It's been a long, long time since Orlando City played in Carson, California, against the Los Angeles Galaxy. Over 1,300 days ago, the Lions traveled out west to face off against the Galaxy. In many ways 2018 wasn't that long ago, but one pandemic and completely overhauled Orlando City later, it feels like a lifetime ago.
Not a single player in the 18 for Orlando on that day is still with the club. The Lions were led by Peruvian international Yoshimar Yotun and the MLS experienced Sacha Klejstan and Dom Dwyer. Dwyer scored in the game, an unfortunately rare occurrence in his MLS Orlando career. The Lions also got a goal from Christian Higuita, the last member of the inaugural roster to play for Orlando.
As fun as it is to look at a weird, awful moment in Orlando City's history, the team across the field was even wilder.
This was the peak of the failed Galaxy renaissance, when the league's winningest club spent allegedly beyond the legal limits of MLS to fill the lineup with stars and force their way back to relevance. Against Orlando, LA sported a front three of Giovanni Dos Santos, Ola Kamara and the immortal Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The G's also flaunted former English international Ashley Cole and Mexican star Jonathan Dos Santos.
The home team got plenty of production from its superstars, especially the Zlatan, who had one of his best MLS performances, scoring a hat trick, including the winning goal. Gio Dos Santos also found the scoresheet, opening the scoring for the Galaxy on the day.
If you haven't gleaned it yet, this was a wild, wild game. The Galaxy walked away with the 4-3 victory against one of the worst teams in MLS history. With all the offensive firepower on display, goals were expected, especially matched up against some truly woeful defenses.
This Saturday's game won't be as high scoring or wild as that match, with both teams featuring much, much better defenses. This is a new era for MLS and both of these clubs, but it's always fun to look back at those wild days of the late 2010s.