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The matchup between the LA Galaxy and LAFC at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, on the Fourth of July is expected to host over 80,000 spectators, according to ESPN’s Cesar Hernandez, which would set a new MLS attendance record.
“When you have 80,000 people and the energy in that type of stadium is around you… it comes with the sense of something much bigger than maybe just a normal match day,” Galaxy head coach and sporting director Greg Vanney told reporters Monday.
The previous attendance record was 74,479 at Charlotte FC’s first home game at Bank of America Stadium in 2022. That game also featured LA Galaxy.
Tuesday’s matchup between the Los Angeles rivals was originally slated for the first weekend of this season but was postponed due to weather. The two sides have never faced each other at the famed Rose Bowl.
While the Galaxy hold an 8-6-5 record in the rivalry, they’ve had a brutal 2023 season, with just three wins in 19 games. That has them ahead of only Colorado in the Western Conference standings.
The season-ending injury to forward Javier “Chicharito” Hernández hasn’t helped.
LAFC, meanwhile, currently sits in second place in the conference at 32 points but comes into Tuesday’s matchup on the heels of two straight losses.
“It was our 29th game of the season,” LAFC head coach Steve Cherundolo told reporters after Saturday’s 2-0 loss against FC Dallas. “I’m not sure any other club has had that many games in the history of MLS up until July 1, so a lot of games. Fatigue has set in, which is normal.”
Despite the opposite form of the two sides, it’s always a highly-anticipated matchup, and the added allure of the Rose Bowl has the opportunity to make it a particularly special contest.
“It’s a huge game,” LAFC midfielder Kellyn Acosta told reporters. “Personally I’ve never been to the Rose Bowl, so I’m just excited to be around it and take it all in. It’s huge, it’s making history. To be a part of that is going to be super cool.”
“It’s a game that we’ve been waiting to play,” LA Galaxy midfielder Riqui Puig added. “We’re looking forward to that. I think it’s going to be great. My family is here and it’s an important game for the Galaxy.”