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LAFC vs LA Galaxy top scorers: Who has scored more goals in El Tráfico, Chicharito or Carlos Vela?

Which Mexican star has the most goals in the LAFC vs LA Galaxy rivalry?

Joe Brennan
Update:
LAFC vs LA Galaxy top scorers: Who has scored more goals in El Tráfico, Chicharito or Carlos Vela?
Associated Press

Latif Blessing probably had no idea how Kévin Cabral’s pass ended up squeezing past him and away from his reach. It slipped through a gap that initially didn’t appear to exist and the LAFC forward stumbled as he tried his best to force the ball away with the power of his mind. Unfortunately, the bobbling sphere made its way to Samuel Grandsir, who had followed Cabral on the counter attack on the off-chance that there would be anything worthwhile to feed on.

The French-born winger did not copy his teammate’s weak effort at a pass and instead threw all of his available leg power into a cross-field ball that sent him tumbling to the floor, forcing him to have to watch on from a seated position. The ball swerved around the muddled defensive shape of LAFC as they scrambled to get back.

It looked as though Grandsir had actually gotten too excited and overhit the ball but, appearing from somewhere, that magical place where the best strikers live where not even the closest defender can see them, Chicharito stabbed the ball with his toe and put it past the LAFC goalkeeper. His goal put the Galaxy 2-0 up in the US Open Cup and slid Hernández up the table of top scorers in the derby known as El Tráfico.

Chicharito (LA Galaxy)
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Chicharito (LA Galaxy)Kirby LeeUSA TODAY Sports

LAFC forward Vela the man to beat

But in the grand scheme of things, when it comes to top scorers in the big games, even invisible Chicharito cannot compete with the goal machine that is Carlos Vela. While the ex-Manchester United man sits comfortably in the middle of the table with a modest 3 goals, his compatriot Carlos Vela already boasts double figures, with an astonishing 10 goals in the derby.

Vela appeared in the first ever edition of this rivalry, back in 2018, and since then there have been 16 rounds of football between the two sides. Vela scored a brace in the first match, a 4-3 loss for LAFC thanks to a late winner from Zlatan Ibrahimovic. But as often happens in this game, the Mexican write himself into the history books as he got the first goal in the history of the derby, a sparkling left-footed curling effort four minutes in that had goalkeeper David Bingham punching thin air.

His second goal of this game was arguably even more spectacular. The ball was fed to him inside the box from Diego Rossi and instead of playing the ball over or around the oncoming goalkeeper, Vela twisted back around himself like a dog chasing its tail, sending the already embarrassed Bingham onto the floor and no doubt back into a state of confusion. The defenders piled back and covered the goal mouth, so Carlos Vela lifted the ball with the touch of a fairy godmother and watched it as it scooped over the shirts of the defence, caressing the crossbar and satisfyingly bouncing inside the goal as the players watched on.

Carlos Vela responde a las críticas de David Faitelson
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Carlos Vela (LAFC)Twitter @LAFC

The game went on to descend into one of drama and incidents, the Galaxy comeback was completed and Vela’s goals ultimately counted for nothing. But those goals remain - as do his extraordinary numbers - in the history books, reminding us all just what he is capable of doing.

Whether it is silent movement and pouncing finishes, or over the top flair and fizz you are after, this game has it all in the form of two strikers who don’t know when to stop. Carlos Vela leads the way and doesn’t look like slowing down, but never underestimate the talents of Chicharito Hernández.

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