With the founding of Los Angeles Football Club earlier in 2018, Major League Soccer fans anticipated the first-ever crosstown matchup between LAFC and the much more established LA Galaxy.
The Mar. 31 contest between the two clubs lived up to the hype and then some. LAFC took a commanding 3-0 lead early in the second half, but the Galaxy stormed back, riding two late goals from newly signed European star Zlatan Ibrahimović to a thrilling 4-3 win.
In recent days, anticipation has ramped up on social media for Thursday's rematch between the two clubs. LAFC has encouraged its grassroots fanbase to #BlackoutLA by wearing black all week long. The team's official Twitter account featured dozens of fans who posted pictures of themselves doing so.
LAFC has also been out and about in L.A., making a memorable stop at Randy's Donut Tuesday morning when midfielder Lee Nguyen kicked a ball through the shop's famous sign:
The club's "street team" and merchandise truck will make a stop at Trejo's Coffee and Donuts in Hollywood Wednesday starting at 7 a.m.
The Galaxy, meanwhile, are taking a much more subdued approach while using the hashtag #Since96 to remind soccer fans who represented LA in the MLS first. They have also featured Ibrahimović in plenty of recent social media posts.
Although his instant stardom at the MLS level and ability to soak up the LA limelight probably factor into that, it also does not hurt to remind LAFC fans what Ibrahimović did the last time he faced LA's newest team.
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LAFC will take some star power of their own into Thursday's matchup. Carlos Vela scored the team's first two goals against the Galaxy in the Mar. 31 matchup, and the Mexican international played a major role for Mexico's national team in the 2018 World Cup.
Along with their #BlackoutLA campaign, LAFC launched a #VoteVela movement to boost Vela's standing in the Twitter fan vote to decide the captains for the MLS All-Star Game vs. Juventus on Aug. 1.
City News Service contributed to this report.