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El Trafico ‘absolutely the best rivalry in MLS’ says LAFC GM John Thorrington

It’s a fixture that has captured the imagination like no other in recent years, so it’s little surprise to hear LAFC general manager John Thorrington declare El Trafico the best rivalry in MLS.

Since LAFC entered Major League Soccer in 2018, they’ve met city rivals LA Galaxy on 16 occasions across all competitions. The Black and Gold have won four times to the Galaxy’s seven, with the two sharing five draws and a massive 70 goals – at a rate of 4.38 goals per game.

The two sides come together for arguably their biggest-ever meeting on Thursday, with Supporters’ Shield winners LAFC hosting the Galaxy at Banc of California Stadium in the Western Conference Semi-Finals.

From Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Carlos Vela, this game has seen big players come up with huge moments and it can only get better from here.

“I do my best to put my shoe on the other foot – I’ve only lived this rivalry, though I played in MLS and we had versions of rivalries,” said Thorrington. “But I can tell you from experience those felt nothing like this.

“I think in terms of games of consequence in a city, two very different clubs, same city, and the storylines that have been created – I think we have one club that’s been around from the beginning, you have us as a start-up a few years ago. We came in, very different values, different model in how we go about it. And the storylines have just sort of – you couldn’t write them. I think all of that leads me to believe, and this is an opinion, not an answer, to believe that this is absolutely the best rivalry in MLS.”

Galaxy right-back Julian Araujo echoed Thorrington’s assessment, adding that these match-ups are about more than just points and progression, but also bragging rights in the iconic city of Los Angeles.

“It’s the best rivalry in MLS because we bring everything,” said Araujo. “It’s a game where you’re going to see passion, where you’re going to see fight. It’s not just a game of soccer. It’s a little bit more than just to play. We’re fighting for this amazing city here, bragging rights.

“It’s an amazing game to be a part of and it’s everything growing up I wanted to be a part of. It brings out the best in everyone and Thursday is going to be a hell of a game. You’ll see two very good teams going at it and trying to fight to stay alive.”

With LAFC winning another Supporters’ Shield and now going in search of their first MLS Cup, and the Galaxy returning to the Playoffs after a two-year absence, this might just be the biggest Trafico of them all.

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