It was a July 4th celebration for the history books.
The 20th El Tráfico edition between LA Galaxy and LAFC drew 82,110 fans, establishing a new MLS single-game attendance record. LA, behind masterclass performances from Riqui Puig and Tyler Boyd, won the showdown 2-1.
Tuesday night's crosstown rivalry unfolded at the Rose Bowl, a historic venue in Pasadena, California. This Matchday 23 fixture was originally set for MLS is Back weekend as the 2023 campaign began, but got shifted to summertime due to a postponement (inclement weather).
Charlotte FC held the previous record, welcoming 74,479 fans to Bank of America Stadium for the 2022 expansion side's inaugural home match.
LA vs. LAFC - July 4, 2023
Charlotte vs. LA - March 5, 2022
Atlanta vs. Portland - Dec. 8, 2018
MLS Cup 2018
Atlanta vs. LA - Aug. 3, 2019
Atlanta vs. Seattle - July 15, 2018
The Western Conference game was full of emotion from start to finish – and it ended with LA reaching six games unbeaten (2W-0L-4D). Boyd scored a golazo in the 26th minute before Puig's 73rd-minute winner canceled out Ilie Sánchez's equalizer.
"It was an exciting atmosphere," said LA head coach/sporting director Greg Vanney. "For me, personally, to be back in the Rose Bowl, to see it full, to take a second and realize just how far the league has come since we kicked it off in '96 to where it is now with the level of the two teams, the competition tonight, the quality of players on the field – all of it.
"It's just an incredible venue, incredible atmosphere and wonderful game that I think entertained as these games always do."
LAFC have now lost eight of their last 11 games across all competitions, slumping after they dropped the Concacaf Champions League final in early June. The crowd still resonated with the Black & Gold, though.
"It felt like it should," said LAFC head coach Steve Cherundolo postgame. "It felt like a playoff game and a real game that matters not just to the 22 players out on the field, but to 82,000 people here and around LA. It's fantastic and a great atmosphere for everybody who was here tonight."