Call it classic MLS apathy, ignorance, what have you. We’ve seen it on social media threads and comment sections around the Soccer Twitterverse.
El Trafico is a manufactured rivalry.
Hogwash. Pure poppycock. This is something we really don’t understand.
Tell that to the Galaxy fans who’ve been feeling miserable all week in anticipation of Friday’s matchup after their team laid an egg vs. the San Jose Earthquakes.
Better yet, tell that to LAFC fans who waited years and years for a club to call their own, packed the northwest corner of the StubHub Center for the original El Trafico thanks to a security oversight, witnessed their team put on a clinic and post a three goal lead...only to have it all taken away from them on Zlatan’s debut in the most dramatic matter possible. Bye-bye ecstasy, hello Black and Gold Hell. Speaking of hell, those first 70 minutes or so felt like three hours for the Galaxy faithful.
Tell that to Bob, who overachieved with his Chivas USA side and after years and years of proving the doubters wrong, had his side up two goals with an electric crowd grunting HORTA HORTA HORTA, only for the soccer gods to say “Not this time my friend”. Oh, and your star midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye is out for the year. We’d be cursing up a storm in the hallways too. As my colleague Larry Morgan pointed out that night, the only atmosphere comparable to what he saw at the Banc was Lakers/Celtics.
Tell that to the LAFC players who have fled to social media after matches, some to defend their fans and others to bemoan referee decisions. Benny Feilhaber basically did the equivalent of mooning the neighbors on his way out of town.
Tell that to the dude at LA Fitness three weeks ago who yelled “You know you’d look better in Black and Gold” at me before scurrying out the door.
Even the name El Trafico was side-eyed by many prominent soccer journos, though good ol’ fashioned fan popularity won out.
Sure, maybe the outdated LA Galaxy Chivas USA SuperClasico could be considered a bit plastic, but that original rivalry is what set the foundation for El Trafico down the road.
(Fun fact: Back in the day, Galaxy and Chivas USA supporter’s groups battled in a contest dubbed La Barra Clasico, and those games were a little chippy. Chelis himself showed up at the last one in a cowboy getup and threw a few expletive-laced words in my direction)
Managers sure like to curse.
Don’t let the occasional jaded MLS fan and or pro/rel advocate fool you. El Trafico is very real.