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MLS Heineken Rivalry Week highlights fierce foes, biggest stars - This Week in MLS

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20 Aug 2019, 20:41 IST

Credits: Variety.com
Credits: Variety.com

MLS Heineken Rivalry Week highlights fierce foes, biggest stars

Ten of the most intense rivalries in MLS will be on display during Heineken Rivalry Week in what will showcase heated matchups between the most bitter of foes. With the league’s biggest stars chasing down records, this year’s field of Heineken Rivalry Week matches is the most robust and consequential ever with each team looking to improve its positioning for the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.

 

The Los Angeles Football Club has already clinched a spot in the postseason but teams across the league are battling for a playoff berth and the all-important home-field advantage. A crucial victory over a league rival could be the exact momentum building moment a club can use to catapult its place atop the standings and enter the final stretch of the season in dangerous form.

Heineken Rivalry Week.
Heineken Rivalry Week.

Heineken Rivalry Week Storylines: August 21-25

  • Wayne Rooney plays in New York for the final time in the regular season in this MLS original rivalry.
  • Can Sporting Kansas City spoil Minnesota’s first postseason bid?
  • Josef Martinez looks to continue his record goalscoring streak after trolling rival Orlando in the U.S. Open Cup.
  • Brian Fernandez is eager to continue his hot start and show Portland is atop Cascadia.
  • Bradley Wright-Phillips and the Red Bulls look to continue ownership of New York Derby and paint New York red.
  • Canadian foes Toronto and Montreal battle to stay above the playoff line and damage opponents’ chances.
  • Real Salt Lake look to continue their hot streak under interim coach Freddy Juarez against spoilers Colorado.
  • FC Cincinnati are expecting a raucous crowd for the first MLS home match in the #HellisReal Derby.
  • FC Dallas academy products look to capture El Capitan over young Houston Hondurans.
  • Will Carlos Vela and Zlatan Ibrahimović continue trading blows in the heated El Trafico matchup?

LAFC clinches early, but home-field advantage for postseason a high priority

Second-year side Los Angeles Football Club set an MLS record for the quickest postseason berth since the league’s 34-game regular season was established in 2011. But clinching a spot in the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs is only Step 1 for LAFC. Home-field advantage will be a premium for all MLS clubs with this year’s start of a single-elimination postseason format that awards the strongest regular season play.

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Beyond LAFC, both conferences are tightly contested across the board, and the remainder of season figures to boil down to a bevy of positions up for grabs on MLS Decision Day 2019 presented by AT&T on Oct. 6.

 

The Eastern Conference in particular is gearing up for a photo finish, as demonstrated by the fight from defending MLS Cup winners Atlanta United, who now lead the conference for the first time this season following Week 24. Only 12 points separate first place and 10th place in the East as teams vie for one of the conference’s seven postseason berths and a top-four finish that would guarantee hosting one postseason match. 


Inaugural Leagues Cup final four kicks off with semifinals tonightThe field for the championship of the inaugural Leagues Cup will be decided when the semifinals kick off tonight. The LA Galaxy will be carrying the flag for MLS in the final four as they take on Cruz Azul of Liga MX at Dignity Health Sports Park (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2 / TUDN / TSN). The other semifinal is an all-Mexican affair at BBVA Stadium in Houston (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2 / TUDN / TSN), as Club América – fresh off a 3-2 loss to Atlanta United in the Campeones Cup final last week – meet Tigres UANL, led by André-Pierre Gignac, whose four goals lead the 2019 Apertura. América are still undefeated in Liga MX through five matches this season. The first Leagues Cup final is set for Sept. 18 at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas.

 

Vela, LAFC look for first victory over Galaxy, explosive Ibrahimović in El TráficoDespite holding the best record in MLS and maintaining a historic record-setting pace this season, the Los Angeles Football Club have been unable to defeat the LA Galaxy in a rivalry the fans have dubbed El Tráfico.


While Carlos Vela has broken the MLS record for combined goals and assists in a season with 39 (24 goals, 15 assists) in 2019, the Mexican has been outshined in this rivalry by the equally dynamic Zlatan Ibrahimović.

 

Vela has scored six goals in six contests against the Galaxy including a brace in July during the first matchup of the season between the two clubs.

Ibrahimović bested Vela with a hat trick to lead the Galaxy to a 3-2 win that had many debating which player was the league’s best. With Vela leading the Golden Boot standings with 24 goals, Ibrahimović (20 goals) will hope another scoring outburst can tighten the race and once again claim Los Angeles as the Galaxy’s.

 

Both clubs signed young South Americans since the last matchup, with the Galaxy signing 23-year-old Argentine National Team forward Cristian Pavón and LAFC bringing in 19-year-old Uruguay National Team winger Brian Rodríguez. The two electric playmakers could add another piece to what has already been a sensational start to the rivalry in the battle for Los Angeles supremacy.

 


Hell is Real Derby returns to origin as Cincinnati hosts Columbus on FS1

The birthplace of the Hell is Real Derby took place two years ago in Cincinnati, where the host USL side ousted Columbus Crew SC from the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Now they will square off for a second time in two weeks in MLS action from Nippert Stadium this Sunday (6 p.m. ET, FS1 / FOX Deportes).

 

The rivalry, coined after a sign located halfway between Cincinnati and Columbus on I-71, featured Crew SC rallying for a 2-2 draw against Cincinnati on Aug. 10 at MAPFRE Stadium, in an environment Columbus head coach Caleb Porter called “the loudest game” he has been a part of since taking over the organization’s coaching reigns.

 

Sunday’s sequel figures to go up another decibel level at Nippert as both clubs look to claw their way up the Eastern Conference standings.

 


Commissioner Garber, St. Louis leadership to hold special announcement today

MLS Commissioner Don Garber and St. Louis leadership are on site today from Missouri for a special announcement taking place at 12:30 p.m. ET, live on MLSsoccer.com. St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, #MLS4TheLou leaders and other special guests will be on hand at Palladium Saint Louis (satellite feed and coordinates available here).

MLS Regular Season: Week 25 Notes


Wednesday, Aug. 21

New York City FC vs. Columbus Crew SC, 7 p.m. ET (TSN)

  • NYCFC recorded a fourth win in their past six outings, defeating FC Cincinnati 4-1 at Nippert Stadium on Saturday evening. Héber and Valentin Castellanos each scored a pair of goals for NYCFC; Héber now has 12 goals for the season, with three in the last two games, while Castellanos has four goals and two assists in his last two games.
  • Crew SC extended their undefeated streak to six matches with a third consecutive draw, playing to a 2-2 result with Toronto FC at Mapfre Stadium on Saturday evening. Pedro Santos scored his ninth goal of the season, his fourth goal in the last four games.
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Gyasi Zardes and Santos gave Crew SC a pair of leads, but goals from Héber and Castellanos pegged them back each time for NYCFC, leaving the teams in a 2-2 draw June 1 at Mapfre Stadium.
  • The teams evenly split their league series over the first four seasons NYCFC was in the league, each winning three times, with three draws. NYCFC have won three of the four league meetings all-time at Yankee Stadium; they also met in 2017 at Citi Field in Queens in NYCFC’s home fixture, reaching a 2-2 draw. The lone road win in the series came at Mapfre Stadium, a 3-2 NYCFC victory there in 2016.
  • The teams also met in the Eastern Conference Semifinals in 2017, with Crew SC taking the series 4-3 on aggregate, winning the first leg at home 4-1, before NYCFC took the return match 2-0 in the Bronx.

 

D.C. United vs. New York Red Bulls, 8 p.m. ET (UniMás, Twitter, TVA Sports)

  • D.C. United weren’t able to make it back-to-back wins from a quick cross-country trip, falling 1-0 to Vancouver Whitecaps FC at BC Place on Saturday evening.
  • The Red Bulls again rebounded swiftly from a defeat with a result, gaining a 1-1 draw with the New England Revolution at Red Bull Arena on Saturday evening. Marc Rzatkowski scored his second goal of the season.
  • The Red Bulls have an eight-game undefeated streak alive in the series, with United’s last win overall coming on May 13, 2016, at RFK Stadium.
  • The teams met twice a year ago at Audi Field, and the Red Bulls came away with points from both.Bradley Wright-Phillips scored the game’s lone goal July 25. Then they reached a 3-3 draw on Sept. 16.
  • The Red Bulls have a nine-game undefeated streak going in regular season matches at Red Bull Arena, having won five of the past seven meetings in Harrison, N.J., including a 1-0 win last year on Aug. 26 in the lone meeting there. United’s last win at the Red Bulls came in 2011.
  • The teams have met 93 times in all competitions over the years – the most of any two clubs in MLS history. New York has won 34 and United have won 43, including a 7-4-2 record in the postseason. They play for the Atlantic Cup, awarded to the winner of the season series by supporters’ groups from both clubs.

 

Los Angeles Football Club vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 10:30 p.m. ET (UniMás, Twitter)

  • LAFC became the first team to clinch a berth in the 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs, following their 2-0 win against Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday evening.
  • Carlos Vela scored his 24th goal of the season, tied for seventh-most in a single season in MLS history. With his 15 assists on the year, his 39 combined goals and assists is now the single-most in a season in MLS history.
  • The Quakes fell to a second loss in a row following a five-game undefeated run, dropping a 2-1 decision to Sporting Kansas City at Children’s Mercy Park on Saturday evening.
  • Chris Wondolowski scored his 10th goal of the season. It’s the 10th season in his MLS career – all over the last 10 years consecutively – where Wondolowski has scored in double-digits in goals, both all-time MLS records.
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Carlos Vela scored a hat trick and set up a fourth goal as LAFC cruised to a 5-0 win on March 30 at Avaya Stadium.
  • LAFC have won all three meetings between the clubs, winning both meetings between the teams in their expansion campaign last year, taking a 4-3 win on June 9 at Avaya Stadium, then a 3-0 victory on Sept. 22 at Banc of California Stadium.

 

Thursday, Aug. 22

Sporting Kansas City vs. Minnesota United FC, 9:30 p.m. ET (ESPN, ESPN Deportes)

  • Sporting put an end to a swift two-game losing run, defeating the San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 at Children’s Mercy Park on Saturday evening. Graham Smith scored the match-winner in the 76th minute, his first goal in his two MLS seasons.
  • Minnesota United FC extended their undefeated streak at Allianz Field to seven matches, reaching a 1-1 result with Orlando City SC on Saturday evening. Abu Danladi scored the equalizer in second-half stoppage time, his second goal of the season.
  • The teams have met six times in league play in MNUFC’s two seasons in MLS, and Sporting have won three – all coming at Children’s Mercy Park. SKC took two wins there a year ago, a 4-1 win on June 3 and a 2-0 win on Aug. 25.
  • The teams have played to draws in the last two matchups in Minnesota, including a 1-1 deadlock last May 20 at TCF Bank Stadium in the only encounter there a year ago. MNUFC won the first matchup between the clubs, a 2-0 win on May 7, 2017, in Minneapolis.
  • The teams have also met twice in three years in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, Minnesota United this year taking a 4-1 win on June 12 at Allianz Field. Sporting won by a 4-0 decision in a fourth-round match in 2017.

 

Friday, Aug. 23

Orlando City SC vs. Atlanta United, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN, ESPN Deportes, TVA Sports)

  • Orlando City SC extended their undefeated run to four games, playing to a 1-1 draw with Minnesota United FC at Allianz Field on Saturday evening. Nani scored his ninth goal of the season for the OCSC tally.
  • Atlanta United won their third game on the trot, defeating the Portland Timbers 2-0 at Providence Park on Sunday evening. Josef Martínez scored for an MLS-record 11th consecutive game, his 21st goal of the season. He is second in the MLS Golden Boot standings.
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season in league play. Pity Martínez scored the game’s only goal in the 14th minute to give Atlanta United the win May 12 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
  • Two of the newest clubs in the league have already set the South on fire with their rivalry – and it's been one completely owned by Atlanta United. In seven league meetings all-time, Atlanta has not lost to its neighbor to the south – including wins in each of the last four meetings in league play.
  • The teams also met in a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinal this year – and again ATLUTD took the victory, a 2-0 triumph behind goals from Eric Remedi and Emerson Hyndman on Aug. 6 at Exploria Stadium.

 

Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 10 p.m. ET (ESPN, ESPN Deportes, TVA Sports)

  • The Timbers saw their two-game winning streak put to an end in a 2-0 loss to Atlanta United on Sunday evening, their first loss at Providence Park following a seven-game home undefeated run.
  • Sounders FC saw their winless run reach four matches, coming back for a late 2-2 draw with the LA Galaxy at Dignity Health Sports Park on Saturday evening. Raúl Ruidíaz scored his ninth goal of the season.
  • The teams are meeting for the second time in league play this season. Brian Fernandez scored goals on either side of halftime, leading the Timbers to a dramatic 2-1 win on July 21 at CenturyLink Field.
  • The last three league meetings in the series have been won by the away team. Sounders FC won the last regular-season matchup at Providence Park, last Aug. 26, their first win in Portland since 2014. When the Timbers took a 4-1 win on June 28, 2015, the three-goal victory equaled Portland’s largest margin of victory against the Sounders since 1977.
  • The Timbers have won the last two meetings at CenturyLink Field – their only wins ever in Seattle in MLS regular season games (Sounders FC were 7-0-3 leading up to that match), though the Timbers won at home in the MLS Cup Playoffs meeting between the clubs.
  • The Timbers also won a fourth-round U.S. Open Cup match between the clubs this season, a 2-1 win on June 12 at CenturyLink Field, as Fernandez netted both Portland goals.
  • The teams also met last year in the MLS Cup Playoffs, the Timbers winning in a dramatic penalty shootout in the Western Conference Quarterfinals after ending 4-4 on aggregate. The Timbers won the first leg 2-1 at Providence Park, then Sounders FC won 3-2 in extra time, sending the tie to the decider. It was a second win in a playoff series for the Timbers, also winning the 2013 Western Conference Semifinals.
  • The Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers have met 106 times in all competitions, the most between two U.S.-based clubs, the second-most in U.S./Canadian soccer history. Since their first meeting in 1975 in the old North American Soccer League, Seattle has won 52 times and Portland has won 40, with 14 draws. In MLS league play, Sounders FC have won 10 matches, the Timbers have won eight, and six have been draws.

 

Saturday, Aug. 24

New York City FC vs. New York Red Bulls, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN2, ESPN Deportes)

  • Maximiliano Moralez recorded a pair of assists in NYCFC’s 4-1 win against FC Cincinnati on Saturday evening, now with 16 assists for the season, leading MLS (one ahead of both Carlos Vela and Diego Valeri). Moralez has three assists in his last two games; the 16 assists match his MLS single-season career-high set last year.
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Daniel Royer scored goals on either side of halftime as the Red Bulls took a 2-1 win on July 14 at Red Bull Arena.
  • The Red Bulls have won seven of the 13 meetings all-time in league play, with a 28-14 goal differential. Included in that was a 7-0 Red Bulls win on May 21, 2016, at Yankee Stadium, the victory matching the largest margin of victory in MLS history (and the seven goals by the Red Bulls their club record). In all competitions, the Red Bulls have won nine of 15 matches, with two draws, with a 32-14 goal differential.
  • Two of NYCFC’s four wins vs. the Red Bulls came in 2017, a 2-0 victory on June 24 in the club’s first win ever at Red Bull Arena, and a 3-2 victory at Yankee Stadium on Aug. 6. NYCFC have won three of the last seven league meetings, with one draw, over the last three years.

 

New England Revolution vs. Chicago Fire, 7:30 p.m. ET

  • The Revolution reached a second consecutive draw, playing to a 1-1 result with the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena on Saturday evening. Carles Gilcollected his 11th assist of the season, tied for fifth place in the MLS assist standings; Gil has five goals and seven assists over the last eight games.
  • The Fire won for a third time in the last four games, defeating the Philadelphia Union 2-0 at SeatGeek Stadium on Saturday evening. Nemanja Nikolic scored a pair of goals, now with 11 goals this season, a fourth consecutive game with a goal, with five goals in the span.
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Nikolic scored two goals before halftime and Nicolás Gaitán scored a goal and added two assists, as the Fire rolled to a 5-0 win on May 8 at SeatGeek Stadium.
  • The Fire now have a seven-game undefeated streak alive in the series, with five wins and two draws over that time. The Revolution’s last win vs. the Fire came on July 23, 2016, a 1-0 win in Foxborough.
  • The Fire have come away with points on their last two trips to Foxborough, Mass., following a four-game Revolution winning streak in league play between the teams at Gillette Stadium. The Fire now have a nine-game undefeated streak alive in the series in Bridgeview, Ill., winning five of the past six meetings there.

 

Philadelphia Union vs. D.C. United, 7:30 p.m. ET

  • The Union saw their two-game winning streak come to an end, falling 2-0 to the Chicago Fire at SeatGeek Stadium on Saturday evening.
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Marco Fabian netted a pair of goals and added an assist, as the Union cruised to a 5-1 win on Aug. 4 at Audi Field.
  • The Union have won the last five league meetings between the teams, over the past three seasons, winning both meetings all-time at Audi Field.
  • The Union have won the past five meetings in Chester, Pa., over the last four seasons. United’s goal in the first meeting last year, a 3-2 Union win on April 28, was their first at Talen Energy Stadium since 2014, ending a 451-minute scoreless drought.
  • The teams also met this season in the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, with D.C. United winning 2-1 in dramatic fashion. Down a goal late, United leveled terms in the 118th minute, then Wayne Rooney converted a penalty kick two minutes later to give the D.C. the victory.

 

Toronto FC vs. Montreal Impact, 7:30 p.m. ET (TSN, TVA Sports)

  • Toronto FC reached a draw for a second consecutive game, playing to a 2-2 result with Columbus Crew SC at Mapfre Stadium on Saturday evening. Jozy Altidore scored his 10th goal of the season, his fourth goal over the last six games, reaching double figures in goals for the fourth time in the last five seasons.
  • The Impact were pulled back into a 3-3 draw with FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium on Saturday evening, ending a two-game losing run. Lassi Lappalainenscored a pair of goals, his second two-goal game in four MLS appearances, also adding his first assist in MLS.
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Alejandro Pozuelo and Altidore netted second-half goals as TFC took a 2-0 win on July 13 at Stade Saputo.
  • The Impact have won just once in Montréal since 2015 vs. TFC in all competitions. TFC have won three of four league meetings, with one draw; there were also two draws in the Canadian Championship.
  • The Impact had won two league games in a row at BMO Field before TFC won the past two, last a 3-1 win last Aug. 25. They were the first two wins ever for the Impact in Toronto, going 0-6-4 in the first 10 meetings in all competitions at BMO Field.
  • Before the 2018 season, the teams had met in every season they have been together in MLS in the Canadian Championship, with each team defeating the other once for the title – TFC winning the second of their three titles in a row in 2017, while the Impact won the title in 2014. They will meet again in this year’s final, with the home-and-home series set for Sept. 18 (in Montréal) and Sept. 25 (in Toronto).

 

Real Salt Lake vs. Colorado Rapids, 10 p.m. ET

  • Real Salt Lake saw their three-game winning run come to a halt, falling 2-0 to the Los Angeles Football Club at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday evening.
  • The Rapids gained a 2-2 draw with the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Stadium on Saturday evening, their third result in the last four games. Diego Rubioscored both Colorado goals, now with nine on the season, his third goal in the last three games.
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Sam Johnson broke a 2-2 tie just before the hour mark, giving Real the 3-2 victory May 11 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. It was RSL’s second consecutive win in Commerce City, Colo.; they have come away with points on seven of their past 10 trips there (five wins, two draws, dating back to 2013).
  • Real have a 16-game home undefeated streak alive vs. Colorado, last a 3-0 victory last April 21 at Rio Tinto Stadium. Since the Rapids’ last win in Utah, a 2-0 victory on April 30, 2007, at Rice-Eccles Stadium, Real have won 12 games with four draws. Colorado has never won at Rio Tinto Stadium (0-10-4 all-time in league play).
  • The rivals play for the Rocky Mountain Cup, a trophy awarded by the supporters’ groups of both teams.

 

San Jose Earthquakes vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 10 p.m. ET (TSN)

  • Cristian Espinoza recorded his 10th assist of the season in the Quakes’ 2-1 loss to Sporting Kansas City on Saturday evening. He’s the first San Jose player to reach double digits in assists since Marvín Chávez in 2012.
  • Whitecaps FC won for a second time in three games, defeating D.C. United by the game’s only goal at BC Place on Saturday evening. Yordy Reyna netted his fifth goal of the season.
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Chris Wondolowski scored a goal and added an assist, leading the Quakes to a 3-1 win on July 20 at BC Place.
  • The Quakes win ended a five-game Whitecaps FC undefeated streak in the series in league and MLS Cup play, their first win vs. Vancouver since March 11, 2017.
  • The Quakes have come away with points on four of their last five trips to Vancouver in league play; their win on Aug. 12, 2016 to start the streak was the first ever for the away team in the all-time series. The Quakes had lost on each of their six previous visits to Vancouver.
  • Whitecaps FC won the last meeting at Avaya Stadium, a 3-2 win last Aug. 25, the first Whitecaps FC win at San Jose, in 11 meetings there all-time.

 

Sunday, Aug. 25

FC Cincinnati vs. Columbus Crew SC, 6 p.m. (FS1, FOX Deportes)

  • FC Cincinnati fell to a 4-1 loss to New York City FC at Nippert Stadium on Saturday evening, now six games without a triumph. Allan Cruz scored his fifth goal of the season, his second goal in the last three games.
  • David Accam scored his sixth goal of the season, his second since coming to Crew SC from Philadelphia via trade, in the club’s 2-2 draw with Toronto FC on Saturday evening. Wil Trapp collected his fourth assist, his second in as many games.
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season and in their MLS histories, the back end of a home-and-home set over two weeks. FC Cincinnati was two goals up after 23 minutes through goals from Darren Mattocks and Emmanuel Ledesma, butGyasi Zardes and Pedro Santos scored on either side of halftime to pull Crew SC back for a 2-2 draw on Aug. 10 at Mapfre Stadium.

 

FC Dallas vs. Houston Dynamo, 8 p.m. ET (FS1, FOX Deportes, TSN)

  • FC Dallas became the 15th team in MLS history to overturn a three-goal deficit to gain a result, coming back from 0-3 down for a 3-3 draw with the Montréal Impact at Toyota Stadium. Ryan Hollingsheadscored the equalizer in the 90th minute, capping three goals in a 31-minute span.
  • The Dynamo snapped a four-game losing slide in Davy Arnaud’s coaching debut, coming back from two goals down for a 2-2 draw with the Colorado Rapids at BBVA Stadium on Saturday evening. Mauro Manotas scored both Dynamo goals, now with 11 for the season, tied for sixth in the MLS Golden Boot standings.
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Manotas netted both Dynamo goals, on either side of halftime, as they took a 2-1 win on May 4 at BBVA Stadium.
  • The win was just the second for the Dynamo in the series over the last seven seasons. Since the start of 2013, FC Dallas are 7-2-6 in league play against Houston, and have won the three meetings between the teams in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
  • The Dynamo haven’t won in Frisco since 2011, but the FCD win in the final meeting last year (a 4-2 victory on Sept. 1) was their first at home in the series since 2015. Dallas has won five of the 11 matches (with three draws) between the teams over all competitions at BBVA Stadium.
  • The clubs play for “El Capitán,” the 19th-century Mountain Howitzer cannon to be awarded to the winner of the season series by supporters’ groups for both clubs.

 

Los Angeles Football Club vs. LA Galaxy, 10:30 p.m. ET (FS1, FOX Deportes, TSN)

  • The Galaxy gained a third consecutive home result, reaching a 2-2 draw with Seattle Sounders FC at Dignity Health Sports Park on Saturday evening. Zlatan Ibrahimović scored a pair of goals for a second consecutive game, now with 20 for the season, becoming the third player in MLS history to reach the 20-goal plateau in back-to-back seasons.
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Ibrahimović did it again, scoring a hat trick to cancel out a brace from Carlos Vela, as the Galaxy took a 3-2 win on July 19 at Dignity Health Sports Park.
  • The teams met three times in LAFC’s inaugural campaign. The Galaxy took a dramatic 4-3 victory in the first ever LA derby, coming back from a three-goal deficit behind a pair of goals from Ibrahimović, playing in his first MLS game, on March 31 at Banc of California Stadium.
  • The teams played to draws in their final two meetings, a 2-2 result on July 26 at Banc of California Stadium, and a 1-1 match Aug. 24 in Carson, Calif.
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