One of today's biggest rivalries will kick off MLS in 2023 when the LA Galaxy and LAFC meet on February 25 at the legendary Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
LA Galaxy will be returning to the place where it all started, as it was at the Rose Bowl that they made their debut in 1996. Since then, the Los Angeles team has become one of the most solid franchises in MLS history, with multiple championships and the signings of great legends such as David Beckham, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Robbie Keane.
Although LAFC has been active for only five seasons, the team has quickly established itself as one of the most important in the league, with Mexican Carlos Vela as its all-time top star. While the Los Angeles team has not yet been able to lift the MLS Cup, they have won other titles, such as the Supporters' Shield and the Western Conference.
The big match will also serve to inaugurate the new multi-year partnership between MLS and Apple. Fans unable to attend the stadium will be able to enjoy the match via Apple TV.
Rose Bowl = Soccer Temple
Needless to say, the Rose Bowl is the most legendary stadium in North American soccer, having hosted a World Cup final between Brazil and Italy in 1994, where 94,194 fans attended. Today, it is still an iconic venue, reaching an attendance of 93,702 in July, when Real Madrid and Juventus met in a friendly match. Last Saturday, the friendly between Mexico and Peru had an impressive attendance of 62,729.
This highly anticipated matchup may serve to break the LA Galaxy's single-game MLS home attendance mark of 69,255, reached in their first game at the Rose Bowl 26 years ago.
It's no secret that both the LA Galaxy and LAFC have one of the most renowned squads in MLS. It is always a great attraction to watch these teams thanks to the international stars they have on the field.
LAFC have Gareth Bale, one of the best players of his generation in the world, after winning four UEFA Champions League titles with Real Madrid, forming one of the most feared attacking trios in the history of soccer, along with Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo. Italy's Giorgio Chiellini also belongs to the team, being one of the best defenders of the last decade and captain of ‘La Azzurra’, recent champions of the last UEFA Euro.
Mexican Carlos Vela is the top scorer (65) and assist (46) in the team's history. Undoubtedly the club's greatest icon. His fellow countryman, Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, will lead the LA Galaxy's attack. As the leading scorer in the history of 'El Tri', he is considered a legend of Mexican soccer.
Spain's Riqui Puig will also be a big draw while in MLS, as the midfielder is in the prime of his career and still on the rise. The former FC Barcelona player is now at the level to compete in Europe's elite, and he will be seen in the United States.