If you live in Los Angeles, you don’t have to be an avid sports fan to have noticed the trend of twos. There are the Bruins and the Trojans, Lakers and Clippers, Kings and Ducks – the list goes on. So it really doesn’t come as a surprise that this concept has wrapped itself around soccer. Los Angeles currently has two major soccer teams- L.A. Galaxy and the Los Angeles Football Club. The two are the Dodgers and Angels of soccer, and have made themselves quite prominent within the sports scene of the bustling crowd of Los Angeles.
Behind the Two LA Soccer Teams
L.A. Galaxy was established in 1994, and is one of the ten founding teams of the MLS. The team won its first MLS Cup in 2002, and has won five others since, along with four Supporters’ Shields, and two Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups. This accomplished soccer team was also once home to some of the world’s most notable soccer players, including David Beckham, Ashley Cole, Jorge Campos, and many others. Players sport white primary uniforms and blue secondary uniforms, with white, navy blue, and gold as the official team colors. Currently, one of their main rivals is the Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC).
The LAFC is much newer to the soccer scene. It was founded in 2014 and essentially replaced Chivas USA within three days when they discontinued. The LAFC played their first MLS game on March 4, 2018 against the Seattle Sounders FC and faced their first loss against L.A. Galaxy on March 31. The team is identified with black, gold, red, and gray.
The Spark of the Banc of California Stadium
Where L.A. Galaxy is based in the StubHub Center, a respectable but older stadium, the LAFC is gearing up in a brand new environment. Earlier this year, the LAFC stole the spotlight when the spectacular Banc of California Stadium had its inauguration. The stadium, built solely for soccer games, is home to the LAFC and was opened and had its first game on April 18, 2018, between the LAFC and Seattle Sounders FC.
With 22,000 seats and 86,000 square feet of Bermuda grass on the field, the Banc of California is a sparkly new attraction that has brought in an impressive amount of supporters for the LAFC. In fact, the attention and support that was geared towards the LAFC was brimming over the edges even before they played at the Banc of California for the first time. This was expected when the LAFC debuted four years ago. It was made clear that they wouldn’t settle for something similar to what L.A. Galaxy ha s- they would be searching, searching, searching for the right location so that they too, can have a taste of the limelight.
Both Teams Fighting for Relevance in LA Sports
While the two teams work to one up each other, however, both are in the shadows of the sports community of Los Angeles, if not the majority of Southern California. Soccer is often drowned out in the hype that revolves around the more popular sports of Los Angeles, like baseball and basketball. Top teams that come to mind are the Lakers and the Clippers, not L.A. Galaxy and LAFC. L.A. Galaxy, which has been in the game for a much longer time, has always struggled with this, and the same problem stands for LAFC, regardless of its newer establishment. For now, the two teams are getting a stronger following. But once the next major sport’s season rolls around like football season, there’s a large chance that they will fall back into the background, and this specific pair of teams must put in everything they have to stay significant in the Los Angeles sports culture.
– By Jamie Chau