Los 40 USA
Sign in to commentAPP
spainSPAINchileCHILEcolombiaCOLOMBIAusaUSAmexicoMEXICOlatin usaLATIN USAamericaAMERICA


Will Carlos Vela’s LAFC vs Javier Hernández’s LA Galaxy be the most one-sided ‘Tráfico’ ever?

The Los Angeles neighbours face off in the US Open Cup round of 16 having had contrasting fortunes of late.

Estados Unidos
LAFC de Vela vs Galaxy de Chicharito: El clásico en Los Ángeles más disparejo

Los Angeles FC vs LA Galaxy, rather humorously nicknamed ‘El Tráfico’, has been considered one of North America’s most marketable fixtures since the former came onto the scene in 2018. However, the state the latter current find themselves in is threatening to take some of the shine off their latest meeting. On Tuesday, Carlos Vela’s LAFC play host to Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernández’s Galaxy in the round of 16 of the US Open Cup and, on paper, there’s only going to be one winner.

LAFC flying high in MLS

The Black and Gold, the reigning MLS Cup holders, lead this year’s Western Conference having won seven, drawn four and lost only one of their 12 league matches so far. Their 25 points give them a two-point lead over second-placed Seattle Sounders, who have played two games more.

On top of that, LAFC have qualified for the Concacaf Champions League final, in which they will have the chance to win their first ever international trophy against Club León. By the time the first leg of the tie comes around on 31 May, the Liga MX side won’t have played a competitive match in three weeks, which will surely work in the Americans’ favour.

LA Galaxy: the ‘worst’ team in MLS

The contrast with LA Galaxy couldn’t be starker. The most successful club in MLS history now finds itself in last place in the Western Conference and even bottom of the overall table after taking just nine points from their first 13 matches of the season.

Once upon a time it was the Galaxy that hogged the soccer limelight in Los Angeles, and indeed the United States, but they have been forced to move over and play second fiddle to their neighbours. What better way to kick-start their campaign than with a surprise cup victory over their seemingly superior rivals? And how about a US Open Cup win to redress the balance in the city?

LAFC vs LA Galaxy: recent meetings

LAFC have won each of the last three games between the teams, the last of which was a 3-2 victory at Dignity Health Park this season, a game in which Vela scored twice. Coincidentally, the Black and Gold also won the two previous meetings by the same scoreline in last year’s Western Conference semi-finals and the final fixture of the 2022 regular season.

LA Galaxy’s US Open Cup omen

The teams met at the same stage of the US Open Cup last season, which marked LA Galaxy’s last victory in the fixture. Captain Hernández scored his team’s second goal in a 3-1 home victory to lead the, to the quarter-finals, where they were disappointingly beaten by USLC team Sacramento Republic FC.