Match Report: LA Galaxy Advance to Round of 16 of 2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with 3-1 Win Over Seattle Sounders FC on Wednesday Night

LOS ANGELES (Wednesday, May 10, 2023) – Beginning their 2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup campaign, the LA Galaxy advanced to the Round of 16 of the tournament with a 3-1 win over Seattle Sounders FC at Dignity Health Sports Park on Wednesday night. Julián Aude scored his first career goal for the Galaxy, while Memo Rodríguez tallied a brace as a second-half substitute in the Round of 32 win over Seattle. 

Galaxy In The U.S. Open Cup
Wednesday’s match marked the Galaxy’s 55th all-time U.S. Open Cup match dating back to 1999, with LA improving to 36-18-1 in the competition with the win over Seattle. In 29 all-time U.S. Open Cup matches played at home, the Galaxy improved to 25-4-0. LA will learn its Round of 16 opponent after U.S. Soccer announces the draw beginning at 11:00 a.m. PT on Thursday, May 11 on the B/R Football YouTube channel. **

LA Galaxy Against Seattle Sounders FC**
The U.S. Open Cup Round of 32 match between the LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders FC marked the 47th meeting across all competitions between the two teams, with the Galaxy trailing the all-time series 16-18-13. Against Seattle, the Galaxy hold a 10-13-13 record in league play, a 4-3-0 record in the MLS Cup Playoffs and a 2-2-0 record in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. 

LA Galaxy Open Cup Debuts
Eight LA Galaxy starters made their U.S. Open Cup debuts for the club in the Round of 32 match against Seattle: Jonathan Bond, Calegari, Martín Cáceres, Julián Aude, Gastón Brugman, Riqui Puig, Tyler Boyd and Gino Vivi.

Goal-Scoring Plays
LA – Julián Aude, 3rd minute – Julián Aude’s shot from just outside the left side of the 18-yard box was fired past Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Cleveland. 

LA – Memo Rodríguez (Tyler Boyd), 66th minute – Tyler Boyd’s in-swinging corner-kick delivery found Memo Rodriguez, who half-volleyed the ball into the back of the net from just outside the six-yard box. 

SEA – Paul Rothrock (Ethan Dobbelaere), 68th minute – Ethan Dobbelaere’s cross from the right wing fell to Paul Rothrock, who headed the ball in at the near post. 

LA – Memo Rodríguez (Dejan Joveljić ), 84th minute – Memo Rodríguez received a flicked pass from Dejan Joveljić on the left side of the penalty area and his first-time shot was buried into the far corner of the goal. 

Postgame Notes

  • The U.S. Open Cup Round of 32 match between the LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders FC marked the 47th meeting across all competitions between the two teams, with the Galaxy trailing the all-time series 16-18-13. 
  • In 29 all-time U.S. Open Cup matches played at home, the Galaxy improved to 25-4-0. 
  • Against Seattle, the Galaxy hold a 10-13-13 record in league play, a 4-3-0 record in the MLS Cup Playoffs and a 2-2-0 record in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. 
  • In six matches played at home across all competitions during the 2023 campaign, the Galaxy hold a record of 2-3-1 (10 GF, 10 GA).
  • LA improved to 2-1-0 in three matches played at home across all competitions this season when scoring the first goal of the match. 
  • Memo Rodríguez tallied a second-half brace, his first two goals scored for the Galaxy, in the win over Seattle.
  • Rodríguez is the first LA Galaxy player to score multiple goals in a U.S. Open Cup match since Sebastian Lletget scored a brace against Seattle in the Quarterfinals of the tournament on July 20, 2016. 
  • Julián Aude recorded his first career goal across all competitions for the LA Galaxy in the third minute of the match.
  • Tyler Boyd tallied his first career assist as a member of the LA Galaxy in the win over Sounders FC. 
  • In his 10th appearance across all competitions this season, Dejan Joveljić recorded his team-leading second assist of the 2023 campaign in the victory against Seattle. 
  • In his return from injury, LA Galaxy goalkeeper Jonathan Bond made his first appearance dating back to March 18, tallying two saves in the win over Sounders FC. 
  • Gino Vivi made his first career start for the LA Galaxy in the Round of 32 U.S. Open Cup win over Seattle. 
  • Riqui Puig finished the match with a game-high three chances created. 
  • Greg Vanney improved to 4-1-0 in five all-time U.S. Open Cup matches as head coach of the LA Galaxy. 
  • Wednesday’s match against Seattle Sounders FC marked the second of three games in the span of nine days for the LA Galaxy. Additionally, the match against Sounders FC marks the second of five games in the next 15 for the Galaxy; an average of a game played every three days during that span.

Next Game
Next up, the LA Galaxy return to MLS Regular Season action to play host to the San Jose Earthquakes in the 96th edition across all competitions of the Cali Clásico at Dignity Health Sports Park on Sunday, May 14. The match on May 14 kicks off at 6:30 p.m. PT and will be broadcasted live on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV and FS1.

2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup – Round of 32 
LA Galaxy vs. Seattle Sounders FC
May 10, 2023 – Dignity Health Sports Park (Los Angeles)

Goals by Half                1          2          F
LA Galaxy                     1          2          3
Seattle Sounders FC     0          1          1

Scoring Summary: 
LA: Aude, 3
LA: Rodríguez (Boyd), 66
SEA: Rothrock (Dobbelaere), 68
LA: Rodríguez (Joveljić), 84

Misconduct Summary:
LA: Chicharito (caution), 41 
SEA: Baker (caution), 54
LA: Edwards (caution),80
SEA: Paulo (caution), 86
LA: Brugman (caution), 87

LA: GK Jonathan Bond; D Calegari, D Martín Cáceres, D Jalen Neal, D Julián Aude (Uri Rosell, 81); M Mark Delgado (Daniel Aguirre, 81), M Gastón Brugman, M Riqui Puig, M Tyler Boyd (Raheem Edwards, 72), M Gino Vivi (Memo Rodríguez, 65); F Javier “Chicharito” Hernández © (Dejan Joveljić, 65)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Jonathan Klinsmann; D Eriq Zavaleta

TOTAL SHOTS: 9 (Memo Rodríguez, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Memo Rodríguez, 2); FOULS: 8 (Gastón Brugman, Riqui Puig, 2); OFFSIDES:1; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 2

SEA: GK Stefan Cleveland; D Reed Baker-Whiting, D Abdoulaye Cissoko, D Xavier Arreaga, D Cody Baker (Travian Sousa, 64); M Josh Atencio, M Sota Kitahara (Joao Paulo, 77), M Ethan Dobbelaere (Georgi Minoungou, 77), M Dylan Teves (Eythor Bjorgolfsson, 64), M Paul Rothrock (Nicolas Lodeiro, 83), F Fredy Montero

Substitutes Not Used: GK Andrew Thomas; D Hal Uderitz

TOTAL SHOTS: 8 (Three players tied, 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Paul Rothrock, 2); FOULS: 10 (Reed Baker-Whiting); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 2; SAVES: 1

Referee: Matt Geringer
Assistant Referees: Chris Elliot, Eduardo Jeff
Fourth Official: Servando Berna Rico
Weather: Clear, 66 degrees
Attendance: 8,412

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial


On what he saw from his team tonight:
_“Yeah. I mean I thought we still tried a little something in the first half, it was a little bit different, but it's still inside of what we have normally done. We had one forward on the field, we had some width ahead of the ball, we tried to keep that width presence ahead of the ball a little bit more just because I feel like we've been so central focused over the stretch of having two forwards. We just keep forcing things down the middle. So, keeping the width ahead of the ball. The intent was to try to get the ball going to the sides, and not so much down the middle and I thought we did a better job for the most part today of not losing balls. Jamming things to the middle of the field, right in front of our lines, things like that. So yeah, I thought there was some good things that again, I did think we simplified the game, the ball moved a little bit quicker between guys. There are times though, especially in the first half, when I think we had some momentum into the attack and we send to turn back and we turn it into a possession, when I think there's a potential attack there. Still getting guys committed to making those runs behind the back lines and sometimes you're going to get the ball and sometimes you don't. But you have to go for it sometimes, because when we don't, we end up bringing balls backwards and we end up having to set up attacks and break down 10 guys again. So those are the things that I think we just have to keep working towards. But again, I thought in general, I thought it was a good night, good goals from all three goals. It was great for Memo [Rodriguez] to come on, he hasn't seen the field in a few games, and he's been working really hard over the stretch, and he hits one of the hardest balls on the team and he found himself with two good looks today and he picked out great spots. Really happy for him because he's the guy that has really put in a shift early in the season, he was playing out there on the wing and just wasn't, just based off of how we were playing, it was just challenging for him, and I think he came on tonight and obviously made a big difference for the group. I think all the guys that came on did well. Yeah, I thought overall, it's nice to get a win because this is one of those games where you go out and you're playing a very young team on the other side and you have a lot to lose on the day too, if you don't come out with the result, you know, because if our guys who are big names on the back of their jerseys and everything else lose to a team that's playing some of their depth in their roster, there's a lot of stress inside of that too. Inside of us, getting a result. So, I thought the guys managed it well and they handled it well and we did what we are supposed to do, which is win the game and sometimes that's easier said than done. And today we did what we needed to do, and we won the game.”

On scoring early with a quality goal:
“Yeah, it was nice. Again, that's one of the objectives of this group is to get the first goal. It was nice to get it so early, as you said, I think that frees up the group a little bit as well. And Julián [Aude], when the ball popped out, he took a great first touch and he had a good look and a good angle, and he got a hold of it. Very happy for him. Obviously since arriving, he's done a great job and so for him to get a goal I know felt good for him so, but it also felt good for the team to get on the right side of the game early on and play from a good position.”_

On the positioning of Jalen Neal on the left center back and Martín Cáceres as right center back and whether there’s anything to that:
“No, I just as we, you know, we set up to build attacks, it puts Jalen [Neal] a little bit more in the middle sometimes and Martín [Cáceres] on the right. Martin is kind of a hybrid between an outside back in his career and a center back. So, it just allows him to be on the edge a little bit more versus a little bit more in the middle in some of those situations too.”

On Gino Vivi’s first start and what he thought of his performance:
“I thought he did a nice job. You know, I think again he brings something a little bit different to our group, he's quick. The little run behind, he'll go at people. A couple of times, he cut it back where I’d like for him to go ahead and go one on one. But showed some confidence out there, I thought. And getting out of some tight situations. So I thought it was a good start for him, a little bit of some things defensively in terms of his spacing where he was a little bit narrow and gave up a little bit of width and gave things where they were able to get around him or behind him a little bit easily. Some things reactive in defending where he can be a little more aware and proactive that he'll continue to grow at. But I thought he showed confidence. I thought he showed competence out there and again he brings a little bit of a different element for us because he likes to say wide and he likes to use the width as you know, as where he plays from, where a lot of our guys like to invert and come inside, he likes to stay out wide so it's nice. So, as he settles in, he'll get more, I think he'll even get more dynamic. He'll take more risk in some of these actions and really start to work behind the backline a little bit more. But I liked his game tonight. I think he did a nice job.”

On putting big names in the lineup tonight and whether that hurts the team for Sunday:
“Well, you know if we would have had two days between now and the next one, then I would have done something a little bit different as they did. You know, in talking to Brian [Schmetzer] before the game, he was like ‘I wish I had an extra day like you, I would have done something a little bit different’ but whenever you have the full three-day rest or whatever, four days between games, then most guys recover, their normal, it's a normal routine they've recovered and they're ready to go to the next one. I think guys would love to do that all year long, because they wouldn't have to train and they would just play and they would recover and play. When you get the three day, which we have next week, it becomes a little bit trickier. And so, for us, it was important that we get some rhythm. It was important for us to use this game as well as an exercise to sort some things out a little bit and to connect a little bit as a group and obviously if we could build some momentum from a successful night, we want to be able to use that in the week. And for me, that was far more important than just shifting it up and I think we'll get the rest and recovery for the weekend that we need.”

On reverting back to playing with one striker and his assessment of Javier “Chicharito” Hernández’s performance tonight:
“What I said earlier is, I think when you have two forwards on the field, you need to be goal-dangerous. You need to score more goals because and your two forwards sometimes need to, not sometimes, they need to kind of play off of each other and they need to give you something different than the attack because you tend to lose a little bit sometimes on the defensive side, when you have two forwards, you lose a little bit of sometimes control of the midfield because you lose a number, maybe that you would normally have in the midfield, you have up in that last line and because our two forwards are really similar, they're guys who want to be up high and want to be nines. It's not really uncomfortable, but it's not their thing to drop into midfield, one of them and to be sort of that nine and a half, you know, they're both nines, they both want to be in the box and they want to score. So, I just felt like it didn't serve us enough purpose. Even though we were looking at different ways to create more goal-danger inside of our group, given the group that we have, I felt it jammed the ball down the middle too much. I felt like we didn't use the widths enough. And I think that those things didn't work for us as well, both on the defending side and the attacking side. I thought this gave us more balance in the game. Both of our sides were effective. And I thought we were good at using the width better and not forcing the game down the middle so much, and when we did play through the middle, I thought it was because we had opened up the middle by utilizing both of the sides and not just trying to play straight through the middle. So yeah, I thought it suited us, I thought we looked a little bit more comfortable at times and I thought as the game progressed, then I thought we started to see a little bit of the flare come back out of the group and a little bit of the tension that maybe comes with the results, I thought that kind of came out and they started to loosen up and play a little bit freer as the game went on. So yeah, those were the reasons. And yeah, Chicha has had a busy couple of days. He had a trip to go on for an appearance and come back. I wanted to get him 45 to 60 minutes to see where he was at, just to get him in the game and see if we could get on top of the game and then kind of go from there. So, I thought he, you know, first half I thought it was a, you know, he was a couple times where it looked like things were going to turn dangerous and he was tripped. Guys got a poke in on it and things like that. Second half, I think he came out and really competed to hold up balls. I thought the second half he really was battling and helping us to get things going forward and was in some good sports to, you know, possibly see some finishes, things like that. So, I thought he put in a workman shift and trying to you know, trying to help the team to hold up the ball, to bring attacks forward, things like that.”

On Julián Aude’s and Calegari’s performances:
“Yeah, they are two young players that have been asked to adapt to the league really quickly, you know, a lot of guys take time to come to MLS or a new league, a new culture, a new place, new way of living, and they take time. And these two guys have kind of hit the ground running. They've done, you know, nice job of filling into those spots. But I think, you know, they don't have to be the sole answer to us. I think, you know, we got some time for Rah [Raheem Edwards] back out there again and we have Kelvin [Leerdam], who is ready to go. Unfortunately, with the 18, he wasn't in the group because we dropped the 18 instead of 20. But he's ready to go. He's been training great. So, we feel like we have two guys on both of the sides that we can get through this difficult stretch with and be very confident with those guys.”

On how a victory tonight impacts the pressure overall:
“I think just for the guys, like just the emotion of scoring three goals, you know, I think that helps obviously. It loosens things up getting more guys involved in the game and some guys going. It helps those guys to feel like they're part of it. So, I think anytime you win, it helps the emotion. You want to play off of that momentum. The fact that we play at home again on the weekend. I think that's a positive thing as well that we're not just going off on the road but we play a home game and then we've got to go two away. But we want to try to build off of the positive night that we had and I thought as the game progressed, I thought the guy's freed up a little bit. Riqui [Puig] freed up a little bit. I thought you know, when Danny [Daniel Aguirre] came in and Memo [Rodriguez] and the group just kind of loosened up a little bit and started to see some, some creative soccer inside of the structure, which is ultimately where we want to be. We don't want to be rigid inside of the structure. We want to be flowing and creative and all those kinds of things. I thought we got there as the game progressed and it looked like some really good attacks once we got it loosened up.”

On his performance tonight:
"Overall, it was a great team performance I know the league, the season is very long and I know that I'll get opportunities at some point. I've been in the league for a while so I've been through this period sometimes in my career so I'm just happy to get two goals and help the team win and advance and like I said be patient and be ready when your number is called."

On the third goal tonight:
"You saw that whenever we scored it just made everybody relax a bit and be themselves. Everybody did their job today and I think that was an important thing to see and obviously in the third goal it was great build up with Decky [Dejan Joveljić] and Rah [Raheem Edwards] I told Rah to let go because I was right there in a good position so just following up the play and getting the shot on target. I think that was the biggest things I needed to do is get shot on target and you never know the ball can go in or the ball can go out so it was important for me to hit the target today."

On scoring a brace: 
"I think it's super important for me, it's been a long time coming. I struggled last season as well so I think just getting that monkey off my back with those two goals almost felt like I scored my first goals in my career just getting on that score sheet again. I played that position so much I should be comfortable and help the team in any way possible and I think just trying to give Greg [Vanney] the confidence to put me out there where ever he needs me and help the team win and like I said it was important for me to get on the score sheet and hopefully there are many more to come."