The Call Up

LA Galaxy vs. LAFC on FOX: "This one means more than anything else"

Why should you watch the 14th edition of El Trafico between the LA Galaxy and LAFC on Saturday (7:30 pm ET | FOX, FOX Deportes)?

To hear Galaxy star forward Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez tell it, it’s a no-brainer.

“Since I came here, and as well in the past when I was watching these games, there are always goals,” Chicharito told Jillian Sakovits and Susannah Collins on The Call Up Wednesday. “For sure. There’s always goals.”

It’s not just a coincidence. It’s a matter of SoCal MLS philosophy.

“We always play very offensive, both organizations,” Chicharito said. “We always want to make people to feel attracted to the style of play.”

Mexico’s all-time leading international scorer knows of what he speaks; there have been 58 goals total in the 13 previous meetings between these sides since El Trafico’s 2018 inception.

And the form sheet suggests both he and Mexican compatriot turned LAFC foe Carlos Vela will be involved Sunday, with each man bagging four goals already ahead of their Week 6 clash.

It’s enough that LAFC goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau – who will be in his first derby action – has been hearing from everyone just how important this weekend is.

“Everyone I’ve met so far says this one means more than anything else,” said Crepeau, who was acquired this offseason from Vancouver Whitecaps FC. “And from the fans. From people within the club obviously, but a lot of fans and people that are like neighbors and such say ‘Hey, this weekend is the one.’ So you can sense the hype, and people are really proud about this game. And so we’re going to really put the shift in to get the three points in Carson.”

The Galaxy have the honor of hosting the first of this season’s clashes. And there may be more optimism around Dignity Health Sports Park than at any time in recent history, with the home side winning three of their first five to enter in third place in the Western Conference standings.

“We know it’s going to be a game where everybody is going to be involved,” said Galaxy fullback Julian Araujo. “Where our stadium, luckily we’re playing at home, and our fans, our energy, they’re our motor and they’re what’s going to keep us going throughout the whole 90 minutes.”

Visiting LAFC are in even better form under first-year manager Steve Cherundolo, making the crosstown trip as Western Conference leaders and one of only three MLS sides entering Week 6 without defeat. They're ahead of Philadelphia in the early Supporters' Shield race, as based on goal differential.

It’s also a chance for some new faces in the Black & Gold – like US men’s national team midfielder Kellyn Acosta – to make their impact on a fixture the rest of MLS stops to watch.

“It’s one of those things where, I was always on the outside looking in, just watching on TV, seeing the rivalry from the screen is a lot different than playing it,” Acosta said. “So Saturday is going to be exciting.”