We’re not in Orlando anymore. The 6-2 trounce of LA Galaxy by LAFC in their meeting at the MLS is Back Tournament seemed a distant memory, as LA Galaxy finally got their El Trafico wish, a 2-0 win on LAFC’s home turf. It was a dream for the Galaxy with Ethan Zubak and Sebastian Lletget scoring a goal in each half. An unmarked Zubak, starting as Chicharito’s replacement in just his second match of the year, notched his first goal for LA Galaxy, heading in a cross from Julian Araujo in the 26th minute. And, then, Sebastian Lletget put the nail in the coffin with a second goal for the visitors in the 54th minute. Both Galaxy goals were assisted by Julian Araujo and Cristian Pavón.
While, this was a dream season restart for LA Galaxy, it was a nightmare for the home side. LAFC not only limped their way through the match, their captain, Carlos Vela, in his first match since the pandemic began, left the game in the 58th minute with a knee injury. There simply would be no late match salvation for LAFC this time around. As Lletget had hinted in a pre-game press conference, LA Galaxy had worked on their game fitness. [We need] to “keep trusting that we’re doing the right things and know we have to make adjustments as a team… We just have to take it one step at a time.” His team did the work. They reaped the benefits. As Zubak put it, “What this team needed was a little fire under their butt.”
From the amount of time LAFC’s Head Coach Bob Bradley spent in post-game talking about changing the game time due to the difficulties playing in the sweltering after Los Angeles sun, perhaps this shut-out at Banc of California by their arch-nemesis is the kick in the butt LAFC needs to start putting in more work rather than relying upon the luck of their aggressive style of play to pierce through their opponents defenses. It’s just one game, but LA Galaxy have silenced a lot of doubters and their crosstown rivals “hopefully we shut them up a little bit,” Lletget mused.
featured image: LA Galaxy/Robert Mora