Soccer in Los Angeles

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Soccer has enjoyed longstanding popularity in Los Angeles. As of 2019 there are two professional soccer clubs in Los Angeles County that play in Major League Soccer: LA Galaxy and Los Angeles FC. The Los Angeles area is also home to two Division 2 professional teams in the United Soccer League: Orange County SC and LA Galaxy II, the reserve side of LA Galaxy, and many semi-professional clubs and leagues including the United Premier Soccer League, SoCal Premier League and National Premier Soccer League, among others. In 2019, two more professional teams, Cal FC (Thousand Oaks) and California United Strikers FC (Orange County) will join a new, unsanctioned, professional league called the NPSL Founders Cup.

History[edit]

Soccer in Los Angeles began in the 19th century when the Southern California Football League was founded in 1902.[1]

Historic clubs[edit]

Los Angeles Kickers[edit]

The LA Kickers were the first LA area team to win the National Challenge Cup, known today as the U.S. Open Cup.[citation needed]

Maccabi Los Angeles[edit]

LA Maccabi won the U.S. Open Cup, known in their time as the National Challenge Cup, a record number five times.[2]

Orange County Soccer Club[edit]

The Orange County Soccer Club was a two-time consecutive finalist of the National Challenge Cup, in 1966 and '67. OCSC played Bayern Munich at Santa Ana Stadium in 1966. [3] [4] [5]

Los Angeles Aztecs[edit]

The LA Aztecs won the NASL National Championship in their inaugural season, 1974.[6] They played in many stadiums, including the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.[citation needed] The Aztecs folded in 1981.[citation needed]

California Sunshine[edit]

The California Sunshine, an Orange County based pro team, played in the ASL.[7]

Chivas USA[edit]

Club Deportivo Chivas USA was a joint venture between Chivas de Guadalajara owner Jorge Vergara, partner Antonio Cué, and Major League Soccer, that operated Chivas trademarks in the United States through the Delaware entity called Chivas de Guadalajara Licensing, LLC.[8] The team folded in 2014.[citation needed]

Historic season records[edit]

Los Angeles Wolves (USA and NASL) (1967–1968)[edit]

Year League W L T Pts Reg. Season Playoffs Avg. Attendance
1967 USA 5 5 2 15 1st, Western Division Champions 7,777
1968 NASL 11 8 13 139 3rd, Pacific Division Did not qualify 2,441

Los Angeles Aztecs (NASL) (1974–81)[edit]

Several years after the formation of the North American Soccer League in 1968, the Los Angeles Aztecs joined NASL as an expansion team in 1974, and played from 1974 until 1981, folding after the 1981 season. The team featured international superstars such as George Best and Johan Cruyff. The team was at its most popular in 1979 and 1980, averaging over 12,000 fans both seasons.[citation needed]

Season Division Position League Record Playoffs Top Scorer
P W L D F A Pts Name Goals
1974 Western 1st 20 11 2 7 41 36 110 Champions Doug McMillan 10
1975 Western 3rd 20 11 2 7 40 41 36 Conference Quarterfinals Uri Banhoffer 14
1976 Southern 3rd 44 25 6 14 89 41 15 First Round George Best 15
1977 Southern 2nd 26 14 12 0 37 44 37 Conference Final George Best 14
1978 Western 4th 30 21 9 0 63 69 36 Did not qualify Jim Rolland 17
1979 Western 2nd 30 18 12 0 54 62 47 Conference Semifinal Johan Cruyff 13
1980 Western 2nd 32 20 12 0 60 61 52 Conference Final Luis Fernando 28
1981 Western 2nd 32 20 12 0 60 61 52 First Round Chris Dangerfield 35

California Surf (NASL) (1978–1981)[edit]

Year League W L Pts Regular Season Playoffs Avg. Attend.
1978 NASL 13 17 115 2nd, American Conference, Western Division Lost 1st Round (San Diego) 11,171
1979 NASL 15 15 140 1st(t), American Conference, Western Division Lost 1st Round (San Diego) 10,330
1980 NASL 15 17 144 2nd, American Conference, Western Division Lost 1st Round (Ft. Lauderdale) 7,593
1981 NASL 11 21 117 3rd, Western Division Did not qualify 8,299

Chivas USA (MLS) (2005–2014)[edit]

Season Conf Pos League Record Playoffs U.S. Open Cup CONCACAF
Champions League
Top Scorer
Plyd Won Lost Drew F A Pts Name Goals
2005 West 6th 32 4 22 6 31 67 18 Did not qualify Fourth round Did not qualify Héctor Cuadros 4
2006 West 3rd 32 10 9 13 45 42 43 Conference Semifinal Third round Did not qualify Ante Razov 14
2007 West 1st 30 15 7 8 46 28 53 Conference Semifinal Third round Did not qualify Maykel Galindo 12
2008 West 2nd 30 12 11 7 40 41 43 Conference Semifinal Third round Preliminary round Alecko Eskandarian
Ante Razov
Sacha Kljestan
5
2009 West 4th 30 13 11 6 34 31 45 Conference Semifinal Third round Did not qualify Eduardo Lillingston 8
2010 West 8th 30 8 18 4 31 45 28 Did not qualify Semifinal Did not qualify Justin Braun 9
2011 West 8th 34 8 14 12 41 43 36 Did not qualify Did not qualify Did not qualify Justin Braun
Nick LaBrocca
9
2012 West 9th 34 7 18 9 24 58 30 Did not qualify Semifinal Did not qualify Juan Pablo Ángel 4
2013 West 9th 34 6 20 8 30 67 26 Did not qualify Fourth round Did not qualify Erick Torres 7
2014 West 7th 34 9 16 6 29 61 33 Did not qualify Fourth round Did not qualify Erick Torres 15

Professional clubs, Modern era[edit]

Club Stadium Capacity Founded Notes
Major League Soccer (2)
LA Galaxy Dignity Health Sports Park 27,000 1994 Los Angeles' first MLS franchise.
Los Angeles FC Banc of California Stadium 22,000 2014 First MLS franchise in city proper.
Club Stadium Capacity Founded Notes
United Soccer League (2)
LA Galaxy II Dignity Health Sports Park 5,000 2015 USL affiliate of LA Galaxy.
Orange County SC Championship Stadium 5,000 2016 Former USL affiliate of LAFC.
Club Stadium Capacity Founded Notes
National Independent Soccer Association
2019 Proposed.


LA Galaxy (MLS) (1996–present)[edit]

The launch of Major League Soccer in 1996 included the newly formed Los Angeles Galaxy as one of the founding teams. LA Soccer Partners were the original owners; Anschutz Entertainment Group is the current owner. The Galaxy won the CONCACAF Champions Cup in 2000.[9]

Season Conf Pos League Record Playoffs U.S. Open Cup CONCACAF
Champions League
Top Scorer
Plyd Won Lost Drew F A Pts Name Goals
1996 West 1st 32 19 13 0 59 49 49 Final Did not enter Did not qualify Eduardo Hurtado 21
1997 West 2nd 32 16 16 0 55 44 44 Conference Semifinal Did not enter Final Welton 11
1998 West 1st 32 24 8 0 85 44 68 Conference Semifinal Did not enter Did not enter Cobi Jones 19
1999 West 1st 32 20 12 0 49 29 54 Final Quarterfinal Did not qualify Cobi Jones
Carlos Hermosillo
8
2000 West 2nd 32 14 10 8 47 37 50 Semifinal Semifinal Champions Cobi Jones 7
2001 West 1st 26 14 7 5 52 36 47 Final Champions Not Held Luis Hernández 8
2002 West 1st 28 16 9 3 44 33 51 Champions Final Did not qualify Carlos Ruiz 24
2003 West 4th 30 9 12 9 35 35 36 Conference Semifinal Semifinal Quarterfinal Carlos Ruiz 15
2004 West 2nd 30 11 9 10 42 40 43 Conference Semifinal Fourth Round Did not qualify Carlos Ruiz 11
2005 West 4th 32 13 13 6 44 45 45 Champions Champions Did not qualify Landon Donovan 12
2006 West 5th 32 11 15 6 37 37 39 Did not qualify Final Quarterfinal Landon Donovan 12
2007 West 5th 30 9 14 7 38 48 34 Did not qualify Third round Did not qualify Landon Donovan 8
2008 West 6th 30 8 13 9 55 62 33 Did not qualify Did not qualify Did not qualify Landon Donovan 20
2009 West 1st 30 12 6 12 36 31 48 Final Did not qualify Did not qualify Landon Donovan 12
2010 West 1st 30 18 7 5 44 26 59 Conference Final Quarterfinal Preliminary round Edson Buddle 19
2011 West 1st 34 19 5 10 48 28 67 Champions Quarterfinal Quarterfinal Landon Donovan 12
2012 West 4th 34 16 12 6 59 47 54 Champions Third Round Semifinal Robbie Keane 16
2013 West 3rd 34 15 11 8 53 38 53 Conference Semifinal Third Round Quarterfinal Robbie Keane 16
2014 West 2nd 34 17 7 10 69 37 61 Champions Fifth round Did not qualify Robbie Keane 19
2015 West 5th 34 14 11 9 56 46 51 Knockout round Quarterfinal Quarterfinal Robbie Keane 20
2016 West 3rd 34 12 6 16 54 39 52 Conference Semifinal Semifinal Did not qualify Giovani dos Santos 14
2017 West 11th 34 8 18 8 45 67 32 Did not qualify Quarterfinal Did not qualify Romain Alessandrini 13
2018 West 7th 34 13 12 9 66 64 48 Did not qualify Round of 16 Did not qualify Zlatan Ibrahimović 22

Los Angeles FC (MLS) (2018–present)[edit]

Season Conf Pos League Record Playoffs U.S. Open Cup CONCACAF
Champions League
Top Scorer
Plyd Won Lost Drew F A Pts Name Goals
2018 West 3rd 34 16 9 9 68 52 57 Knockout round Semifinal Did not qualify Carlos Vela 14

Los Angeles derbies[edit]

LA Galaxy vs Chivas USA (2008–2014)[edit]

The rivalry ended in 2014 when Chivas ceased operations.

LA Galaxy vs Los Angeles FC (2018–present)[edit]

Los Angeles FC joined the league in 2018 and a crosstown rivalry, El Tráfico, was created.[10]

Amateur and Semi-professional[edit]

Amateur and Semi-professional leagues[edit]

Amateur and Semi-professional clubs[edit]

Most successful clubs overall[edit]

Teams in bold are still active.

Team D1 Regular Season U.S. Open Cup D1
Playoffs
CONCACAF Champions League Total
LA Galaxy 4 2 5 1 12
Los Angeles Aztecs 1 0 1 0 2
Los Angeles Wolves 0 0 1 0 1
California Surf 0 0 0 0 0
Chivas USA 0 0 0 0 0
Los Angeles FC 0 0 0 0 0

Stadia[edit]

Women's soccer[edit]

In 2009, Los Angeles became home to a third top-level professional team, the Los Angeles Sol, a charter member of Women's Professional Soccer. WPS was the second attempt to establish a fully professional women's league in the U.S., after the demise of the Women's United Soccer Association (which did not have an L.A. representative). The Sol shared The Home Depot Center, now known as Dignity Health Sports Park, with the Galaxy and Chivas USA, before ceasing operations in January 2010.[citation needed]

WPS folded after the 2011 season; its effective successor, the National Women's Soccer League, does not have a franchise in Los Angeles, nor in California.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "History of Soccer in Greater Los Angeles". American Soccer History Archives. August 12, 2011.
  2. ^ "Los Angeles's Forgotten Jewish Soccer Dynasty". Vice. Retrieved 2018-04-14.
  3. ^ "1966 US Open Cup Results". TheCup.US. Retrieved 2018-04-14.
  4. ^ "1967 US Open Cup Results". TheCup.US. Retrieved 2018-04-14.
  5. ^ Holroyd, Steve and David Litterer. "The Year in American Soccer - 1966, International Tours". Retrieved 2018-04-14.
  6. ^ "1974-1981 Los Angeles Aztecs". Fun While it Lasted. Retrieved 2018-04-14.
  7. ^ "American Soccer League Players - California Sunshine". nasljerseys.com. Retrieved 2018-04-14.
  8. ^ Avalos, Omar (2014). "The Mystery of Chivas Guadalajara Licensing". SoccerNewsday.com. Soccer Newsday. Retrieved 2018-04-14.
  9. ^ "About the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League". concacafchampionsleague.com. CONCACAF. Retrieved 2018-04-14.
  10. ^ "Wiebe: First-ever "El Trafico" will lay stakes for LA Galaxy-LAFC rivalry". MLSsoccer.com. March 30, 2018.
  11. ^ Baxter, Kevin (December 18, 2017). "LAFC's stadium is coming together ahead of schedule". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 18, 2017.