Earlier tonight on Feuerstein Fire’s live soccer pod we briefly spoke about the upcoming Western Conference semis aka El Trafico VI. When pressed to make the case for the LA Galaxy, I mentioned a few advantages that may work out in favor of the blue white and gold this Thursday.
The Galaxy are fresher.
After a two week break waiting for the FIFA international window to clear up, LA managed to top the Loons at Allianz Field under ideal circumstances. Perry Kitchen and Romain Alessandrini returned to the lineup and the Galaxy were able to get the job done in regulation time with everyone unscathed. Now Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s squad essentially travel home with confidence and momentum in tow. In contrast, the Black and Gold will have gone 19 days without a game before Thursday’s kickoff.
Only Zlatan looked a bit off, and speaking of which...
Zlatan had an off-night.
And understandably so. Defender of the Year Ike Opara and an Opta Best XI center back Michael Boxall were well-suited to contain Ibrahimovic, and confounding variables compounded Zlatan’s struggles. Ibra doesn’t perform particularly well when traveling long distances and the pitch was abysmal.
The good news is, Zlatan rarely has two bad games in a row and Thursday’s match is as big as it gets. Expect Ibrahimovic to show up.
Mental edge, Galaxy
As if any more juice was needed for Thursday night #MLSCupPlayoffs— Glenn Crooks (@GlennCrooks) October 21, 2019
"I'm pretty sure they are afraid of us. I think so because they never beat us. And it's a good opportunity for us to show who owns L.A." - Galaxy's Romain Allesandrini.#LAFC winless in 5 against #LAGalaxy
With the usually reserved Sebastian Lletget and Jona dos Santos joining in, the Galaxy players are sharpening their swords more so than usual. On the flip side, the team with a reputation for falling short in big matches didn’t exactly receive a vote of confidence from one of their former leaders...
I was pretty sure @LAFC would want @Ibra_official and @LAGalaxy in the #MLSCupPlayoffs. Get the monkey off their back while making history etc...@b_feilhaber22 knows that team better than just about anyone, and he wasn't so sure on @Extratime.— Andrew Wiebe (@andrew_wiebe) October 18, 2019
LISTEN: https://t.co/K7FZMdQ7K8 pic.twitter.com/epDiGbSQwC
The Galaxy cannot afford to walk into Banc of California Stadium with even a hint of overconfidence: GBS has conceded the squad have been guilty of relaxing at the wrong times.
That being said if LA bring their A game on Thursday, watch out.