We’ve been going on and on about the race at the top of the Western Conference for a while now, and understandably so. There’s a lot of intrigue surrounding the actions and directions of LAFC and LA Galaxy, to the point where even the Los Angeles Times is reporting on the tussle for supremacy in Hollywood. It’s a big deal to see two teams from the same city thriving on this stage, and long may it continue.
However, there’s one thing that we just feel like you can’t substitute for success: and that’s the experience. LA Galaxy has a lot more of that than the majority of teams in Major League Soccer today, whereas their city rivals LAFC are only really just getting started on their road towards the top.
The perfect example of experience playing a significant factor was in LAFC’s clash with Seattle Sounders recently. Heading into the game it was clear for everyone to see that this was going to be a significant challenge for Los Angeles to overcome, against a Seattle team that are considered to be amongst the best of the best in the MLS this season.
It seemed like the stage was set for the visitors to make a real impact, and then within a minute, things started to take a pretty bad turn as they gave away a huge goal to the Sounders. A few minutes later they were able to equalise to give off the idea that they were ‘progressing’ and learning from their mistakes, but after the home side went down to 10 men, it felt like they just didn’t have any answers for the spirit that was being showcased by the 10-year MLS veterans.
LAFC quite clearly had the advantage, but it felt like their feet were stuck in the mud. They were simply unable to make the usual kind of gains and attacks that you’d see from their first team, as their free-flowing football turned into a questionable performance.
A lot of people will put this down to being a fluke, but in all honesty, we really do think a lack of perseverance and focus on their part needs to be noted. They just didn’t feel like they wanted to seize the opportunity as much as they should’ve done, and when you’re in Seattle, that kind of thing really matters.
Searching for answers
Seattle recently played Champions League football, which is an aim that LAFC themselves will hope to strive for over the course of the next few months. As we know, though, it’s much easier said than done to get to that point, and playing against teams from different regions is going to give you an edge against your opposition.
In our mind, that was clear for everyone to see this past weekend. After all, this was a team LAFC had beaten just a week prior pretty convincingly, and yet they couldn’t even get started this time around.
The hilarious thing about this is that ESPN still ranks them as their number 1 team in the MLS today, which should kind of tell you all that you need to know about where the media is leaning and what story they want to push. They’re all in on LAFC, and we’re curious to see whether or not Los Angeles is all in on the mission they’ve got ahead of them.