The Major League Soccer team with the best record is the Los Angeles Football Club. It has tied for the most goals through 18 games and still has the biggest goal differential in the league. The team recently welcomed world-famous players Giorgio Chiellini and Gareth Bale to their talent-filled locker room.
However, despite all of LAFC’s triumphs in 2022, their upcoming home game will aim to accomplish the one goal they have twice failed to accomplish since the season started: defeating the Los Angeles Galaxy.
El Trafico has generally irritated LAFC and its supporters, compounding the disappointment of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s unforgettable impact on the first meeting between the city rivals in 2018.
The Galaxy have more success than any other MLS team against the Black & Gold, having defeated LAFC six times.
The visitors to Banc of California Stadium on Friday eliminated LAFC 3-0 in a U.S. Open Cup knockout game at Dignity Health Sports Park, giving them a seventh victory in May.
The worst win percentage against a league opponent after three or more attempts belongs to LAFC (21.4%) against the five-time league champions.
Prior to the third meeting between the rivals during his brief coaching career, none of this means much to LAFC head coach Steve Cherundolo.
Cherundolo, whose defeats increased the Galaxy’s 7-3-5 advantage in the series, remarked, “The past is the past.” Every game is unique. Looking at statistics over a year, two years, three years, or historical matchups is not something I particularly enjoy doing. That, in my opinion, has nothing to do with the game on Friday.
The fact that there has been a lot of player turnover on both sides of the field over the years supports Cherundolo’s argument, but regardless of who suits up, the L.A. derby’s wild and unpredictable style of play has become the norm.
It took Bob Bradley until his second season and sixth attempt to defeat the Galaxy, which occurred during a home MLS Cup playoff game. Only once, in 2020, did the current Toronto FC manager experience consecutive losses in the rivalry, which also included a Galaxy road victory.
At Banc of California Stadium, LAFC scored six of a possible fifteen points during the regular season.
Franco Escobar, a first-year defender who hasn’t yet participated in the derby, said, “The energy is different.” “You know what you’re up against come match day from the first day of the week, but we also must be focused and calm and make sure you’re not overthinking things.”
The even-keeled former defender Cherundolo said he personally feels “zero desperation” against the Galaxy (8-6-3, 27 points), all the while acknowledging how important the match is for everyone associated with LAFC. The Galaxy (8-6-3, 27 points) are in what longtime captain Carlos Vela described as the toughest stretch of the season due to the schedule and the heat of an American summer (11-4-3, 36 points).
According to Cherundolo, “I think it’s a different game for our supporters and our media.” “There are three points, there are 90 minutes, and it’s a league game. It is comparable to other games in that regard. It’s obviously different from other games, though. We are fervently hoping to win this game for our supporters. That’s it, and the players are aware of how to react and what they must do.
Vela said Cherundolo’s demeanor obviously doesn’t indicate indifference about results, adding that he is one goal away from surpassing Ibrahimovic for the most finishes in El Trafico with nine. Vela claimed Cherundolo “got more angry” after each derby loss as he pressured the team to triumph.
When asked to contrast the methods of the two head coaches of LAFC, Vela remarked, “Bob is a really intense coach. He seeks perfection in all things. Steve is also more laid back. greater cool He tells them to follow some rules, but after that, “show your skills, your talent, and do your best for the team.” He then lets them enjoy themselves. There are two different approaches to working with players and the team, but both are beneficial. I believe Steve is performing admirably under the circumstances, and we are pleased with him.
The Italian center back Chiellini should be among a “more emotional” Cherundolo pushing for the victory in the locker room, according to Vela. Bale’s inclusion in the team would be unexpected given that he was still abroad days before the game, but the club had not ruled him out.
Vela hoped for a victory on Friday so that they could enjoy a fantastic weekend.