Hernández: El Tráfico at the Rose Bowl on the Fourth of July needs to be an L.A. staple

Austin faces the Seattle Sounders in conference play

They have to do this again.

And again.

And again.

The Galaxy and LAFC have to play at the Rose Bowl every Fourth of July.

Otherwise, when will the 102-year-old stadium ever come to life? UCLA’s football team barely has any fans, and the ones they have are completely beaten down.

Almost by accident, the Galaxy and LAFC have created something that has the potential to be a real Los Angeles tradition, and they would be shortsighted to not stage this event a third time and a fourth time and a 50th time.

Read more: LAFC prevails over El Tráfico rival Galaxy in front of 70,000 fans at Rose Bowl

“I love the game,” Galaxy coach Greg Vanney said.

Consider this: Vanney’s team lost, 2-1.

Vanney was extremely critical of his players, calling their play in the first half “purposeless,” but that didn’t distort his view of the stands.

The 70,076 fans who packed the stadium. The choreographed drum beats and chants that started hours before the game. The boos that were directed at LAFC striker Denis Bouanga as he lined up to take his 44th-minute penalty kick and the cheers that erupted when he scored. The flare that was ignited behind the south goal in the closing minutes of the game and blanketed the field with smoke.

“I just think in MLS, there’s only so many opportunities you have in a season to create an environment like this where it feels like a playoff atmosphere,” Vanney said. “It feels like a bigger game than just another derby or another MLS game.”

Vanney’s opinion could be important in making the game a permanent fixture on the calendar.

In their two games against LAFC at the Rose Bowl, the Galaxy were the hosts both times. They essentially gave up a home game to play at a neutral site but didn’t mind doing so, in part because they had two other dates against their crosstown rivals: once at their Dignity Health Sports Park and once at LAFC’s BMO Stadium.

MLS’ expansion next year could change that, as the league will be adding a 30th team, San Diego FC.

“The league hasn’t officially given us direction on what the schedule would be next year,” said Tom Braun, the Galaxy’s president of business operations and chief operating officer.

Braun continued: “You would think though, with 30 teams, is there a possibility that we play a team a third time? Maybe. But was that for sure? We don’t know if it’s for sure yet. If we’re playing a home-and-home, we’d have to take a close look at…

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