The LA Galaxy will play their first playoff match since 2016 on Sunday when they face Minnesota United at Allianz Field in Saint Paul, Minnesota. The winner of this match will face Los Angeles FC, which is a tasty proposition for either club. Minnesota delivered LAFC’s only home loss of the year, and the LA Galaxy have yet to lose a match in any of the five meetings against their fiercest rival.
“That’s the game we want,” defender Dave Romney said. “That’s the game that everybody wants. I’d be super excited for it, but we have to focus on Minnesota first, obviously.”
While there may be some concern of overlooking their first opponent, Minnesota, the Galaxy could use the potential of facing LAFC as a prize for advancing to the next round. LAFC’s record-breaking season in 2019 was no match for the Galaxy, who walked away with a win and a draw against their cross-town rival this year. The Galaxy may not have had an ideal season overall, finishing fifth in the Western Conference with a 16-15-3 record, but they had the advantage each time they faced LAFC.
“We want to play the best team and LAFC, for me, is the best team in both conferences,” midfielder Jonathan Dos Santos said in Spanish. “It’s a great club. We enjoy facing the quality of the squad. For us, it’s good to know that LAFC is the team we could face after Minnesota. We love to play these types of games, and we don’t know what will happen, but we’re going to give it more than 100 percent.”
The Galaxy will be looking to make an impact in the playoffs after missing the postseason the last two seasons. Star forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be playing his final matches for the club and would almost certainly want to leave on a positive note.
“I think after two years without playoffs, everyone is thinking about the next game, not about the future,” head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto said. “Maybe, if you have experience to play in the playoffs, you’re thinking who will be the next, but now? Playoffs. Minnesota. We have to put our focus on that.”