Whenever the MLS reveals its schedule for the next season, the soccer fandom across the United States looks the date for 'El Tráfico', the Los Angeles Derby between LAFC and LA Galaxy. But it is unknown for some people the reason why is it called like that and when did this huge rivalry started.
Back in 2014, Chivas USA, which no longer exists, could not be anymore in the Major League Soccer due to some financial issues. The owners had to sell the franchise and that is when LAFC was born. The deal was to enter the league in 2018, so the institution could buils a competitive team and create expectation in the city to gain more fans.
With Chivas' departure, LA Galaxy was uncertain if they would have another team in the city. But the agreement was to put a club in Los Angeles and not leave the rest of the fandom alone. Some of the followers of the Rebaño instantly changed colors and put the black and gold jersey in their drawers to build a huge rivalry against their city partners.
Why is the Los Angeles Derby between LAFC and LA Galaxy called 'El Trafico'?
When LAFC was born, all the fans were thrilled to know the name of the Los Angeles Derby. In 2018, SB Nation asked their followers in a poll which name would be more suitable to recognize the match against LA Galaxy: 'El Tráfico' won with an astonishing 51% of the votes.
The name emerged as a reflection of one of the most iconic things in the city of Los Angeles: traffic congestion. "El Trafico, the name… El Trafico was a joke. It’s just a joke", said Rich Orosco, LAFC’s executive vice president of brand & community to The Athletic in July 2020. "Here’s my prediction: It will not be El Trafico for much longer. I guarantee you.". Of course, the statement did not age well.
Carlos Vela, LA Galaxy's biggest detractor
During the press conference for the second edition of 'El Trafico' in the 2022 MLS season, Carlos Vela, LAFC's forward, was questioned about their rivals and if the friendship between him and some LA Galaxy's players has changed his point of view for this duel.
"I play against all of them", stated Vela. "Anything that has the Galaxy's shield, I am against it, so it doesn't matter if is Zlatan (Ibrahimovic), Chicharito or Pepito, if it has Galaxy's shield, it is my rival. My goal is to win, score against them and that everything goes well for my club."