Can Zlatan deliver a title on the other side of the Atlantic?

It is fair to say that “Zlatan-mania” has gripped the United States as the legendary Swedish forward has added the Los Angeles Galaxy to his long list of employers in what, to this point, has been an incredibly successful career.

Wherever Ibrahimovic goes, the trophies usually follow, There are no guarantees in football but wherever the 36-year-old calls home, he increases the chances of lifting silverware come the end of the season. The big question is whether the man who has won league titles in five different countries can now make it six.

If the start of his American adventure is anything to go by, then there is absolutely no reason why he cannot. The former Manchester United striker had to make do with a place on the bench for his MLS debut on Saturday. The fixture in question was the first ever Los Angeles derby between LA Galaxy and LAFC.

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And it could not have got off to a worse start for the Galaxy as they found themselves 3-0 down after 48 minutes. If there was ever the need to bring on the mercurial Swede, then this would be the time. Although, this was a deficit that was seemingly too large to overturn.

Enter Zlatan. He perhaps was not responsible for completing the incredible comeback all by himself, but he was the man who stole the headlines come full time after a sensational cameo performance.

If you’re someone who is well versed in football betting, then, with LAFC being 3-0 up, it looked like a dead cert that the MLS new boys would earn all three points against their newfound local rivals and, even with 15 minutes to go, that still looked like the case as LAFC led 3-2.

However, Ibrahimovic then unleashed an incredible 40-yard volley to level the scores and leave everyone in attendance speechless at the outrageous piece of skill that he delivered. If that was the main act, then there was still time for an encore.

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It eventually came in the shape of an injury time winner from who else but Ibrahimovic. His header capped off the most unlikely of comebacks as the enigmatic icon had truly announced himself to the American soccer fraternity.

There was undoubted disappointment in the fact that injury curtailed his Manchester United career; the cruciate injury that he suffered against Anderlecht at the tail end of last season has visibly robbed him of a yard of pace as the cut and thrust of the Premier League passed him by.

But Old Trafford’s loss will, of course, be Major League Soccer’s gain. Ibrahimovic will not see this transatlantic jaunt as simply a place to go out to pasture; he has made the move with the sole intention of winning titles and, on the evidence of his debut performance, that is something that looks a very realistic prospect.


In pictures: Seattle Sounders 0-1 LAFC – MLS newcomers make statement with debut win

Seattle Sounders 0-1 LAFC – Los Angeles FC‘s first MLS game in history couldn’t have gone much better. They went to Seattle Sounders, one of the league’s most difficult places to visit, and showed incredible composure and belief to come away with a special 1-0 victory.

Bob Bradley’s side made the most of a strong start, with Diego Rossi’s 11th-minute strike from distance enough to earn all three points. The Sounders rallied to try and respond but couldn’t break down a resolute LAFC backline over the remainder of the game.

The expansion franchise have some star-studded names as their disposal but it still takes something special to go into one of the league’s top sides and walk out with a win and a clean sheet. LAFC did that and immediately made a statement to the rest of the league. They’re not just here to make up the numbers.

They pressed high, countered effectively and defended impressively as Seattle were left to rue missed chances and a lack of a cutting edge. It’s the third-straight season in which the Sounders have dropped their season opener.

Check out exclusive photos from Sunday night’s game at CenturyLink Field below, courtesy of MLSGB photographers Denise McCooey and Paul Kahl.

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