Los Angeles Soccer Teams Push for Playoffs

Randy Tejeda, Sport Co-Editor

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Major League Soccer (MLS) is coming down to the final weeks of regular season. Both Los Angeles franchise’s are getting ready for the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.

LA Galaxy are currently in fifth place in the Western Conference. The Galaxy missed the playoffs in the last two seasons. Galaxy’s final matches are on Wednesday, Sept. 25 at Real Salt Lake at 6:30 p.m.; Sunday, Sept. 29 vs Vancouver Whitecaps at 4:30 p.m. at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson.

Los Angeles FC [LAFC] already qualified to their second consecutive playoffs and will get a first round bye. LAFC are in first place of the Western Conference which means its playoff appearance begins in the conference semifinals.

LAFC on Wednesday, Sept. 25 host Houston Dynamo at 7:30 p.m.; four days later on Sunday, the black and gold will travel to Saint Paul, Minnesota to face off with Minnesota United FC at 4:30 p.m.

On October 6, LAFC play at Banc of California Stadium against Colorado Rapids at 1 p.m. After the game, LAFC will be awarded the Supporters’ Shield trophy.

LAFC accomplished the most regular season points and will win the Supporters’ Shield trophy; which is awarded to the team that has the most points after 34 regular season games.

LA Galaxy are in need of at least two wins to officially qualify to the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2016.

LAFC, on the other hand will not play the Knockout Round [like last season], since the MLS changed its playoff format. Both winners of Eastern and Western Conferences do not play the knockout round. LAFC’s inagural season ended in a defeat at home against Real Salt Lake 3-2 in the 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs.

LAFC is ready for its second playoff appearance, now it’s LA Galaxy who needs to be a playoffs team. LAFC are favorites to win the MLS Cup final which will be on Sunday, Nov. 10.

LAFC has Carlos Vela the top goalscorer of the league with 28 goals, while Zlatan Ibrahimović has 26 goals, the most ever recorded of any LA Galaxy player in a regular season.

Games will be broadcasted on YouTube TV [LAFC] and Spectrum SportsNet [LA Galaxy].

According to many sources, the LA Galaxy vs LAFC rivalry known as “El Trafico” [“The Traffic” in Spanish] is the best rivalry in MLS history. LAFC have yet to beat the LA Galaxy in five matches, however Zlatan Ibrahimović [LA Galaxy] and Carlos Vela [LAFC] have been its key players since the rivalry began last year.

In the 2019 season, LAFC dominated the competition by obtaining 64 points in 30 games. On the other hand LA Galaxy have 45 points in 30 games.

LAFC unfortunately have not been able to beat its crosstown rival. This season in Carson on July 19, LA Galaxy with a Zlatan Ibrahimović hat-trick beat LAFC 3-2 Carlos Vela scored twice for the away team. On August 25, LAFC and Galaxy tied 3-3 during the MLS Rivalry Week at Banc of California Stadium.

LAFC have not been winning lately either, despite being Western Conference leaders; its last win was against San Jose Earthquakes 4-0 at home on MLS Rivalry Week on Aug. 21, 2019.

LA Galaxy are coming off a 7-2 win over Sporting Kansas City on Sept. 15 at home; a game where LA Galaxy needed a win to stay alive for an MLS Cup playoff berth.

If LA Galaxy finishes below seventh place, the team will be eliminated from the MLS Cup Playoffs for the third consecutive season.

LAFC needs to improve from their latest games or its hopes of an MLS Cup title will go down.