Column: Galaxy superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic must be appreciated before he's gone

Zlatan Ibrahimovic put the Galaxy on his back and carried them to an improbable victory, this one a 3-2 win over LAFC in the fourth edition of a cross-town rivalry that is already pushing USC-UCLA as the most intense in Southern California.

22.7.2019

Column: In a career in which he has lifted 33 trophies and played for some of the best teams in the world – Juventus, Barcelona, Ajax, both Milans, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain – Zlatan Ibrahimovic has never stayed in one place long.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic put the Galaxy on his back and carried them to an improbable victory, this one a 3-2 win over LAFC in the fourth edition of a cross-town rivalry that is already pushing USC-UCLA as the most intense in Southern California.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored his second hat trick in Major League Soccer and the Galaxy beat rival LAFC 3-2 on Friday night in their first meeting of the season. Advertisement It is when Ibrahimovic is playing. Consider the range he displayed in scoring his three goals Friday. The first was all technique, with Ibrahimovic using his chest to settle a pass from Julian Araujo and his right leg to lift the ball over a defender before volleying a right-footed shot into the net from the edge of the box to tie the game. The second was mostly strength and desire with Ibrahimovic going over the top of defender Jordan Harvey, who had perfect position, to head in a bending cross from Diego Polenta and give the Galaxy the lead. And the third was all about space, with Ibrahimovic taking a nifty back-heel pass from Favio Alvarez, pushing the ball forward with his first touch, then rifling a left-footed shot inside the far post for what proved to be the winning goal. It wasn’t the first time Ibrahimovic has simply refused to let his team lose. Three distinctly different goals, each one crucial to keeping the Galaxy unbeaten in El Trafico , the biggest stage on which he has played since coming to MLS. In the four games with LAFC, Ibrahimovic has six goals. But so does LAFC’s Carlos Vela, the only player to have scored in all four El Traficos – none of which his team won. Vela’s two scores Friday gave him a league-best 21. Ibrahimovic is second with 16. LAFC leads MLS with 14 wins, the Galaxy is second with 12. Twenty-one games into the season Vela, 30, is the league’s MVP and Ibrahimovic, 37, is the league’s best player. “Comparing [us] would show a lack of respect towards him,” Vela said in Spanish. “But if we look at the stats and forget age and whatever, I’m better than him right now, that’s the reality. “He’s been Zlatan and only [Lionel] Messi and Cristiano [Ronaldo] are better than him. The rest of us aren’t in the same league.” Advertisement Vela was speaking figuratively but come next season, he and Ibrahimovic may literally not be in the same league. Vela will still be in MLS but Ibrahimovic? Who knows? The Galaxy have five regular-season home games and then a likely but uncertain playoff run left in 2019. After that, Ibrahimovic may fade beyond the horizon like the sunset at Paradise Cove, leaving nothing but memories of miracles to remember him by. Read more: Los Angeles Times

'wow what an amazing performance by Zlatan, but did you know he's probably gone after this year' is peak Baxter pandering to LAFC Lafc Be like I hope Ibra_official stays and plays at least two more seasons with LA Galaxy!! 💖💪🎉🎊

Column: El Trafico continues to deliver the makings of a great rivalryMore El Trafico, please, writes columnist helenenothelen. This is a rivalry to enjoy now and to continue enjoying as it ages and adds milestones and memories to Friday’s classic. helenenothelen Great game last night! 🙂👍

Column: Where would you take a visitor to Los Angeles?'In Rome, the mass of tourists made me want to stray off course and find the city only locals know,' writes columnist LATstevelopez. 'And that got me thinking: Where would I advise someone visiting L.A. to do that?' LATstevelopez Insert punch line here. LATstevelopez Tower Bar, always. LATstevelopez The Beach

Column: Giants are best example of National League mediocrity making trade market murkyColumn: The playoff competition in Major League Baseball is so heated that it might stifle the action at the league's trade deadline, writes ByMcCullough. ByMcCullough Clearly, you don’t like the Giants. I wouldn’t either if I liked the bums and all they did was continually choke, year after year. ButtHurtDoyerFan ByMcCullough Andy: Yelich is worthy of compliments but I'd go with complementary here. Go Giants!

Column: Sports can't be the fantasy world we use to avoid realityAfter Dan Le Batard used his radio show to call out racist chants at a Trump rally, it's apparent sports can no longer be where we go to avoid reality, writes columnist LZGranderson. LZGranderson What racist chants? Oh well, kind of important shit going on, not really the time to avoid reality. LZGranderson



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