The third installment of El Trafico kicks off Friday night (7 pm, ESPN) at the StubHub Center. The match is a role reversal for Sigi Schmid’s side - LA were healthy and riding an unbeaten streak the last time they faced their crosstown rivals at Banc of California Stadium, whereas the Galaxy are back at home but winless in four and missing multiple attacking weapons.
Of course, injuries didn’t stop the LA Galaxy from pulling off a sensational comeback vs. the expansion club back in March.
What to watch
Once again, the injury bug strikes again. Adam Serrano spilled the beans yesterday afternoon, confirming Giovani dos Santos, Romain Alessandrini and Michael Ciani will miss Friday’s pivotal match.
It’s no secret Gio has been prone to knocks over the years, but is it time to re-examine the Galaxy’s fitness regimen?
Anyone notice how LAFC, with a considerably smaller squad for most of the campaign, was able to avoid injuries this season to almost everyone except Kaye, but nearly all of the top players on the Galaxy are constantly inj— never mind, probably reading too far into this one... https://t.co/3snblbs38o— Zack Goldman (@ThatDamnYank) August 22, 2018
Do not give up the early goal. Five minutes into the first El Trafico, Carlos Vela launched a picture-perfect curler around Ashley Cole. It took all of seven minutes at the Banc for Vela to beat a flat-footed Ciani and smash a point-blank header past David Bingham.
LA have no business giving up the early goal this go around. None.
Of course, this means the back line must successfully fend off LAFC’s dynamic attack, which means paying extra-close attention to new signing Christian Ramirez. The ex-Minnesota United center forward has difficulty creating his own shot but leave him alone anywhere around the 18-yard box and you’re cooked.
Predicted starting 11
How to Watch
Date/Time Aug 24th, 7:00 p.m.
Venue Stubhub Center
Referee Jair Marrufo ARs Ian Anderson, Jeffrey Greeson and 4th official Joseph Dickerson VAR Allen Chapman