might finally give the Galaxy a competitive rival to tangle with after the old rivalry with the red and white of Chivas USA became increasingly useless and unimportant, owing to the fact that the Galaxy won seven of the last ten matches, the other three being draws.  

          To solve that problem, star actor and big soccer fan Will Ferrell decided to take a new club under his helm and bring it to Los Angeles to add fire to the soccer scene, which is one of the strongest in the country.

          The team began their inaugural campaign in 2018 with a 1-0 away win over MLS powerhouse Seattle Sounders, with Diego Rossi scoring the sole goal in the 11th minute of play at CenturyLink Field in the Pacific Northwestern metropolis.

         They will face the Galaxy on the 31st of this month in their first rivalry game of the year.  The teams will meet three times in the course of the regular season.

         With that being said, who will win Los Angeles soccer fans over: the blue and white of the Galaxy or the gold and black of LAFC?

         This question, especially when the teams play in such a competitive league as the MLS, is hard to answer.  The Galaxy have won the MLS Cup a record five times (the most recent being in 2014 after a 2-1 win over the New England Revolution), but after legendary coach Bruce Arena departed for a stint with the American national team (which was unsuccessful, since he resigned after we failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup), and German manager Sigi Schmidt took over, the Galaxy finished dead last in the Western Conference last year and failed to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2008 after a dismal eight-win season.

         However, things might look brighter for the team in blue and white after a 2-1 home victory against 2015 champions Portland Timbers.  Championships have been associated for the club for as long as it has existed, and they don’t want to lose their bragging rights as the original team of Southern California.

         For LAFC, however, it’s a completely different story.  They want to bring success back to LA after a dismal season for the Galaxy saw most fans lose hope.  And as a result, switch allegiances from blue to gold.

         As a former Galaxy supporter, I remember going to the 2012 MLS Cup final and watch my side defeat the Houston Dynamo 3-1 to claim the Philip F. Anschutz Trophy for the fourth time (they would win again two years later, of course) and remembering the stars donning the uniform such as Irish legend Robbie Keane, English beast David Beckham, and one of the best players to ever come out of the United States, Landon Donovan.

          However, the Galaxy have changed so much from the team I once knew and loved, and I feel like a completely different club with the same uniform plays now at StubHub Center in the southeastern suburb of Carson.

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          I, as well as many other supporters, feel like LAFC, playing at the Banc of California Stadium just outside of downtown, will give our city a new soccer experience and one worth backing.  Of course, the Galaxy still has many fans, just like any other club, but it will be quite interesting to see LAFC try and gain the bragging rights in Los Angeles that the Galaxy have known their whole existence

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