Bingham, who's been on both sides of the California Clasico with both LA and the San Jose Earthquakes, joined the Galaxy in 2018 ahead of LAFC's inaugural season. Coming out of that first match between the two rivals – you remember, the Zlatan Ibrahimovic debut game in the Galaxy's insane 4-3 win – he knew nothing could compare.
“I love playing LAFC, that’s the best rivalry in MLS," Bingham told MLSsoccer.com. "I don’t think anyone can compete with those atmospheres at all. It’s like nothing you’ve seen in this league before.”
Bingham remembers sitting with his teammates a few hours after the game, enjoying drinks under the sun while they broke down the match.
“We went out for drinks with a couple guys and we’re sitting at the table, like, 'Wow, did that really just happen?'" Bingham recalled. "It’s crazy how one player had that big an impact on the field.”
That March 31, 2018 match against LAFC was Bingham's fourth with the Galaxy, joining after his seven-year stint with the Quakes ended unceremoniously.
“It was an interesting time," Bingham said. "That whole year was crazy."
Bingham was the club's undisputed No. 1 for two-and-a-half seasons before abruptly losing his starting job halfway through the 2017 campaign. He believes it was directly tied to how he hadn't signed a contract extension.
“I’m disappointed more than bitter with how the situation was handled," Bingham said. "We were in contract negotiations for months. We told them I wouldn’t sign the contract under their terms. Then a week later, they stopped playing me. That’s how it went down. That was that.”
Joining the Galaxy was a possibility because his former head coach, Dominic Kinnear, became an assistant coach at the club. Fans weren't too excited by a California Clasico rival joining, but it's been smooth sailing since.
“Going to your rival, it’s a bitter pill for fans on both sides to swallow," Bingham said. "San Jose fans were not happy with that and the initial thought from LA was, ‘Oh, he came from our rivals.’ But it’s been great, I couldn’t think of being in any other place.”