Orlando, Fla. – The soccer contest between the two Los Angeles County clubs took center stage in Florida. The Galaxy suffered an early setback, when it was announced prior to kickoff that Chicharito would miss out with an injury. However, it was the same for LAFC as Adama Diomande was left out of the team. While it couldn’t have been a more different El Tráfico, the urgency to come away with a win, remained.
El Tráfico, Even In Orlando, Remains MLS’ Fiercest Rivalry
LA Galaxy had their foot on the gas from kickoff. After establishing the press early, Galaxy took advantage of early mistakes from LAFC. A Sebastian Lletget cross in just the fifth minute found the foot of Latif Blessing, bouncing in for the own goal. However, in true LAFC fashion, the deficit wouldn’t last. Diego Rossi leveled proceedings in the 13th minute with a shot from the spot, after LAFC was awarded a penalty.
A second penalty, this time against LAFC, was called to break the deadlock in the 32nd minute. After the initial saved shot was ruled that the goalkeeper was off his line early, Christian Pavón made the best of his second chance and put the Galaxy up a goal. We all know what comes next, LAFC wouldn’t let the half end without bringing it level. A saved BWP shot was put in off the rebound by rising star, Diego Rossi.
The second half went much the way most second halves have gone for the black and gold. Bradley Wright-Phillips continued to prove his worth, getting his first goal in El Tráfico. With Carlos Vela out, BWP flashed the creative prowess that helped him net over 100 MLS goals.
Diego Rossi completed his hat-trick, making him the first LAFC to achieve the feat in El Tráfico. A great pass from Brian Rodriguez on the break was put on a platter for Rossi in the 75th minute. The nail in the coffin came from an El-Munir lightening strike, giving LAFC an incredible 5-2 lead. A late, fourth goal from Rossi gave them a 6-2 win.
While the defense for the Black and Gold is under a microscope, it was their midfield that had a nightmare night. A sloppy, lethargic start to the match cost them two early goals. Poor passing and an inability to keep possession made the night that much longer for an already struggling back line.
It’s unfair that the most potent attack in the league was allowed to add a striker with over 100 MLS goals, but they did. In just his first two matches with LAFC, he has scored twice, and cemented his place in the squad. Throw in a healthy Dio and Carlos Vela, and LAFC is looking like a team ready to break the goal-scoring record again.
While a couple of their goals came against a dejected Galaxy team, putting up six goals is nothing to turn a nose at. This team has proven, even on their worst day, they are far and away the best team. Which will only put the pressure on them to see this tournament out successfully. First, a tough, final group stage match against a physical Portland side.