Is it possible to manufacture a football rivalry? MLS has tried …

Football thrives on friction between clubs but is it inauthentic to create one? In a young league such as MLS the results can be interesting to say the least

This week the LA Galaxy reignited their two rivalries, one on the pitch, and one off it. On the pitch, the Galaxy beat the San Jose Earthquakes 4-2 in the 75th edition of the Cali Clásico. It was the third straight win for a suddenly streaking Galaxy, and they are now undefeated in five and back in the playoff positions. The Galaxy now look poised to make their typical summer surge, and the outlook is starting to feel sunny again in Southern California. 

Off the pitch, however, things are a little more fractious. Last week, LAFC, the expansion team set to enter MLS in 2018, hired an artist to paint a street mural in Downtown LA in the latest effort to create brand awareness. A few days later, some Galaxy fans spray-painted over the mural, changing the “LA” in LAFC to the “LA” in the middle of Galaxy. This came after the LAFC Regulators — a mysterious group of four men who have since deleted their social media accounts — spray-painted a Galaxy “This is LA” billboard, and cut out the bottom right quadrant to keep as a trophy. Since then, several other billboards and murals have been tagged and painted over. It seems that there is a full-blown graffiti war underway in Los Angeles

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