LA Galaxy vs LAFC, a tale of two city football clubs

A Los Angeles love story between the two Los Angeles based soccer teams
New York City FC v Los Angeles Galaxy
New York City FC v Los Angeles Galaxy / Harry How/GettyImages

The top two teams in Major League Soccer's Western Conference square off on Thursday night. Our nation's Independence Day will feature three MLS games, with this one being highly coveted by fans and viewers.

Currently, the Los Angeles Galaxy only trail LAFC in the standings via their goal differential. LAFC has a +18 while the LA Galaxy have a +14. A win for either team gives the victor three more points in the standings and sole possession of first place heading into the holiday weekend.

The Los Angeles Galaxy lead the all-time series against LAFC. In their 22 prior matches, the Galaxy have won nine times and only lost eight, with five draws.

The July 4th contest between the two LA soccer teams could either give the LA Galaxy their tenth win against LAFC or they could lose, tying the all-time series. There is also the potential of a sixth tie between the two teams.

The two teams have traded back-to-back wins in their past six matchups. The last time the two LA squads tied one another came in October 2020.

This is the first time, though, that the game will not be played at either StubHub Center (LA Galaxy) or the Banc of California Stadium (LAFC). Instead, Thursday's game will be held at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

Ricard Puig, Dejan Joveljic, Joseph Paintsil, Julian Aude, Edwin Cerrillo
Los Angeles Galaxy v San Jose Earthquakes / Bob Drebin/ISI Photos/GettyImages

What's different about this season and/or this particular game?

Despite LAFC having two of the top five scorers in the league, Dénis Bouanga and Mateusz Bogusz (with 13 and 12 goals respectively), no other LAFC players are in the top 50 goal scorers in MLS.

LA Galaxy forward Dejan Joveljic is tied for fourth with Bogusz with a dozen goals this year. Also in the top 50 are a trio of Galaxy players tied for 31st in MLS with six scores a piece. Those teammates are Gabriel Pec, Ricard Puig, and Joseph Paintsil.

When looking at the leaders in terms of assists on the season, the same two stars for LAFC are there. Bouanga is tied for 6th with nine assists and Bogusz is tied for 27th with five assists. Timothy Tillman is tied for 41st with four assists for LAFC.

Again, there are more LA Galaxy players in the top 50 statistically in this category, as well. Both Pec and Puig have eight assists which ranks ninth best in the league. Midfielder Marky Delgado is tied at 22nd with his six assists. With five assists a piece, Joveljic and Paintsil are tied for 27th in MLS.

What does this mean? Well, simply put... the Los Angeles Galaxy have more balanced offense. LAFC get a majority of its scoring (and assists) from Bouanga and Bogusz. We have seen the Los Angeles Galaxy score multiple goals in a half including last weekend's 3-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes.

Back on April 6, the Los Angeles Galaxy lost to LAFC, 2-1. In fact, the Galaxy have only lost twice since (but have four draws in a row during the month of May). While there is a good chance that good be the result of the 23rd installment of this chronicled Los Angeles rivalry, the Galaxy need the three points more to avenge their previous loss to LAFC.

Prediction: Los Angeles Galaxy 3, LAFC 2.