Match Report

Match Report: LA Galaxy Fall 2-0 on the Road to Orlando City SC at Exploria Stadium on Saturday Night

LOS ANGELES (Saturday, April 29, 2023) – Playing their ninth match of the 2023 campaign, the LA Galaxy fell 2-0 on the road to Orlando City SC at Exploria Stadium on Saturday night.

LA Galaxy Against Orlando City SC
Saturday’s match marked the seventh all-time regular-season meeting between the LA Galaxy (1-5-3, 6 points) and Orlando City SC (4-3-2, 14 points), with the Galaxy trailing the series 3-4-0. In four all-time matches played at Orlando, the Galaxy hold a 1-3-0 record. In the last four regular-season meetings between the two teams dating back to July 29, 2018, LA holds a 2-2-0 record against Orlando.

Goal-Scoring Plays
ORL – Ercan Kara (Michael Halliday, Antonio Carlos), 38th minute –Michael Halliday’s low cross into the six-yard box found Ercan Kara, whose first-timed shot from a tight angle snuck in at the near post.

ORL – Facundo Torres (Martin Ojeda, Ercan Kara), 57th minute – Facundo Torres was released in behind the Galaxy backline by Martin Ojeda and his low shot from just outside the right edge of the six yard box found the far corner of the goal.

Postgame Notes

  • Saturday’s match marked the seventh all-time regular-season meeting between the LA Galaxy (1-5-3, 6 points) and Orlando City SC (4-3-2, 14 points), with the Galaxy trailing the series tied 3-4-0.
  • In four all-time matches played at Orlando, the Galaxy hold a 1-3-0 record. In the last four regular-season meetings between the two teams dating back to July 29, 2018, LA holds a 2-2-0 record against Orlando.
  • Saturday’s match against Orlando (55%) marked the first time this season that the Galaxy (45%) were out possessed by their opponent.
  • In the second half of the match, the Galaxy out possessed Orlando 52.1% to 47.9%, and LA recorded 88 passes into the final third compared to Orlando City’s 27.
  • In five matches played on the road during the 2023 campaign, the Galaxy hold a record of 0-3-2 (1 GF, 8 GA).
  • In 16 all-time MLS Regular Season matches played on the road in Florida, the LA Galaxy hold a record of 8-6-2.
  • Mark Delgado finished the match with a team-high 48 completed passes (85.7% pass accuracy), eight possessions won and three chances created.
  • Gastón Brugman completed 35 of 45 passes attempted, registered three chances created and won seven possessions.
  • Eriq Zavaleta appeared in his 147th career MLS regular-season match in the match against Orlando City SC.
  • Jonathan Klinsmann made a game-high four saves in the match against Orlando City.
  • Jalen Neal was tied for a team-high two interceptions and two clearances, while he completed 18 of 22 passes attempted.
  • Douglas Costa made his first start of the season, logging 45 minutes against Orlando.
  • Riqui Puig was suspended for the match against Orlando due to yellow-card accumulation.
  • 14 career regular-season matches managed against Orlando City as head coach of the LA Galaxy and Toronto FC dating back to 2015, LA Galaxy Head Coach and Sporting Director Greg Vanney holds a record of 8-4-2.

Next Game
Next up, the LA Galaxy play host to the Colorado Rapids at Dignity Health Sports Park on Saturday, May 6. The match on May 6 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 (1-5-3, 6pts) at Orlando City SC (4-3-2, 14pts)

April 29, 2023 – Exploria Stadium (Orlando, Fla.)

Goals by Half                1          2          F
LA Galaxy                     0          0          0
Orlando City SC            1          1          2       

Scoring Summary: 
ORL: Kara (Halliday, Carlos), 38
ORL: Torres (Ojeda, Kara), 57

Misconduct Summary:
LA: Aude (caution), 37  
LA: Brugman (caution), 59
LA: Zavaleta (caution), 73

LA: GK Jonathan Klinsmann; D Calegari, D Jalen Neal (Séga Coulibaly, 62), D Martín Cáceres, D Julián Aude (Raheem Edwards, 70); M Tyler Boyd (Eriq Zavaleta, 45), M Mark Delgado, M Gastón Brugman, M Douglas Costa (Daniel Aguirre, 45), F Dejan Joveljić (Preston Judd, 75), F Javier “Chicharito” Hernández ©
Substitutes Not Used: GK Novak Mićović; M Efraín Álvarez, M Uri Rosell, M Memo Rodríguez

TOTAL SHOTS: 15 (Chicharito, Dejan Joveljić, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Dejan Joveljić, 2); FOULS: 14 (Three players tied, 2); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 6; SAVES: 4

ORL: GK Pedro Gallese, D Robin Jansson ©, D Kyle Smith, D Antonio Carlos, D Michael Halliday (Alex Freeman, 93); M Cesar Araujo, M Wilder Cartagena (Felipe Martins, 86), Ivan Angulo (Dagur Thorhallsson, 79), M Martin Ojeda (Gaston Gonzalez, 78), M Facundo Torres; F Ercan Kara (Ramiro Enrique, 86)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Mason Stajduhar; D Rafael Santos, D Rodrigo Schlegel, F Jack Lynn

TOTAL SHOTS: 14 (Martin Ojeda, 6); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Ercan Kara, 3); FOULS: 14 (Wilder Cartagena, 3); OFFSIDES: 5; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 3

Referee: Jon Freemon
Assistant Referees: Kyle Atkins, Adam Garner
Fourth Official: Natalie Simon
VAR: Greg Dopka
Weather: Rain, 73 degrees
Attendance: 22,519

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial

On his thoughts on the match:
“I thought the first half, in terms of just the defensive side of things, initiating pressure on the ball, directing them to where we wanted to play… we struggled. And, they were able to… they had a lot of time on the ball. They were able to rotate into their 3-4-3. Guys were showing up behind guys, but again, it wasn’t there for us in terms of getting pressure on the ball. And we were in between things too often, which means a lot of work. A lot of work just trying to recover the ball. We adjusted a little bit. We adjusted midway through the first half, just trying to manage the numbers that they were eventually pushing high by asking Tyler [Boyd] to play a little bit of a wingback to manage the fullback who was taking up high positions. The first goal, he kind of loses him, as the guy takes off and makes a run behind his back and he needs to deal with that. Because Julián [Aude] was coming inside to manage the guy that was playing in the gap. So, I thought we were in the right positions. We had players to deal with the situation. We just fall asleep a little bit, they play it behind us, and then they square one across and it’s 1-0. It still wasn’t… it wasn’t as efficient, obviously, as we wanted, which required a lot of work in the humidity, which was draining. So, again, it probably took a little bit of its toll through the course of the game. We were impatient with the ball. We needed to be a little bit more patient. Just move the ball quickly and establish ourselves in possession. They came pretty aggressive, and we were a little disrupted by how aggressive they were pressing us, and the ball just needed to move quicker from guy to guy. And, we were a little bit slow in that way. So, we never really established possession in ways we could. And when we did in the first half, we rushed attacks. We took shots from distance instead of building and allowing our team to get control of the game. Force them to have to defend a little bit which means that some of those numbers have to come back and defend. Instead, we rushed attacks and then put ourselves back into defensive situations again. So, I thought that the first half was just that. Rinse and repeat of a lot of that. And the second half, we readjusted into a really clear 3-5-2, whereas the first half was kind of a modified version of it, but we came out in a really clear one. We just felt like… I felt like the first thing we needed to do was be more efficient when recovering the ball. There wasn’t going to be any attacks until we got better defensively and clearer defensively and could recover the ball in better places, in control. Their possessions and their attacks, I thought we did a better job of that by and large. We were able to start attacks in better positions, and therefore create more good chances off of better defending. The second goal comes where we recover the ball, and we need to go wide, and we try to jam it right back up the middle, and it comes right back at us. There’s way too many people in the middle of the field for us to be playing that ball in the middle of the field, and it came right back down our throats instantly. We needed to go wide, establish our positions because we were spread a little bit. If we would have, we survived the moment for sure. And, you know, the game stays at 1-0. We go down two. Again, we continue to create chances. We’re working hard defensively to recover balls. Occasionally, we get ourselves exposed in situations that we have to deal with because we’re pushing some numbers. But, again, we created some good chances. JK [Jonathan Klinsmann] makes a couple great saves obviously to keep things close at least. And… I think that becomes the game. We still had some chances to maybe get one and make it even. I think we had one great chance, really, at 1-0 to make it 1-1, and within maybe a minute or two they went down and scored to make it 2-0. So, we knew coming across the country for this game was going to be a grind and a battle. And it was. We needed to be more efficient, specifically on the defending side and keeping possession. Even though it’s April, it’s still a lot more humid than we’re used to, and if you’re not efficient, then it wears on you. And we made some mistakes inside of that that cost us, and that becomes the game.” _

On the broadcast spoke about how the team was too narrow in attacking sequences, not creating any width, and if he got what he wanted out of Douglas Costa and Tyler Boyd, and if that’s why they were the first two subbed off:
“I think, first of all, sometimes to get width, you’ve got to establish some possession. And in the first half, we worked hard as a narrow group to try to recover the ball. And then when we got it, we weren’t transitioning fast enough to re-establish some width. We didn’t hold the ball long enough to give ourselves a chance to re-establish width, so therein lies some of the challenges that existed from that standpoint when you say, or somebody says, we didn’t have width. And it becomes a combination of those things. You know, if you’re defending as a narrow block because they’ve got four guys in between your lines, then you’ve got to be able to recover the ball and transition and get your width out to its positions and be at least secure enough to give them time to get there. So, I felt like, again, that was part of our issue and why we weren’t securing the ball. Part of it was we were hesitating. I think sometimes the play guys, who might have had a little pressure on them, but we needed to use them to link up to get somewhere else where we could find some time. I thought we just hesitated at times, and needed to just be sharper. Give ourselves a better chance to get into good positions to advance our attacks and set up possession and try to control the game with the ball a little bit more. So, yeah, that’s fair enough to say. Again, just… as we went to a really clear 3-5-2, it still became… we just recovered balls in better areas. And by recovering balls in better aeras, we gave ourselves a much better chance. And much more efficient, and a much better chance to keep it and try to secure some possessions and set up and play.”

On positives he can take away from the match:
“Yeah. We’ll take something out of every game. There was some good stuff when we shifted into the 3-5-2 that was valuable for us to see. So the more we use that, the more comfortable we can get inside of using it. I thought there was some good chance creation inside of some of those things, some of those moments… Just some good play. There will be little things here and there to take out of it, but it’s muted a little bit right now with the emotion of the grind and losing. We’ll review the video and take some things out and take some things to get better at.”

On his thoughts on the game and the fight the team showed in the second half:
“Well yeah, I think we played better in the second half. I don't know if it was more battle or what, because sometimes soccer is very unfair. We could just start playing better and people think that you are playing with more intensity and that you are playing better. Sometimes the other team is getting tired as well, they’re making subs that you see their subs didn't do a very good impact. It was the other way around, you know. Our subs gave the impact as well. So I don't want to put the blame that it was like a bad attitude. I think the way that they played, the first half was in a way, a different way more like determination I could call it. And we try to implement our way and our style, and we couldn't make it. You know we couldn't make it and as well, some changes just in the beginning of the of the match. Some position is there that the players are not used to. So I mean, don't want to make excuses because they played very well in the first half, as they were in front on the result the first half. But yeah, I mean the second half we played way better, with more clarity I think and then our substitutions made a very good impact.”

On whether he thinks the clarity wasn’t there in the first half:
“It’s not about clarity, sometimes it’s that we have clear on what we want to do but then the opposition plays better, they defend pretty well you know. That was it. They were winning second balls, they were winning long balls. It wasn't that they were creating that much of plays. The thing is that they played more direct. Things happened in a very positive way; you know. Look at the difference between their goal and the chance we had with a Tyler [Boyd] and Dejan [Joveljić] and it was very similar, they had a cross and they scored. A little bit unlucky as well then when Tyler played to Dejan we could have scored. And sometimes soccer is like that. It’s not about, wanting to blame that it was a terrible game from us, 2-0 on the road is bad, there’s no excuses. We didn't play as good as we played the other match, like the other day that I was speaking with you guys, but as well, I don't think it's that terrible, you know. I mean it's terrible because of the situation that we just have one win on the season.”

On how he keeps the team morale up as the team’s captain and how mentally frustrating it is to not get results:
“The only way, well there’s many ways but with example, man. I'm trying to never give up, you know, keep running, keep trying. I prefer to make mistakes than do nothing. So I always try to play, to run, to give my best inside and outside the field, you know. At training doing everything as well. And then trying to make that be contagious, but I think – man, I have always said it, if you are not motivated enough to be playing for the most successful organization, living in one of the best cities in the world for the LA Galaxy. And then having your paychecks every 15 days on time. You know? And I don't think the salaries are pretty bad in our organization, man. What else do you need to get motivated man? What else? I mean I don't get it. So I'm not saying that my team is not motivated. I'm answering to your question about how they should be motivated. I mean, we are soccer professionals, and you have the chance to represent the most successful organization, and then that should be it. You don't need more but then sometimes soccer is like that. Soccer is about momentum. Soccer is about the deciding one good play, you know. One play can change everything in the game. You can be playing horrendous and then a penalty or something like that. Like, for example, in today's game between Atlanta and Nashville. Atlanta wasn't playing that good and then one penalty came and they were back you know. And then what's the narrative there? Like, I always tell you guys, let's be great. Let's be great. You know, when I spoke of it against Austin, I didn't want to be saying that we're back and we are contenders. No, let's be calmer. Right now as well. That’s the only thing we can do. There's plenty of season, we have now three games at home, one U.S. Open Cup. So there's plenty to play. Riqui [Puig] wasn't playing here and we know he’s our DP and is one of the most impactful players that we have. But yeah, we need to improve. We need to improve a lot and I think we need to find determination. We need to find motivation inside ourselves and then hopefully we can make that be contagious with every one of our teammates.”

On his thoughts with playing with two strikers up top: “I always prefer to be inside the field regardless of [or] even if I’m a goalkeeper. I’m a soccer player, so if I play with six strikers, one striker, two strikers or 25 strikers, which is impossible, but 11 strikers… I’ll try to do my best. Those questions, I don’t like because it’s completely disrespectful. You are a teammate. You need to give the best that you can and you need to adapt yourself. World-class players… that’s what they do. They put you in different formations and you should adapt and you should know what you should do. I’m happy being inside the field with whoever I need to play [with] because every teammate gives everything and every teammate that has this LA Galaxy shirt deserves to be here and hopefully we can prove that.

On being a part of a championship-winning team with Toronto FC and what the Galaxy need to do get back in winning form: “I think we just can’t overlook any opponent in this league. Every match is tough. Every team is going to try to press us and try to get us to make a mistake. But we have to have that confidence and trust in one another that we’ll get the job done and we’ll get our parts done and with that will come results… Plays will come together, more chances come will come and then we’ve got to finish our opportunities. Like you said, I’ve been a part of a championship team and we just have that trust in one another and the confidence that each and every one of us can get the job done. And then Greg [Vanney] has a game plan for us and we have to stick to what the game plan is. We just continue moving forward and sticking to the game plan.”