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Galaxy-Los Angeles FC Preview
About the only significant detail Los Angeles FC has not checked off its collective list thus far during a potentially historic season is a victory over the rival Los Angeles Galaxy.
They'll get the chance to accomplish that Sunday night, while trying to avenge one of their three losses, when the Galaxy visit for the final leg of the 2019 "El Trafico."
One of the most memorable matches of the MLS season played out on July 19, when the L.A. rivals met in Carson, Calif. LAFC star Carlos Vela (26 goals, 15 assists) scored in the fourth minute and again in the 97th, but in between it was the Zlatan Ibrahimović Show for the L.A. Galaxy (13-11-2).
The Galaxy superstar scored on eight, 56 and 70 minutes to lead his team to an impressive 3-2 victory.
"That was the one time, when watching LAFC, that (it) looked a little bit shell-shocked," Galaxy midfielder Chris Pontius told the official website of MLS. "(It was about) the pressure that we put on them, and we didn't allow them any space on the ball. We're in their face the entire game.
"You can't go in there and sit. If you go in there and sit, they've got players that can break you down. I think we'll go in there and play the same way that we played them (last month)."
And LAFC (19-3-4) will be waiting for the chance at some payback, and also to beat its local rival for the first time in five matches. And though LAFC has already clinched a playoff spot, on the verge of the Supporters' Shield and a full 20 points ahead of the Galaxy, there is plenty a stake in this contest.
"So far, with all the things we've done, we haven't beat them," LAFC coach Bob Bradley, whose team is 11-0-1 at home in 2019, told the club's official website. "Certainly, it's something we're all thinking about. We've got to be ready and have a great go of it. "Try to take our football, once again, and put it out there. It's gotta be with intensity, it's gotta be with concentration. It's gotta be with a lot of things."
Since that loss to the Galaxy, LAFC has outscored its opponents 16-5 during a five-game winning streak. Following Wednesday's 4-0 home rout of San Jose, Los Angeles FC will try to record a clean sheet in three straight games for the third time this season.
"We have to come (into) this game with a lot of confidence," LAFC defender Walker Zimmerman said. "The way that we're playing, especially at home, we have to make sure (we continue to play that way)."
The Galaxy followed a three-game losing streak with a 2-0 home win over FC Dallas on Aug. 14, and a 2-2 draw versus Seattle from last weekend. Ibrahimović scored twice against the Sounders to raise his goal total to 20 - two shy of last year's mark.
However, the Galaxy have been outscored 12-1 during a season-high four-game road losing streak.
Updated August 23, 2019