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Galaxy, LAFC finally set to tangle at Rose Bowl

Galaxy LAFC

Los Angeles FC will visit the Los Angeles Galaxy on Tuesday to play in front of a sellout crowd at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., in a rivalry famed for its own brand of fireworks.

More than 80,000 fans are anticipated to fill the stadium to attend the 20th installment of the “El Trafico” rivalry. The game was planned to be both clubs’ season opening in February, but it was rescheduled due to weather and flooding concerns.

This is the second of three regular-season meetings between Los Angeles teams. LAFC won 3-2 on the road on April 16 and will host the Galaxy on September 16. The Galaxy won 2-0 in a U.S. Open Cup game in May, but LAFC was not fielding its strongest team.

Tuesday’s game will be a homecoming for the Galaxy, who began their MLS career in the Rose Bowl and played there from 1996 to 2002. Both teams will make an effort to get back on track.

LAFC (9-5-5, 32 points) has twice as many as the Galaxy (3-9-7, 16 points), although they have recently struggled to score. LAFC has gone 2-4-1 in their last seven matches after failing to score in four of them.

LAFC had 62.6 percent possession in Saturday’s 2-0 shutout loss to FC Dallas, and they outshot Dallas 15-7 (3-2 on target). They simply couldn’t convert the pressure into goals.

“We just weren’t clinical enough finishing, and we then let them sneak a couple of goals there,” said LAFC defender Ryan Hollingshead. “When you leave teams like that alone for too long, mistakes and bad things happen.”

Despite a five-match (1-0-4) unbeaten streak, the Galaxy have recently experienced a different kind of frustration. The Galaxy have equaled three of their last four games, losing leads in two of them.

In front of a big crowd at Stanford Stadium on Saturday, the Galaxy twice led the San Jose Earthquakes before allowing San Jose to level.

“I think we’re close to playing good soccer for 90 minutes, but we’re missing small details that are important for us to be able to close out games and take three points home,” Galaxy forward Douglas Costa said. “We haven’t been able to take home the points that we deserve.”

In all competitions, the Galaxy holds an 8-6-5 edge over Los Angeles FC.