Utah sports fans have a bit of a history with Los Angeles, and with Los Angeles Football Club (tentatively named, maybe?) joining the league in 2017 (we think?), will that history continue?
It probably goes back to the Los Angeles Lakers and the Utah Jazz having somewhat of a rivalry (real or imagined), but who really knows if it also applies to that other Los Angeles NBA team? Is it just a cultural dispute?
Anyway, that clearly carries over to MLS, although that might be more because of continued battles between Real Salt Lake and LA Galaxy at the top of the West.
At any right, LAFC's being announced as we speak. They have 22 owners, including Vincent Tan (owner of Cardiff City), Mia Hamm (American soccer legend), Magic Johnson (the basketball guy) and some other folks. In fact, SB Nation broke that part down well. You should read it.
How's that relevant to Real Salt Lake? Well, in 2017 — a few years away yet — we'll be gaining a new rival. Maybe. If the fans deem it so. Really, though, there's little chance we won't spew hatred at LAFC the same way we're going to spew hatred at NYCFC. They represent a new class of MLS club — one that's loaded with money and wants to enter the league and make a big splash. For these clubs, one of their highest priorities will be ensuring that when they enter the league, they impress. Jason Kreis and NYCFC have signed some big names. Orlando City's signed an aging Kaka. What will LAFC do? I mean, who knows — it all depends on what happens with the league over the next two years, right?
Still, we'll be rivals. Even if we inexplicably squander our talents, we'll be rivals. If we win the league three times before then, we'll be rivals. It doesn't really matter what we do, and it doesn't really matter what they do. There's a cultural, philosophical conflict at play, and that's not likely to change. And why should it?
At any rate, we can't wait. This sort of thing's going to be fun.