We like Mark-Anthony Kaye. No, really. This isn’t snark. The rivalry doesn’t have to be 100% white lava hot at all times. The lanky midfielder has been molded by Bob Bradley into an elite two-way attacking presence, and him and Bob both deserve a ton of credit.
But when the LAFC midfield set off the first shot in the war of words, it felt more like a whimper. From the Times’ soccer newsletter:
“We want to beat everyone. Obviously we want to beat the Galaxy. They’re trying to hold on to the last bit of what they’ve got in L.A. So these games are a lot of them because they already feel like they’ve been kicked out of a city that they never played in. Yeah, we want to beat them. But at the end of the day if we’re holding the trophy and they’re not, we beat them”.
Look, Kaye is wrong here. And that’s ok. We wouldn’t expect a Canuck who’s been here less than 24 months to understand the city. LA’s a tricky fig.
But rather than get hung up on some transplant mumbo jumbo, let’s compare Kaye’s opinion with what some of the LA Galaxy players have been saying.
We already knew what was likely to come out of Zlatan’s mouth. But listen to the words of Favio Alvarez, as the 26-year old veteran of the Argentine Superliga (loosely paraphrasing) declares LA must do whatever is necessary to win the derby.
“Ahora toca pensar en el domingo. Un clásico, y los clásicos se ganan como sea.” - Favio Álvarez pic.twitter.com/VL9m11o0GT— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy_Es) August 22, 2019
While the two Galaxy attackers seem up for the challenge of winning the contest, Kaye seems to almost shy away from the battle. You’d think Favio and Ibra were at home and Kaye was the visitor.
It’s smart for LAFC players to downplay this match. Conversely, the Galaxy are carrying themselves like a team that knows they have the Black and Gold’s number.