The LA Galaxy took on the San Jose Earthquakes in front of 50,850 at Stanford Stadium in the first of this season’s California Clásico games on Saturday, June 29. The Clásico is notorious for last-minute action and this game was no different.
The Galaxy was missing five key players, leaving the team on the back foot before the game even began. Romain Alessandrini is still out recovering from his April meniscus root surgery. Uriel Antuna, Jonathan dos Santos, Rolf Feltscher and Giancarlo Gonzalez were all unavailable due to being called up to their national teams so the Galaxy with few options on the bench.
LA struggled to find their rhythm from the very beginning of the game. Eleven minutes in, San Jose dealt their first blow when Vako sent in a ball from outside of the box that was just too fast for David Bingham to react to. Vako has been hot recently, scoring 6 goals in the last 4 games.
In the 38th minute Zlatan Ibrahimovic passed the ball to Dave Romney for a failed shot on goal. Ibrahimovic appeared slow and uninterested on the field and was not effective on either end which contributed to the chaos and inability for the Galaxy to make anything happen.
Throughout the game the Galaxy’s midfield was overrun and outplayed, spotlighting just how much Jonathon Dos Santos was missed. Efrain Alvarez came in for an injured Sebastian Lletget at halftime, but the midfield chaos continued for the Galaxy.
It’s tradition to wait until the end of the game for all the excitement to surface in a California Clásico and this one did not disappoint. In the 82nd minute, Shea Salinas doubled San Jose’s lead with a shot from the right side of the box that made it into the bottom left corner of the goal.
Just three minutes later the Earthquakes struck again when Salinas set up Tommy Thompson for a shot that deflected off of Perry Kitchen resulting in a goal. Although David Bingham made five saves during the course of the game, it just wasn’t enough.
This win was not only important for the Quakes due to the satisfaction of beating an interstate rival; this win also helps them continue to advance up the Western Conference table after finding themselves in a playoff position earlier this week.
Next up for the L.A. Galaxy is an Independence Day home game against Toronto FC at 7:30 PST.
Featured image: Noel Danseco // IG @drive_x_strike
A day after a major tornado skirted the stadium, Sporting Kansas City hosted your Los Angeles Galaxy.
LAG was diverted to St. Louis en route to Kansas City due to thunderstorms and a major tornado that had dropped debris at the international airport. The players didn’t use the unusual travel conditions as an excuse. They ended up with a 2-0 win, breaking a 12 year streak of not winning when away at SKC. The game didn’t initially look to be going that way though.
Both teams came out wearing Pride shirts, then LA Galaxy kicked off in night navy. Back in the line-up were Perry Kitchen, Dave Romney, and Jorgen Skjelvik. Zlatan Ibrahimovic also returned after serving a 2- game suspension. Corona took the bench, but offensive sparks included Pontius, Emil Cuello, and Ema Boateng.
The first half started slow; both teams looked evenly matched. The Galaxy seemed to lack confidence and were unable to connect to finish goals. Sporting gave their opponents a run for their money.
In the 25th minute, Romney nearly headed in a goal off a 4th corner kick from Lletget, but it was stopped by Melia and cleared by SKC’s defense.
In the 37th minute, Zlatan took on three defenders to get the ball to Antuna, who just couldn’t get on it to score.
The stats read in favor of Sporting KC.
The second half started with Russell threatening the Galaxy. There were corner kicks aplenty, but by the 53rd minute the match was still level.
Finally, Favio Alvarez broke through in the 56th minute with a header, making his first goal with the LA Galaxy.
The G’s were not satisfied with only being up one goal. The strategy was to wear out SKC and it worked. In the 69th minute, Ibrahimovic went one on one against Melia who denied him and kept the lion hungry.
Zlatan finally got his goal in the 86th minute.
Besides #9, Kitchen was essential to getting the numbers on the scoreboard. With Rolf Feltscher and Diego Polenta out on injuries and Araujo called up to the US U-20’s World Cup in Poland, Kitchen was back playing defensive midfield and seemed to be everywhere, actually creating chances and defending.
Bingham came up with big saves again to keep the clean sheet. He had help from Steres In the 16th minute, who made a last-second block on a shot from Rowe.
Overall, the Galaxy looked good and got their second away win in a row.
I had the opportunity to interview a few of the players and head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto post-match.
Zlatan, on his chemistry with Alvarez and Antuna: “It was good. We played with two strikers in the first half and we created good chances. I think we should have scored one or two goals. In the second half we changed the system again and it helped because we could close the spaces more because Kansas plays good football. They have a good system. You need to have patience against them and then punish them when you steal the ball or they make a mistake.”
It seems the Galaxy are really getting ahold of the formation and utilizing individual talents to connect as a team.
They just had four losses a couple of games ago and while no one really wants to look back, the Galaxy are seen as champions and leaders of the league, so when they’re not performing as such and still have the shadow of the 2017-2018 seasons hanging over them, I really wanted to know how the Galaxy dealt with criticism to make it proactive for them as a team and individually.
Skjelvik on how he handles criticism: “There’s always going to be people criticizing you and criticizing the team, as well. We had a bad stretch where we lost a lot of games. Of course, people have opinions. That’s good – it shows that people care about the team. We just use that as motivation for the next games. Now we’ve turned things around so that’s good.”
Lletget on criticism from fans: “I think we have some guys, including myself, that have really sort of experienced it. You get criticized as a team, especially with the four losses in a row. A club of this stature is obviously not used to that and the fans are not used to that. It’s something that I think we managed well. We got together. We didn’t crumble. More than anything, we should be proud of ourselves from that standpoint. We move on now and I think we’ve turned the table.”
Zlatan gave a classic response on how he deals with criticism: “Criticism is everywhere. I like it. I eat it for breakfast… and then for lunch.”
This game is psychological and I want to see the team in top form all around. It’s good to see their passion for the game fueled. This win moves the Galaxy up to second place in the Western Conference for now. It definitely helped boost their confidence for the next match, which is at home and will be the Galaxy’s turn to host Pride Night against the New England Revolution.
Schelotto: “We will keep working and trying to get better every day and to get another three points on Sunday in LA.”
Substitutions not used: Matt Lampson, Jorgen Skjelvik, Juninho, Emil Cuello.
After many chances, Jorgen Skjelvik was finally taken out of the line up and replaced with DieDie Traore, who made his first MLS start, and he was terrific. It will be great to see him against a tougher team to really tell just how good he is.
The Los Angeles Galaxy won by an unconvincing 2-1. They’re playing like their own worst enemy based on the game against Real Salt Lake on Sunday April 28.
For the second home game in a row, the team has been late returning to the pitch after half time.
Zlatan Ibrahimović doesn’t seem to make any effort to control his frustrations and even got out of hand. The trash talk happened between opponents, but he shown a yellow card for dragging Nedum Onuoha to the ground by his neck on an off-ball incident in the 60th minute.
Ibrahimović is the captain and he should be setting an example, especially as the current “face of MLS.” It’s no secret he has an ego and is intimidating. He did attempt to apologize, but it was not accepted. His experience as a captain seemed helpful to Efrain Alvarez, who we haven’t seen since he’s now on the bench for the Mexican National U-17. Team
There’s so much talent! At this point, it has to be psychological. The team has lost key teammates due to injury, the hardest blow being Romain Alessandrini’s knee injury.
At least the strategy wasn’t just to pass to Zlatan this time, but once they did have the ball, it looked like the Galaxy didn’t know what to do. The first half was full of pretty passes and nice footwork. Antuna scored his first senior team goal in the 16′.
Head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto has done a good job in keeping the LA Galaxy undefeated at home. However, his decisions and strategies are still being questioned since the Galaxy can barely keep it together. Why hasn’t he played Giancarlo González?
The midfield is the best part of the team, yet they’re looking at another possible midfielder. A new deal is expected to be done by the Transfer Window closing on May 7.
Goalkeeper David Bingham has also been playing his best to keep the Galaxy on the winning streak. He made six saves this match!
Donny Toia leveled the game with a goal that could be seen coming in the 64′ after the Galaxy lost possession and control of the game.
The Lion saved the Galaxy once again with a goal in the 78′, his 8th of the season, on an assist from Sebastian Lletget.
We’ll have to see how the Galaxy perform against more challenging teams. The next few matches are very winnable or draws at least, if they start communicating better, delivering better crosses and passes, and finish goals. Stronger teams are going to take advantage of their weaknesses, especially if the team keeps coming apart at the seams like they have been in the second half.
The Galaxy’s next test is on the East Coast against the New York Redbulls, Saturday May 4.
Los Angeles Galaxy are on a five game winning streak and remain unbeaten at home in 2019.
17-year-old defender Julian Araujo made his debut start for the LA Galaxy Friday night. He was an unexpected choice in the backline, but he replaced Rolf Feltscher who was out injured.
The Galaxy battled a tough team and poor ref calls, yet still managed to take out the undefeated Houston Dynamo 2-1. Forever Orange, adorned in dark blue this evening (their Parley kit made of recycled plastic bottles, in honor of Earth Day), did not go down without a fight though.
Ibrahimovic scored his seventh goal in just his fifth game on a penalty in the 31st minute.
David Bingham brought his A game, making big saves this match. See below for what was probably the most important of the match:
Giancarlo made his debut as well. The Galaxy scored shortly after he entered the game.
Defender Diego Polenta redeemed himself with his first goal of the season, the game winner in the 88th minute on an assist from Jonathan Dos Santos. JDS is consistent every match and is the fire in the midfield.
Injuries picked up this match were to Romain Alessandrini and Emmanuel Boateng. It’s very unfortunate, especially since both try so hard for the team.
Jorgen Skjelvik is consistently bad. This match he committed the foul that ultimately got Houston the penalty. The call even went to VAR and the referee seriously got it wrong, but that doesn’t absolve Skjelvik.
Head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto didn’t make subs sooner, perhaps, because there isn’t anyone of the available players who could have really made a better impact on this game. For this reason, depth really needs to be built. He’s got his work cut out for him. The whole team does.
It was an intense game against a challenging opponent, full of frustration, and a strange night as even Zlatan couldn’t finish non-penalty shots in front of net, but what matters is the Galaxy won and now they are in second place in the west.
Next match is a quick turnaround. The Galaxy play away this Wednesday, April 24 against 6th place Minnesota United FC.
LA Galaxy: David Bingham; Rolf Feltscher (Julian Araujo 65’), Diego Polenta, Daniel Steres, Jorgen Skjelvik; Sebastian Lletget, Jonathan dos Santos, Joe Corona; Romain Alessandrini (Juninho 90’), Zlatan Ibrahimović, Uriel Antuna (Ema Boateng 75’).
April 13th was just another Saturday night in Carson. Zlatan Ibrahimovic led the Los Angeles Galaxy to a 2-0 victory against Philadelphia Union in front of 24,053 fans.
The whole team played really well and dominated the first half. They moved the ball forward, created chances, and got corners early on. By the 20th minute, it was a wonder LAG didn’t score yet. The Union did their job to smother the Galaxy. But, they kept up good momentum and build up that led to Zlatan scoring in the 27th minute.
The G’s maintained good passing in the 31st minute. Then, a minute later, Ibrahimovic was undercut in the box. He was prepared to take the penalty when the refs decided to go to VAR.
The Galaxy were awarded the penalty and Zlatan converted it to make the score 2-0 in the 34’. That was the Lion’s sixth of the season.
After halftime, LA was a letdown. The midfield didn’t have the same intensity or drive. The team even had an advantage playing up a man when Philly’s Austin Trusty earned a second yellow. In the final result, they kept a clean sheet despite their lackluster effort.
Rolf Feltscher had to be subbed out for an injury, so Julian Araujo got minutes. Emmanuel Boateng came on for Uriel Antuna. And finally Juninho was back on the pitch, replacing Alessandrini.
The midfield this season has been on fire, though there are still weak links and kinks to be worked out, but it’s only the sixth game of 2019. This team is once again fun to watch thanks to head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto, who wanted to make the stadium a fortress again. Check out the stats: TOTAL SHOTS: 11; SHOTS ON GOAL: 5; FOULS: 10; OFFSIDE: 2; CORNER KICKS: 9; SAVES: 2.
The LA Galaxy is unbeaten at home so far, is on a four-game winning streak, and is third in the Western Conference.
The next match is another home game at Dignity Health Sports Park against a flaring Houston Dynamo, Friday, April 19.
Starting XI: David Bingham; Rolf Feltscher, Daniel Steres, Dave Romney, Jorgen Skjelvik (Diedie Traore 88′), Jonathan dos Santos, Sebastian Lletget, Joe Corona, Uriel Antuna (Emmanuel Boateng 84′), Romain Alessandrini (Chris Pontius 82′) and Zlatan Ibrahimović
In front of a crowd of more than 22,000, the L.A. Galaxy won their fourth game of the season when they overpowered the Vancouver Whitecaps FC at BC Place. Zlatan made the decision not to play on turf last year due to a significant knee injury sustained in April 2017, but decided to take the risk this time and played the entire 90 minutes.
The first half of the game, both teams were out of sync and appeared to be unable to find their groove, struggling to keep possession of the ball and see it through to goal. In the second minute of the game, Jorgen Sjkelvic fouled Lass Bangoura in the box resulting in a disastrous panenka attempt by newcomer Ali Adnan. David Bingham easily kept the failed shot out of the net while the players and fans looked around in disbelief.
Center back Diego Polenta was out with a strained abductor leaving the Galaxy’s backline struggling to effectively work together. However, Bingham was a force to be reckoned with in the goal with 5 saves.
The Galaxy came back from half time with a renewed energy and quickly took control of the game. Zlatan got the ball in the net but it was called back for off side. In the 62nd minute Zlatan provided an assist to Daniel Steres who headed the ball in for the first goal of the game. It was his second goal of the season. Zlatan then scored his fourth goal of the season off an assist by Rolf Feltscher, a ball he was able to torpedo past Whitecaps keeper Maxime Crepeau.
Up next for the Galaxy is a home game against Philadelphia Union on Saturday, April 13 at 7:30 PM PST.
Starting XI: David Bingham; Rolf Feltscher, Diego Polenta, Daniel Steres, Jorgen Skjelvik; Romain Alessandrini (Chris Pontius 74’), Sebastian Lletget, Jonathan dos Santos, Joe Corona, Uriel Antuna (Ema Boateng 77’); Zlatan Ibrahimović
This was a different team that showed up on this ZLAtanversary. One year ago on March 31, The Galaxy came back from a 3-0 deficit to defeat LAFC in the first installment of El Tráfico. Zlatan Ibrahimovic made his debut, scoring both the equalizer and winning goal.
The Lion scored two goals this night as well—this time against a struggling Portland team, who showed up with something to prove, since they were finalists for the 2018 MLS Cup. This match, they did themselves in by tripping Zlatan on two different occasions in the box, resulting in penalties that, of course, Zlatan converted. The Timbers did score a goal in the first half and had chances late near the end of the match.
So far this season, The Galaxy are playing better as a team. Still, the defense needs improvement. Jonathan Dos Santos was often playing defense. Rolf Feltscher was virtually non-existent. Diego Polenta is running out of excuses. Why leave Dave Romney on the bench when you could use him in Daniel Steres’ place?
The midfield worked well with JDS, Sebastian Lletget, and Joe Corona. But, Portland did good to concede the wings and slow their attack, which is why crosses into the box didn’t work. That said, Portland’s top players Valeri and Blanco were silenced. The Galaxy didn’t allow dangerous possession. Their only mistake was allowing one goal in the 44’, which I blame on Bingham for not staying in net and letting the defense do their job. He trusts them more now than when Mike Ciani played. One fan observed that Skjelvik pulled Polenta out of position by not staying wide. Bingham should’ve manned his post,
I wanted the Galaxy to do more to score on their own. They certainly had chances, but couldn’t finish in front of net, the balls going over the net, and the only shots on target being the penalties, because Portland didn’t allow otherwise.
It didn’t help that the strategy seemed to be to service the ball to Zlatan. Again. When last match they seemed to figure out how to slide Antuna into that spot. They showed they can do 20 or more passes and techniques to play it on the ground. Ibrahimovic needs to be freed up more and the rest of the team needs to be a scoring threat. Hopefully they, and head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto, will figure it out soon.
Schelotto is doing great with what he has, but he needs a striker who can get Zlatan to grind it out or start in his place when necessary. The Galaxy are in the process of trying to get allocation money so that Giancarlo Gonzalez can join. Maybe with a good center back, Polenta can play better.
LAG had a good offensive start. Jørgen Skjelvik held the ball too long though.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic had a shot that hit off the bottom of the post in the 14’.
Ibrahimovic wanted to and almost scored a hat trick near the end of the match, but blamed a bad pass also from #16 for not being able to score.
He played over 90 minutes. It’s incredible to bounce back from an Achilles injury, especially at 37 years old, but this also could’ve ended his season; which makes one wonder why he should play the full time. There’s a short turn around before the next match on turf in Vancouver, which “G9D” has said he’s got no problem playing on now. So maybe he comes off the bench and plays 65 minutes with Chris Pontius coming in.
We’ll see how our Los Angeles Galaxy take on the next challenge this coming Saturday, April 5, play the Whitecaps at 7PM PST.
FC Dallas played LA Galaxy this weekend in Toyota Stadium. It was a sunny Texas day in March and the stadium was packed full of adoring fans. However, there was one question on everyone’s mind: where is Zlatan?
From the beer garden, chants rang out of “Where is your Zlatan?” and “In the jungle, the mighty jungle the lion sleeps tonight,” obvious taunts at LA. However, these calls were incredibly valid.
FC Dallas made a huge mistake of marketing Zlatan and this game as a once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch him play when he was nowhere to be found. Even more embarrassingly, they ran these ads at halftime when it was painstakingly apparent Zlatan would not be found on the pitch.
For such a hyped-up match, nothing much seemed to happen. Yes, FC Dallas won 2-0, but was it the game of a lifetime? Hardly.
In my opinion, Paxton Pomykal was the standout of the match, even though Reto Ziegler and Bryan Acosta scored the two goals of the match. No one showed as much hustle on the field as Pomkykal in every single minute of the game.
In fact, Pomykal is partially responsible for Bryan Acosta’s first MLS goal. It’s going to be very interesting to see how Luchi Gonzalez pushes Pomykal in his debut season as FC Dallas’ coach.
I would love to see Pomykal as a starter this season as his confidence grows on the field. He only gets better. Gonzalez stressed the importance of possession throughout the preseason and Dallas did a great job of implementing that this match.
We ended the match with 64% possession of the ball and even had a whopping 59 uninterrupted passes.
Other notable moments of the match included Edwin Cerillo’s MLS debut after an awesome preseason. Although Cerillo only joined the game in the 79th minute, he had a solid start, with his first touch being a clearance of Joe Corona’s free kick.
Jesse Gonzalez also had a notable save on the field – arguably one of the best of the week – in the 91st minute. His short reaction time saves are some of the best in MLS. Gonzalez and the Homegrowns certainly had an amazing day on the field – pointing towards a promising season if we can keep it up.
FC Dallas took full advantage of the Los Angeles Galaxy’s mistakes Saturday, March 9, 2019.
Real chances weren’t created. The first half was a battle for possession. Emmanuel Boateng and Sebastian Lletget both had chances to score early on. Uriel Antuna almost made a goal on what was meant to be a cross in the 28′ but it hit the corner of the post.
Dallas could have scored on a wide open net in the 37′ but Jimmy Maurer missed it.
In stoppage time of the first half, Rolf Feltscher had a shot right off the crossbar and moments later Chris Pontius almost had a header.
It was the second half when the Galaxy got punished. The home team were awarded a penalty after Diego Polenta kicked a defender right in his side in the box.
The absences of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Romain Alessandrini were strongly felt.
Injuries are out of the control of the players and coach, so it’s how the team adjusts to these changes that is key.
They’re slow and it’s clear the team didn’t know what to do when they had the ball, which was dire in front of the net. Boateng bested an FCD defender and then missed a crucial shot on an open net.
The ones really let down are the fans. Traveling supporters kept their spirits up though and were the only ones heard in Toyota stadium.
The best and the only attack came from 16-year-old Efrain Alvarez, who hasn’t ceased to amaze in only his second game with the LA Galaxy. His shot came in stoppage time, right on goal. But FCD’s keeper made the save to deny the teen from scoring and maintained his clean sheet.
This match really showed the Galaxy need to develop structure and play as a team. The passion and attack were missing as well. There’s plenty of talent, but they’re utilizing their skills individually. Even Daniel Steres came through to defend until he didn’t. Feltscher did his own thing, earning himself a yellow card in the 21’ for his tackle on Michael Barrios. Joe Corona didn’t get much time on the ball. Pontius wasn’t coming through either.
Lletget had to be subbed in 59’ after taking an elbow to the face and getting a bloody nose that took him out of play. He just can’t stop getting injured. Prior to that though, he did have a fantastic curl that went just too wide.
Boateng was finally subbed in the 76’ giving homegrown LA Academy and LA Galaxy II rising player Ethan Zubak his debut.
Jonathan Dos Santos took on the role of captain, which was a good move as he’s also shown leadership skills and can step up when needed. He is integral to the midfield creating chances.
LAG problems with defense are not new. The backline hasn’t had any changes. However, General Manager te Kloese and Head Coach Schelotto have made moves to build offense and depth. Once again, this team is a work in progress. LA Galaxy II Open Tryout Diedie Traore has also just signed with LAG after acquiring an international spot from Columbus Crew SC.
Expectations need to be kept realistic, which doesn’t mean standards need to be lowered. At this point, fans are hoping just to qualify for the playoffs. Considering both teams had highs and lows this match, there’s still plenty of reasons to keep the faith as Galaxy fans.
The LA Galaxy’s next challenge is Saturday, March 16 against Minnesota United at Dignity Health Sports Park. Kickoff is set for 6pm PST.
David Bingham; Rolf Feltscher, Daniel Steres, Dave Romney, Ashley Cole (c); Romain Alessandrini, Sebastian Lletget, Jonathan dos Santos, Emmanuel Boateng; Ola Kamara, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Justin Vom Steeg, Sheanon Williams, Jorgen Skjelvik, Servando Carrasco, Perry Kitchen, Baggio Husidic, Giovani dos Santos.
The Los Angeles Galaxy just were not meant to make the 2018 playoffs. They had one game to win on October 28th, but the Houston Dynamo spoiled the party.
Although a bad penalty kick call and a few offside calls could also be blamed, this is MLS and this loss falls on the LA Galaxy. It should never have come down to this game and Decision Day. Sure, that’s the point of this day, but not for a club with a reputation as the winningest team. With the worst 2017 season still haunting LAG, the pressure was on, especially with a star like Zlatan Ibrahimovic on the squad.
This result is no surprise. Earlier in the season, the Galaxy failed to beat and collect more points against lower ranked teams, such as the Colorado Rapids, Minnesota United, and DC United.
Not winning at home just pours salt in the wound.
The Galaxy had many chances right down to the last minute of stoppage time. They just couldn’t finish in front of the net. As a fan, it was a tough game to watch as hope slipped away with the minutes.
The Galaxy were actually up 2 goals in the half, both scored by Ola Kamara.
Two weeks later, I’m still moving through all the stages of grief as if on repeat. As I watched the MLS playoffs from my couch this past weekend, I have to relive the loss. I have to listen as the commentators say how Real Salt Lake had made it in that last slot and were able to compete.
The fans are already looking forward to the 2019 season.
LA still don’t have an official head coach since Sigi Schmid‘s resignation and Dominic Kinnear stepped in.
Pete Vagenas, Vice President of Soccer Operations, was let go on November 6th. Fans have been calling for Front Office changes and place the Galaxy’s poor performance on them. This is little consolation to fans as he’s low on the club’s hierarchy and this is a step, but it’s not a big indicator of positive changes to come. We’ll have to continue to wait and see.
In better news, Zlatan Ibrahimovic won the MLS award for Newcomer of the Year. He earned the honor for 22 goals scored and 10 assists this season. He made 24 starts and played more than 2100 minutes. This is the first time a Galaxy player has received this award. He was the runner-up for the Golden Boot, which was given to Atlanta United’s Josef Martinez after his 31 goals set the single-season, goal-scoring record. He was also named to MLS Best XI.
Rumors circulate that Ibrahimovic plans to leave the Galaxy, but at an official press conference on November 7th, he said his primary focus is with the Since ’96 Los Angeles team. As expected, he has some demands, but that is up to the Front Office to meet in order to keep him for sure. See a portion of the interview below: