LOS ANGELES (Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023) – Down 2-0 at halftime, the LA Galaxy battled back to earn a 2-2 come-from-behind draw against St. Louis CITY SC before 19,554 fans at Dignity Health Sports Park on Sunday night. Riqui Puig recorded his team-leading seventh regular-season goal, while Billy Sharp scored his second goal in four league appearances in the draw against St. Louis.
Galaxy Run Of Form
Following the draw against St. Louis CITY SC, the Galaxy extended their unbeaten run to four matches (2-0-2; 8 GF, 4 GA) and improved to 5-1-6 (23 GF, 17 GA) in their last 12 regular season matches played dating back to May 31. With the result at home against St. Louis, the Galaxy extended their unbeaten run at home to six matches played (3-0-3; 12 GF, 6 GA) dating back to June 21.
STL – Sam Adeniran, 4th minute: Sam Adeniran’s shot from just outside the six-yard box was fired in at the near post. **
STL – Joao Klauss (Aziel Jackson), 28th minute: **In transition, Joao Klauss received a pass inside the penalty area and fired his shot into the back of the net.
LA – Riqui Puig (Penalty Kick), 53rd minute: After a handball was whistled inside the box, Riqui Puig fired his penalty-kick attempt past a diving Roman Bürki into the left side of the goal.
LA – Billy Sharp (Uri Rosell, Diego Fagundez), 82nd minute: Diego Fagundez’s in-swinging free-kick service into the box was headed down by Uri Rosell to Billy Sharp, who flicked the ball in from close range.
- Following the draw against St. Louis CITY SC, the Galaxy extended their unbeaten run to four matches (2-0-2; 8 GF, 4 GA) and improved to 5-1-6 (23 GF, 17 GA) in their last 12 regular season matches played dating back to May 31.
- With the come-from-behind draw against St. Louis, LA extended its unbeaten run at home to six matches (3-0-3; 12 GF, 6 GA) dating back to June 21.
- The LA Galaxy rank tied for first in the Western Conference in points per game (1.8 ppg; 12 GP, 21 pts) with Real Salt Lake (1.8 ppg; 13 GP, 24 pts) dating back to May 31, and rank tied for third overall in the league behind only the Columbus Crew (2.1 ppg; 13 GP, 27 pts) and Orlando City SC (2.1 ppg; 13 GP, 27 pts) during that span.
- In 16 games played at home (Dignity Health Sports Park, Rose Bowl Stadium) across all competitions during the 2023 campaign, the LA Galaxy hold a 6-6-4 record (25 GF, 21 GA).
- In two matches played against St. Louis CITY SC during the 2023 campaign, the LA Galaxy held a 0-0-2 record.
- Diego Fagundez made his 350th career MLS Regular Season appearance, becoming the 23rd player in MLS history to achieve that mark.
- Fagundez recorded his first career assist for the Galaxy, and his 68th career regular-season assist in the draw against CITY SC.
- Billy Sharp recorded the game-tying goal in the draw against St. Louis.
- Sharp has recorded two goals in 88 total minutes played off the bench, which equates to 2.05 goals scored per 90 minutes played.
- Riqui Puig recorded his team-leading seventh regular-season goal and created a team-high four chances in the match against St Louis.
- Puig has tallied six goals and four assists in his last 10 appearances across all competitions dating back to July 1.
- In his 10th regular-season appearance (6th start), Uri Rosell recorded his first career assist for the Galaxy, won a game-high 13 possessions, created two chances and completed 70 of 78 passes (89.7%).
- Maya Yoshida completed 71 of 76 passes (93.4%), won seven possessions and seven duels and recorded two interceptions in the match against St. Louis.
- Mauricio Cuevas made his first career start at home, creating two chances, recording one interception and winning five possessions in the draw against CITY SC.
Next up, the LA Galaxy travel to face LAFC in the 21st edition across all competitions of El Tráfico at BMO Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 16. The match on Sept. 16 kicks off at 7:30 p.m. PT and will be broadcasted live on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.
2023 MLS Regular Season
LA Galaxy (7-10-9, 30pts) vs. St. Louis CITY SC (15-10-3, 48 pts)*
Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023 – Dignity Health Sports Park (Los Angeles)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
LA Galaxy 0 2 2
St. Louis CITY SC 2 0 2
STL: Adeniran, 4
STL: Klauss (Jackson), 28
LA: Puig (penalty kick), 53
LA: Sharp (Rosell, Fagundez), 82
STL: Nilsson (caution), 22
LA: Mavinga (caution), 50
STL: Adeniran (caution), 52
STL: Adeniran (second caution, ejection), 60
STL: Markanich (caution), 82
STL: Hiebert (caution), 85
LA: Cuevas (caution), 90+2
LA: GK Jonathan Bond, D Mauricio Cuevas (Daniel Aguirre, 90+5), D Maya Yoshida, D Chris Mavinga, D Julián Aude; M Edwin Cerrillo (Mark Delgado, 45), M Uri Rosell, M Tyler Boyd (Preston Judd, 88), M Riqui Puig ©, M Douglas Costa (Diego Fagundez, 68); F Dejan Joveljić (Billy Sharp, 68)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Novak Mićović, D Tony Alfaro; M, M Jonathan Pérez; F Michael Barrios
TOTAL SHOTS: 20 (Tyler Boyd, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 8 (Tyler Boyd, Dejan Joveljić, 2); FOULS: 11 (Mauricio Cuevas, 3); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 8; SAVES: 1
STL: GK Roman Bürki ©; D Joakim Nilsson (Kyle Hiebert, 78), D Njabulo Blom, D Anthony Markanich, D Akil Watts, D Tim Parker; M Jared Stroud (Indiana Vassilev, 90+3), M Eduard Loewen (Josh Yaro, 78), M Aziel Jackson (Nokkvi Thorisson, 79), F Joao Klauss (Nicholas Gioacchini, 71), F Sam Adeniran
Substitutes Not Used: GK Ben Lundt; D Jake Nerwinski; M Tomas Ostrak, M Celio Pompeu
TOTAL SHOTS: 5 (Five players tied, 1); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Three players tied, 1); FOULS: 10 (Sam Adeniran, 2); OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 2; SAVES: 6
Referee: Filip Dujic
Assistant Referees: Ian McKay, Justin Howard
Fourth Official: Brandon Stevis
VAR: Kevin Stott
Weather: Clear, 81degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial
LA GALAXY POSTGAME QUOTESLA GALAXY HEAD COACH AND SPORTING DIRECTOR GREG VANNEY
On how he saw the game, it being a tail of two halves and if he foresaw the group being able to come back:
“I did. First off, I think the first half we made some of the mistakes that we thought about not making against a team like this. First goal, early in the game, we know that they’re a vertical team and you have to run through their lines, and you have to make an early decision if you’re going to track runs or you’re going to hold the line. I haven’t seen it back and I know it’s close. But I think if we track the run on that, then we don’t have an issue. I think we deal with it. So, then we’re down right off the bat. Then I think we got into what can sometimes be our bad habits, which is… we get caught in between trying to be patient and trying to force things too many times. And, against a team that is very good in the transition, if you force passes, overplay the game, you can open yourself up and get exposed. The second goal is a transition where we’re quite opened up. Mauricio [Cuevas] has an opportunity to drag him down, do whatever, scissor, something, anything, jump on him and hold him. We talked about it. Just something to stop that transition from happening. But, it keeps going, and they’re up 2-0. After that, I thought we weren’t great, but we had some chances. Dejan [Joveljić] had some headers from close range. We had a couple good looks where I felt like we, as not great as we played in the first half, we still could be 2-1 at halftime. Because there were opportunities there. Which is one thing I gave the group the positivity to go into the second half and continue to try to sort out… the chances were there for us. They were going to be there. And then we get one back relatively quickly, and I felt that that gave us some momentum. The red card comes out of a series where we have some momentum in the game. We’re pushing the game. And, we’re doing better. And once we get the red card, I feel like we’re all over them for a good chunk for the rest of the game. Get the second goal. Have opportunities to get the third goal. Just not enough overall for 90 minutes in terms of punishing them on the chances we got. Because we were into some good spots. And we needed to execute. The goals we gave up, we’ve got to be better at those. This is, we’re down the stret3ch now and every point matters. So, the point… I hate saying it, at home, but a point is a good point, when you’re getting yourself down 2-0, it’s a good point. I know we all in that locker room know there was an opportunity for three points tonight, and we let an opportunity slide. So, we regroup, and a big one next week.”
On two fullbacks in Julian Aude and Mauricio Cuevas in the starting XI tonight, and what he thought of their performances:
“We’ll start with Julian [Aude]. I thought he worked his socks off. He was up and down. He was batting the whole game. I don’t remember a whole lot happening off of our left side or their right side through the course of the day, so I think he did pretty well. I think he left some things wanting in the final action. Some crosses that we’ve got to put in more dangerous positions that he was missing, overhitting, things like that, that I think that he could have been a little better at. I think for Mauricio [Cuevas], he hasn’t played a ton of games with us, he had some highs that were really good, and then he had some lows that looked younger and naïve, and he’s just going to have to gain some experience in some of these situations to maybe make better decisions. But, then again, he had a couple of the crosses that gave us some of the better opportunities. He put the one on Dejan’s [Joveljić] head in the first half that was four yards from the goal that we headed into the goalkeeper. So, he had some good moments. But again, he’s a young guy who needs some experience to learn in managing different situations. I didn’t, again, the counterattack, maybe more experience, he comes up with a way to end that play. But those are just little things inside of the play. I thought on the day in general they did a solid job.”
On Riqui Puig and his play on the field, looking slightly off and his status:
“To be fair to him, he was struggling a little bit this week. He didn’t train much. He’s carried a little bit of a knock, a growing issue over the course of the week, so he didn’t do a whole lot in terms of preparation and training. And just trying to prepare for the match. I thought he looked a little bit tight, a little bit rigid and not free, in the first half. Forced some things. And wasn’t as sharp as he usually is, maybe because that’s a lack of repetition in doing things at speed of the course of the week. The second half, I felt he loosened up a little bit. The reaction was just a bad reaction. I don’t think… no matter what, when a play like that happens, you have to transition and defend. That’s just an action that he needs to be better at. Whatever the reason, he needs to transition and defend in that moment and help us out. But, I was concerned coming into the game a little bit because of the lack of real repetition that he had at speed, that he might take a few mi9nutes to get himself going because he was feeling it. I just talked to him after the game, he said he felt like he loosened up a little bit in the second half and he was a little bit freer. Maybe it wasn’t on his mind as much in the first half. But I thought he had a solid second half for sure.”
On coming back from a 2-0 deficit, seeing resilience on the field and the team’s unbeaten streak since May 31, yet the team is still in 13th place and if tonight’s result proves to the team they can overcome the current standings:
“I think this group really believes in the opportunity that’s in front of us to still get in this picture. We know we have some difficult games. This is the top team in the West. We have LAFC next week, which is always a battle. We’re going to have tough games for here to the final eight, I think we have. They’re all going to be difficult because now the table, everybody is looking and playing the table more than ever in these last 10 games. But, I think the group in terms of its resiliency and confidence, there’s a lot of things that have come out of this stretch that I think is positive. And I said this last week. They’ve taken a lot of punches over the course of the season, between guys getting injured and other things going on and around, but they’ve remained resilient. And we keep finding ways to get results. And today was a bad start. But we still managed to get a result out of it. We understand though, that in this stretch, that one point at a time is not going to get to. So, we need to be also a little bit more disciplined and a little bit more clinical when we get opportunities to win games and score goals. Things like that. So, we understand the task at hand, the guys have been super competitive and locked in. And we’re just trying to go one game at a time. Take the points that we can out of each game as they come to us. So, I’m proud of these guys, because it’s not been easy on this group in that locker room, but they’ve… next guy steps up and they’ve been resilient.”
LA GALAXY FORWARD BILLY SHARP
On his goal and by the time he came on if he sensed the game was turning in his favor:
“Halftime, obviously 2-nil down. Disappointing. Football is a crazy game and we said the next goal would change the game. And, obviously we go the goal, and we grew stronger in the game. They lose a man, and we look like the team who is going to get the next goal. Luckily for me, I get on the end of it. I’ve made a career out of that, for the last 20 years. To get on the second contact. The balls were flying in the box, and I felt I could get on the end of something. Uri [Rosell] put the header across goal and I managed to get in front of my defender and flick the ball in the net to help us get the point.”
On if there is a sense that his side let three points get away coming out of this match:
“Yeah. We’re at home, in front of our fans. We lose two goals, which are preventable. To go 2-nil down after 20 minutes, I think it was, and to give them something to hold onto is disappointing. But the reaction that we gave, to get the two goals back in the second half, for me, it’s a point gained in the end. Disappointed because we wanted to get the three points. But, they’re at the top of the league for a reason. They’ve come into this, into the MLS strong, and they’re playing with momentum at the minute. The last two games, they’ve not quite gone our way. So, we’ve changed that 2-nil deficit to get a point. So, for me, going into next week’s big game is good, because we haven’t lost a game.”
On how he’s feeling fitness-wise, and if he is ready to give a full 90 minutes on the field:
“I’ve trained all week. The first week, I had to sort my Visa. The second week, I was struggling with my ribs. Tonight, I’ve come on and crashed into the keeper straight away as well. I feel as though I’m getting around the pitch a lot more freely at the moment. I’m eager to start the game. To try and make an impact from the start, but we have a strong squad and it’s not just about me, it’s about everyone pulling together in the right and same direction. In the minute, I’m in to make an impact off the bench, and I’m happy to have been able to help the guys out tonight. Whenever my chance comes from the start, hopefully I can take it then.”
On El Tráfico next week, and if he’s looking forward to that derby:
“Yeah. I’ve watched a few things about it. I’m looking forward to playing in the derby. These are the games that us as professionals want to play in. They’ve had a disappointing result this weekend, so we’ve got to go there and put it to them, and make sure we’re on the front foot. Not like today. We can’t be gibing two goals away. We can get two goals up and hang onto that. But, no, I can’t wait for it. The lads have told me that it’s hostile, which, I quite like. Hopefully we can get under the fingernails of their fans and get stuck right in from the start, and hopefully be more solid as a team and have a little bit more control of the game, and hopefully we can get three points for our fans.”
LA GALAXY MIDFIELDER DIEGO FAGUNDEZ
On reaching 350 career MLS Regular Season appearances:
“The 350 [career MLS regular-season appearances] is definitely nice. I’ve been here for a long time and hopefully many more to accomplish. At the end of the day, it was the perfect time to come in and try to help out the team. It was exactly what I wanted to do and I was able to go in and we got the come-back. I think we wanted a little more than that. I don’t think anyone’s happy with 2-2. I think we wanted to leave here with three points and go home and feel happy about it. But at the same time we didn’t lose any points, which is huge. Every point now matters for us. We’re trying to push towards the playoffs and this one point might have not been enough for us, but we’ll take it.”
On trying to push for the third goal:
“I think we did the right thing. We were pushing for a third. This team… you can tell we’re a good team. I don’t know why we’re in the standings where we are… because at the end of the day, with the locker room that we have, the quality of players is amazing. All we can do right now is keep fighting, keep working hard, get points and score goals. When you’re losing 2-0 at home, I think everybody needs to step up and I think everybody did. We come out in the second half and we were able to get one back. We were able to get a red card from them and then we were trying to go for the win. We got another one, and I think if we had a couple more minutes we might have gotten the win.”