Match Report

Match Report: LA Galaxy at LAFC | September 16, 2023

27_A_091623_LAFC_MATCH REPORT_1920x1080

LOS ANGELES (Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023) – The LA Galaxy’s four-match unbeaten run came to an end following a 4-2 loss on the road to LAFC at BMO Stadium on Saturday night. Billy Sharp scored his third goal in five league appearances, while Maya Yoshida scored his first career goal for the Galaxy in the loss to LAFC.

LA Galaxy Against LAFC
Saturday’s match between the LA Galaxy and LAFC marked the 21st edition across all competitions of El Tráfico, with the Galaxy leading the all-time series 9-7-5 (46 GF, 45 GA). In four meetings across all competitions during the 2023 campaign, the Galaxy hold a 2-2-0 record against LAFC. In 21 games played across all competitions between the LA Galaxy and LAFC, El Tráfico averages 4.3 goals scored per game.

Goal-Scoring Plays
LFC – Denis Bouanga (Diego Palacios, Carlos Vela), 23rd minute: Diego Palacio’s cross from the left wing was headed in from close range by Denis Bouanga. 

LA – Billy Sharp (Diego Fagundez, Mark Delgado), 25th minute: Mark Delgado delivered a pass towards the top of the box to Diego Fagundez. The Uruguayan flicked the ball into the path of Billy Sharp, whose first-time shot from the center of the penalty area was fired in at the near post. 

LFC – Ryan Hollingshead (Carlos Vela), 33rd minute: Ryan Hollingshead’s left footed shot from just outside the top of the 18-yard box was fired in at the bottom right corner of the goal. 

LA – Maya Yoshida (Tyler Boyd, Diego Fagundez), 59th minute: Working down the right flank, Diego Fagundez floated a cross into the penalty area. Tyler Boyd flicked on Fagundez’s cross into the path of Maya Yoshida, who headed the ball into the top right corner. 

LFC – Denis Bouanga, 75th minute: Denis Bouanga intercepted a pass just outside the 18-yard box and fired his shot in from close range. 

LFC – Timothy Tillman (Mario Gonzalez, Giorgio Chiellini), 84th minute: In transition, Timothy Tillman slotted his shot in from the right side of the penalty area. 

Postgame Notes

  • With seven games remaining in the 2023 MLS Regular Season, the LA Galaxy (27 GP, 7-11-9, 30 PTS) sit in 13th place in the Western Conference standings and five points behind ninth place Sporting Kansas City (29 GP, 9-12-8, 35 PTS) with two games in hand. 
  • Following the loss to LAFC, the Galaxy’s four-match unbeaten run came to an end and the club now holds a 5-2-6 record (25 GF, 21 GA) in their last 13 regular season matches played dating back to May 31.
  • The Galaxy are 2-2-3 (13 GF, 15 GA) in their last seven regular-season road matches played dating back to May 31.
  • In 16 matches played on the road across all competitions during the 2023 campaign, the LA Galaxy hold a 3-8-5 record. 
  • Saturday’s match between the LA Galaxy and LAFC marked the 21st edition across all competitions of El Tráfico, with the Galaxy leading the all-time series 9-7-5 (46 GF, 45 GA). 
  • In four meetings across all competitions during the 2023 campaign, the Galaxy hold a 2-2-0 record against LAFC. 
  • In 21 all-time matches played across all competitions between the LA Galaxy and LAFC, El Tráfico averages 4.3 goals scored per game.
  • In 10 games played across all competitions at BMO Stadium, the LA Galaxy hold a 2-5-3 record (21 GS, 25 GA). 
  • Billy Sharp notched his third goal in five appearances for the LA Galaxy. 
  • Sharp leads MLS in goals scored per 90 minutes played (1.7 goals per 90) amongst all players that have played a minimum of 50 minutes this season. 
  • Maya Yoshida recorded his first career goal for the Galaxy in the match against LAFC . 
  • Diego Fagundez recorded two assists in the match against LAFC. 
  • Fagundez has recorded three assists in his last two appearances dating back to Sept. 10. 
  • Fagundez has 70 career MLS regular-season assists, which ranks tied for 22nd all-time with Jeff Cunningham. 
  • With his assist in the match against LAFC, Mark Delgado has tallied one goal and three assists in four matches played across all competitions against LAFC this year. 
  • Tyler Boyd recorded an assist in the loss to LAFC. 
  • Boyd has recorded three goals and two assists in four matches played across all competitions this season against LAFC. 

Next Game
*Next up, the LA Galaxy play host to Minnesota United FC at Dignity Health Sports Park on Wednesday, Sept. 20. The match on Sept. 20 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 (7-11-9, 30pts) at LAFC (12-9-7, 43 pts)
Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023 – BMO Stadium (Los Angeles)

Goals by Half 1 2 F
LA Galaxy 1 1 2
LAFC 2 2 4

Scoring Summary:
LFC: Bouanga (Palacios, Vela), 23
LA: Sharp (Fagundez, Delgado), 25
LFC: Hollingshead (Vela), 33
LA: Yoshida (Boyd, Fagundez), 59
LFC: Bouanga, 75
LFC: Tillman (Gonzalez, Chiellini), 84

Misconduct Summary:
LFC: Sanchez (caution), 7
LFC: Palacios (caution), 13
LA: Cuevas (caution), 43
LFC: Hollingshead (caution), 66
LFC: Acosta (caution), 90

LA: GK Jonathan Bond, D Mauricio Cuevas (Kelvin Leerdam, 45), D Maya Yoshida, D Chris Mavinga, D Raheem Edwards (Julián Aude, 66); M Mark Delgado (Daniel Aguirre, 80), M Uri Rosell, M Riqui Puig ©, M Tyler Boyd (Michael Barrios, 71), M Diego Fagundez; F Billy Sharp (Dejan Joveljić, 71)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Novak Mićović, D Tony Alfaro; M Edwin Cerrillo, M Douglas Costa

TOTAL SHOTS: 5 (Five players tied, 1); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Maya Yoshida, Billy Sharp, 1); FOULS: 10 (Uri Rosell, 3); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 2; SAVES: 5

LFC: GK Maxime Crepeau; D Diego Palacios, D Giorgio Chiellini, D Ryan Hollingshead (Sergi Palencia, 77), D Aaron Long; M Ilie Sanchez, M Mateusz Bogusz (Timothy Tillman, 69), M Kellyn Acosta; F Carlos Vela © (Mario Gonzalez, 77), F Cristian Olivera (Stipe Biuk, 69), F Denis Bouanga

Substitutes Not Used: GK John McCarthy, D Jesus Murillo, D Denil Maldonado; M Filip Krastev, F Nathan Ordaz

TOTAL SHOTS: 14 (Five players tied, 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 9 (Cristian Olivera, Denis Bouanga, 2); FOULS: 17 (Carlos Vela, 4); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 6; SAVES: 0

Referee: Chris Penso
Assistant Referees: Jeremy Kieso, Ryan Graves
Fourth Official: Fotis Bazakos
VAR: Sorin Stoica
Weather: Cloudy, 70 degrees

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial

On how the loss affects the team’s playoff hopes:
“We’ve got enough points in front of us. We’ve got to perform. For us, our home games are really important. The next two games are against teams that we are trying to track down, amongst other games in front of us. Tonight was obviously an important game, because every point matters and it’s against LAFC. I just felt like, in the first half, we were not at the speed that we needed to be at for this game. Which is a little bit unusual for the stretch that we’ve been on. In my opinion, we were just a little bit behind the game and too opened up. They were controlling the middle of the field on us, and because of that, they could get anywhere they wanted to in the first half which cost us a lot of energy. They had a lot of opportunities. Right after their goal, I called the guys over just to try to adjust the positions of the guys. We were able to make use of it and at least score immediately right back. We got back to the second half, tried to reorganize a few things. I actually felt like when it was at 2-2 and the third goal came, that we were in reasonable control of the situation. I feel like there were points in the game where we were under it a little bit, but I felt like in that particular stretch, we were actually in reasonable control. And then we made a mistake, and now it’s 3-2, and now you’re really chasing it, again, for the third time. That’s a difficult ask and it did not go our way. I feel like we needed to be at another speed tonight that we weren’t at. We need to move forward and really focus on the next game and make sure we come out on top in the next one.”

On LAFC’s fourth goal:
“My comment after the game was, when you have a center back who is driving forward like that and he gets fouled, if it’s almost any other player or position in that situation, maybe you think about it. But when a center back gets fouled, and he’s lying on the ground and then it transitions, you’re dead on the other side. There has to be, for me, enough common sense to go ‘Oh, center back, out of position, gets hammered, is on the ground. For me, this should be a foul and bring it back and we start the play.’ But we at least get a chance to protect ourselves, if something doesn’t go right. Most attacks end in transitions, they don’t end in goals or finishing actions, right? Because he was laying on the ground, it then comes back and we don’t deal with it. But, again, we need to be tighter to beat a team like this tonight, and we weren’t at that right level.”

On the absence of Douglas Costa:
“Douglas was, at the end of training on Thursday, he stuck around and was just hitting some free kicks for a little while. He left that afternoon, he started to feel tight in his hamstring so yesterday we tried to just loosen him up a little bit. He was still feeling it today, and we just couldn’t risk him. Even though it’s a really important game, it’s not the last game. We have seven still. We tried to see how he would do in warmups, because he was feeling a little bit better day on day. We don’t see anything significant, but I don’t want him to get out there and sprint, or do something and then we lose him for the last stretch of the season. So we had to take some precaution on that one.”

On what he saw in the goal he scored and his thoughts on the match:
“It was the first touch of the game and it was a good reaction from us as a group. To concede a goal, to get back in the game was very pleasing. We did so quickly and then we had to get back in the game again when we went 2-1 down, so we reacted twice to get back into the game, but then we gift them a goal and as a group then we can't find a way to get back in the game. We were chasing the game and they got us on a counter attack which we feel is a foul on Yoshida, but I haven't seen it back, they punished us with another counter attack play, which seals the points for them. Disappointing night, but we have to move on now and go win the next two games.”

On his thoughts on the atmosphere:
“It was a great atmosphere, our fans were brilliant, obviously it was a small section. Their fans were wild as well - they obviously have the bragging rights tonight, but sorry to our fans and hopefully we can turn it around with six points in the next two games. We gave it our all tonight, but it wasn't meant to be.”

On his first start and if he thinks he has the fitness to play 90 minutes:
“Yeah I could've gone on tonight. I know the manager wanted some fresh legs on to try and win the game. I felt I needed to be more out there, I didn’t have many touches of the ball which was frustrating, but to get the goal was nice and to get the minutes was a bonus as well. We go again in a few days, but my body feels a lot better now than it did a few weeks ago, so I'm hoping now that I can get a run of minutes and hopefully get some goals which win us some points instead of obviously defeats like tonight.”

On playing his first El Tráfico and his thoughts on the atmosphere:
“It's really nice. I think when someone experiences it from the outside, then finally gets to experience it on the field, it's definitely different. I was really excited to be here and to be able to contribute to the team and play this game. It's not what we want. Not the result that we wanted here. Especially when we go down and then we come back and keep going and then give two goals at the end. That something we need to be better with. But like I said, at the end of the day, we we're going to keep working hard. We're going to keep grinding. We still have a lot of games and now we have to go back home and treat this game like it's a final.”

On his having assisted today and the previous game and whether he feels up to speed with his teammates on the field:
“Yeah, I think I said the last game after the game that I feel more comfortable. I feel like the chemistry is finally there. I think the first couple of games that I played with this team, it was hard to get used to it. But I'm basically there. Today I felt really comfortable. I thought I did a good job, but like I said, especially when you lose a game, it's still one of those games that you just don't feel it.”

On there being a visible frustration from the team and his thoughts on his performance today:
“I think overall, it definitely wasn't a good performance for us. I think we need to be better on the ball defensively. We need to be better. But that's everybody. We all need to step up and make sure that when Wednesday comes and we're back at our field, we do better. We need to make sure that we're getting points because this stretch is going to be tough. But at the end of the day, if you get points, you can make it far.”

On the atmosphere tonight:
“A great atmosphere. Very exciting. We enjoyed the derby, but of course, not happy with the result. From the first half, we make too many mistakes. And you know, with this kind of game, small details make a big difference. And we couldn't get our rhythm which we should have normally, usually. It's clearly not enough today. Again, second half, we came back well, then again as I said small things make a big difference. We have to learn from these kind of mistakes if you want to go to the playoffs. But still, we have a lot of games. And the game is coming soon in a couple days. So, I just said to the group, it is very important [to react well] as much as possible because this is a big test for us next week. And we need to get the three points.”