Call it Derby Week. Call it the 2018 Heineken Rivalry. Call it anything you want, it's LAFC-Galaxy week. And that's all it takes to get players and fans alike fired up for this match.
There's no need for pretense in this one. And the hype is already there, so let's get right into the preview of Round 3 of LAFC and the Galaxy:
Where To Watch/Listen
LAFC at Galaxy, August 24 @ 7:30pm PT
TV: ESPN, ESPN Deportes
Radio: ESPNLA 710, KFWB 980
The Galaxy find themselves at a crossroads in the season. After losing 5-0 in Seattle, they haven't taken all three points in a match in the last four, while two of their draws came from winning positions. There in a bad way right now, but derby matches in the past have shown form is not necessarily a good indicator of results.
What The Team Is Saying
Diego Rossi on LAFC's recent wins: "It's one of the things we needed to do for our confidence. Now our mentality is every match is like a final. We have to win. There are going to be very hard games, one is the Galaxy, but we the team is in a good way. And we have confidence that we are going to do our best to win this game.
Christian Ramirez on what his teammates have told him about the rivalry: "I asked them about the environment, the atmosphere and how it is, just because it's two crosstown rivals. They say it's a little different. It's a little different than any other home game or away game because we'll have so many fans there. It's close to home. We know we're going into their home, but I think the 3252 will have a good presence in there. So it will be a nice environment."
LAFC Projected Starting XI
(4-3-3): Tyler Miller; Jordan Harvey, Laurent Ciman, Danilo Silva, Steven Beitashour; Eduard Atuesta, Benny Feilhaber, Lee Nguyen; Diego Rossi, Christian Ramirez, Carlos Vela.
What To Watch For
News Faces To The Rivalry: Since these two teams played last in July, LAFC have added two players in Christian Ramirez and Danilo Silva that have been pivotal to the Club's recent success. For Ramirez, he is a SoCal native, so this matchup will carry added significance for him. Silva has shown in his few starts this season the ability to organize LAFC's defense and forge a quick understanding with his partner at center back. The defender has played in big matches in both Europe and Brazil, so he should have no problems getting up to speed in a hostile environment.
Closing Out The Match: In both matches between these sides this season, there's been a bit of a theme. An unfortunate theme for LAFC, but a theme nonetheless. LAFC dominate play, get a multiple-goal lead, and then the Galaxy come charging back. In the first matchup of this rivalry, LAFC couldn't hold off the Galaxy's advances. The second time around, they managed to keep them just at bay, but only as far as a disappointing draw. In the end, it's clear a full 90 minute performance from LAFC is necessary to shrug off this narrative going forward.
The Final Rivalry Match Of 2018?: This is the third and final scheduled match between these two sides. That's not to say we won't see the rivalry renewed in the MLS playoffs. However, with the recent form of the two sides, if LAFC can earn all three points, it could multiple implications in the near future. Three points means more than bragging rights, as it could propel LAFC towards one of the top two spots in the Western Conference, while also dooming the Galaxy to battle it out with entrance into the playoffs seriously in the balance.