The annual Fourth of July celebration is the epitome of all things American and this year another tradition was added to our cultural festivities: El Trafico. Why would a cross-town soccer rivalry in Los Angeles help add new traditions to our Independence Day? In reality, the LA Galaxy helped make memories at the Rose Bowl.
Is El Trafio a new Fourth of July tradition for the future?
Why not is my answer to the above question? With an MLS league attendance record of 82,110 fans watching the southern California rivals go head-to-head in the evening on July 4, this match transcended much more than a simple rivalry match. It harked back to when the Los Angeles Galaxy quickly became the anchor team of the new Major League Soccer and started things out back in 1996 in the very same Rose Bowl they set another attendance record on Tuesday night.
For those of you keeping score, while the LAFC seems on paper at least to be the better squad this season, that may also not matter too much to the Galaxy players because they still have the upper hand against their Angelino rivals all-time with a 9-6-5 overall record. It’s also easy for Galaxy fans to remind their neighbor LAFC supporters that the Galaxy helped start Major League Soccer nearly twenty years before LAFC even existed.
LA Galaxy helped make Memories at the Rose Bowl.
While Galaxy fans are no doubt lamenting the loss of team hero and captain Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez to a torn ACL and loss for the rest of this season and early next year, another new hero has emerged in the form of 23-year-old Spanish midfielder Riqui Puig. Puig is a Barca alumnus and this week’s El Trafico match was as much a statement on national television for him as it was a big, symbolic victory for the LA Galaxy.
With a big 2-1 win that means more than a simple victory, the Galaxy, along with Puig get to establish some bragging rights in Los Angeles which may be the only excitement that Galactico fans can muster this season. Puig is quickly establishing himself to be a top playmaker in the Galaxy lineup and his two goals and five assists attest to him becoming a key lynchpin in the Galaxy attack. Whatever happens to the Los Angeles Galaxy for the rest of the season rests in their hands at this point but a big win on the Fourth of July certainly helped this team and Riqui Puis make memories at the Rose Bowl – the “home” of the Galaxy.