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The LA Football Club Heads To MLS Finals, Propelled By Joy Of Die-Hard Fans

A soccer player with dark-toned skin raises his arms to either side and looks upward in front of goal.
Denis Bouanga #99 of Los Angeles FC celebrates the winning goal by Cristian Arango #9 against Los Angeles Galaxy during the second half of the Western Conference Semifinals of 2022 MLS Cup playoffs at Banc of California Stadium on Oct. 20 in Los Angeles.
(Kevork Djansezian
Getty Images)
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In case you haven’t heard, the Los Angeles Football Club is headed to the finals! 

With this exciting news, I just pray to the universe that our footballers do better than our other beloved teams in their playoffs (ahem…I’m looking at you, Lakers and Dodgers).

We’re here to help curious Angelenos connect with others, discover the new, navigate the confusing, and even drive some change along the way.

This Sunday, LAFC plays Austin FC in the Conference Finals. Details are here. If the team wins, they’ll compete for the Cup on Nov. 5. And they got there by beating the other L.A. soccer team.

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Now, I’m sure you’re probably like wait…what? L.A. has TWO soccer teams? What about the LA Galaxy? And why does L.A. need two teams in every sport (or that’s a question I ask myself!)? No…seriously?

The LA Galaxy is the OG soccer team in this town, going back to 1996. The LAFC has only been playing here since 2018, but it has developed quite the following. Perhaps it's because the stadium is IN the city of L.A., in Exposition Park, or because Will Ferrell is part-owner. Whatever the reason, the fans are DEVOTED.

What makes LAFC fans different

How To LA podcast host Brian De Los Santos talks to Jimmy Lopez, one of the founding members of the Independent Supporters Union for the LAFC — the 3252 — and to LAist engagement reporter Julia Barajas about the joy that comes with being a part of a growing community of supportive, die-hard LAFC fans. These folks are different from other sports fans.

There are numerous “supporters groups” like the Lxs Tigres Del There are numerous “supporters groups” like Lxs Tigres Del NorthEnd, Pride Republic and Black Army. They are not only serious about the team but about making the game experience a good one for all.

It's like, okay, Galaxy has the stars, they have the trophies. Let's have the people. And that's the big difference.

— Jimmy Lopez

So, what makes LAFC different? Well, it’s the PEOPLE. The supporters. The Angelenos who love this city. Lopez reiterated this in the podcast.

“It's always been Los Angeles first," Lopez said. "If you come from another country, or say you were born in Riverside, but you identify more with L.A. doesn't matter where you're from, it's where you are. And with us it's culture, community, music, and passion. That's what you get with both LAFC and the 3252.”

Basically, Lopez said, everyone can join supporters groups in the North End to cheer and chant and jump, as long as you have "a good heart." There are 3,252 seats in this section and it is usually packed.

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“Kudos to the Galaxy,” Lopez said. “Keeping the league afloat with bringing in big stars like [David] Beckham and whatnot. But it's like, okay, Galaxy has the stars, they have the trophies. Let's have the people. And that's the big difference.”

All of this soccer and local camaraderie talk has me ready to watch the AFC Richmond team and all of their drama…on the next season of Ted Lasso!

Listen to Brian, Jimmy and Julia talk about the greatness of LAFC supporters groups on today’s How To LApodcast episode.

Listen: The LAFC Could Be Champs...The Fans Helped Them Get There

As always, stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below — just keep reading.

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Knish, curried beef and more...

Wait! One more thing...

A plate of food containing fish and beef with yellow curry with bits of potato and other vegetables. The plate also includes a slice of medium-sized tomato, white rice with a few sprigs of cilantro, and two whole green serrano peppers over a small bed of white rice in the middle of the plate.
At spice plus in addition to halaal meats and produce, there are also delicious plates of curry to sample after getting your gathering your groceries.
(Brian Feinzimer

It’s that time of the week again when we explore the city for some delicious meals that leave us coming back for more. Today, we’re going to a North Hollywood strip mall in one of the most diverse Jewish neighborhoods in the country, North Hollywood-Valley Glen-Valley Village.

Writer Josh Heller takes us there in search of pita and bourekas but finds so much more. After visiting the kosher Cambridge Farm store, he takes us to Spice Plus, a Bangladeshi halal meat and fish market. Then it is off to Gorilla Pies where you can find a pizza that might remind you of a Reuben sandwich (if you go to Gorilla Pies make sure you talk about the pictures on the wall! It’s a real trip down childhood nostalgia lane). There’s so many good food finds in this story. Check it out here.

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Corrected October 27, 2022 at 12:05 PM PDT
An earlier version of this story incorrectly said Brian Feinzimer was the writer of the North Hollywood piece, he was the photographer.