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Los Angeles Derby

The growth of the Major League Soccer has been a running theme for a lot of years in the game of football and while there are still debates about it to this very day, there is no denying that there are more passionate American football fans in 2023 than ever before. The recent attendance record during the Los Angeles derby in the MLS is a prime example of said growth.

During the 4th of July, a notorious day in American history, LA Galaxy faced LAFC at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. This match would end up becoming the Major League Soccer game with the highest attendance with a record-breaking 82,110 fans in the stadium, which surpassed the mark that was established by Charlotte FC in March last year with 74,479 fans and that match also had the special element of being that club’s first-ever home game.

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Greg Vanney, the manager and sporting director of LA Galaxy, was very supportive of this news and had no qualms about saying that having more than 80,000 fans makes this match “more than just a regular campaign game in the league”. It is hard to disagree with that position.

It is also worth pointing out that this match was scheduled to happen at the beginning of the season but a storm caused it to be postponed until the 4th of July. However, it could be argued that that situation helped in the match’s favor in terms of attendance: this date is often one where people have the day off, so it was a perfect occasion to watch a game of football. The rivalry between the two sides, which is growing every year, is also something that added to the spectacle.

In terms of what happened in the match, LA Galaxy won by a 2-1 score. It was fairly even between the two sides, with Los Angeles FC having the most chances, but the home team took the lead in the 26th minute through a goal scored by Tyler Boyd. However, during the 57th minute of the second half, Los Angeles FC clawed back and leveled the score through Ilie Sanchez, which put the game in a very exciting state.

A paragraph needs to be dedicated to Spanish midfielder Riqui Puig. While the former Barcelona midfielder was hailed as one of La Masia’s most exciting prospects in recent times, it has to be said that he didn’t live up to the expectations, and his move to LA Galaxy, in the MLS, seemed to be one of decline. However, the Spaniard has proven to be a very valuable asset for his new team and his goal in the 73rd minute secured the home side’s victory in such a memorable occasion.

All in all, it was a very important day for the world of North American football. While there is still a stigma surrounding the Major League Soccer, there can be no denying that the league has grown over the years and will continue to do so in the near future.

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