Match Report: LA Galaxy Earn 3-1 Win Over Philadelphia Union at Dignity Health Sports Park on Saturday Night


LOS ANGELES (Saturday, July 8, 2023) – Playing their third regular-season match in the span of seven days, the LA Galaxy earned a 3-1 win over the Philadelphia Union before 21,269 fans at Dignity Health Sports Park on Saturday night. Tyler Boyd recorded a goal, while Riqui Puig recorded a goal and an assist for the second consecutive match in the victory against Philadelphia as the LA Galaxy extended their unbeaten run in league play to seven matches dating back to May 31. 

Galaxy Run Of Form
Following the win over the Union, the Galaxy extended their unbeaten run to seven matches in league play (3-0-4; 13 GF, 9 GA) dating back to May 31. In the Galaxy’s last six matches played at home across all competitions dating back to May 10, LA holds a 4-1-1 record (12 GF, 7 GA). During the seven-match unbeaten run, Douglas Costa has recorded a league-high six assists, Boyd has recorded three goals and one assist and Puig has recorded two goals and five assists. **

LA Galaxy Against Philadelphia Union
**Saturday’s match between the LA Galaxy and the Philadelphia Union marked the 13th MLS regular-season meeting between the two teams, with LA leading the all-time series 9-1-3 (25 GF, 11 GA). In eight home matches played against the Union, the Galaxy hold a record of 6-1-1 (19 GF, 6 GA). In LA’s last eight matches played against Philadelphia dating back to May 15, 2013, the Galaxy hold an unbeaten record of 6-0-2 (23 GF, 7 GA). 

Goal-Scoring Plays
LA – Tyler Boyd (Mark Delgado, Riqui Puig), 26th minute: Riqui Puig dribbled away from Philadelphia midfielder Jose Martinez and played the ball out wide to Mark Delgado, whose driven pass into the center of the penalty area was finished at the near post by Tyler Boyd.  

PHI – Mikael Uhre, 36th minute: Jacob Glesnes’ shot from outside the box deflected off Chris Mavinga with the rebound falling inside the middle of the penalty area to Mikael Uhre, whose shot made its way into the back of the net. 

LA – Own Goal (Olivier Mbaizo), 45+1st minute: Douglas Costa’s in-swinging corner-kick delivery into the box was deflected off of Oliver Mbaizo and the ball made its way past Philadelphia goalkeeper Joe Bendik. 

LA – Riqui Puig (Dejan Joveljić, Douglas Costa), 76th minute: Douglas Costa played a no-look pass across the top of the 18-yard box to Dejan Joveljić, who quickly laid the ball off to Riqui Puig. The 2023 MLS All-Star took a touch before firing his right-footed shot into the top corner of the goal. 

Postgame Notes

  • Following the win over the Philadelphia Union, the LA Galaxy extended their unbeaten run to seven matches in league play (3-0-4; 13 GF, 9 GA) dating back to May 31. 
  • In the Galaxy’s last six matches played at home across all competitions dating back to May 10, LA holds a 4-1-1 record (12 GF, 7 GA). 
  • Saturday’s match between the LA Galaxy and the Philadelphia Union marked the 13th MLS regular-season meeting between the two teams, with LA leading the all-time series 9-1-3 (25 GF, 11 GA). 
  • In eight home matches played against the Union, the Galaxy hold a record of 6-1-1 (19 GF, 6 GA). 
  • In LA’s last eight matches played against Philadelphia dating back to May 15, 2013, the Galaxy hold an unbeaten record of 6-0-2 (23 GF, 7 GA).
  • Notably, the Galaxy have defeated the 2022 MLS Cup finalists, LAFC and the Philadelphia Union, in back-to-back matches played dating back to July 4 (2-0-0; 5 GF, 2 GA). 
  • The win over Philadelphia marked LA’s first win of the season against an Eastern Conference opponent (1-4-0) during the 2023 campaign. 
  • In 11 games played at home (Dignity Health Sports Park, Rose Bowl Stadium) across all competitions during the 2023 campaign, the LA Galaxy hold a 5-4-2 record (19 GF, 16 GA).
  • When scoring the first goal in a match across all competitions this season, the Galaxy hold a 7-2-1 record. 
  • When scoring first in regular-season matches during the 2023 campaign, the LA Galaxy hold a 5-2-1 overall record and a 4-1-0 record at home.
  • In his last five starts in league play dating back to June 11, Douglas Costa’s six assists lead the league during that span. 
  • Riqui Puig recorded one goal, one assist, created four chances, completed four dribbles and won seven of nine duels. 
  • Puig has tallied two goals and ranks tied for second in MLS with five assists in seven league matches played dating back to May 31.
  • Tyler Boyd has recorded three goals and one assist in seven appearances dating back to May 31. 
  • Mark Delgado made his 50th career regular-season appearance for the Galaxy in the win over Philadelphia. 
  • Delgado tallied his fourth assist in 24 appearances (22 starts) across all competitions for LA during the 2023 campaign. 
  • Gastón Brugman completed 46 of 47 passes (97.9%), won six possessions, two tackles and four duels and recorded four interceptions in the victory against Philadelphia. 
  • In 16 career regular-season matches managed against the Philadelphia Union as head coach of Toronto FC and the LA Galaxy dating back to 2014, LA Galaxy Head Coach and Sporting Director Greg Vanney holds a 10-4-2 record.

Next Game
*Next up, the LA Galaxy travel to face Vancouver Whitecaps FC at BC Place on Saturday, July 15. The match on July 15 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 (5-9-7, 22pts) vs. Philadelphia Union (10-7-4, 34 pts)
Saturday, July 8, 2023 – Dignity Health Sports Park (Los Angeles)

Goals by Half 1 2 F
LA Galaxy 2 1 3
Philadelphia Union 1 0 1

Scoring Summary:
LA: Boyd (Delgado, Puig), 15
PHI: Uhre, 36
LA: Own Goal (Mbaizo), 45+1
LA: Puig (Joveljić, Costa), 76

Misconduct Summary:
PHI: Martinez (caution), 5
PHI: Bedoya (caution), 37
LA: Judd (caution), 45+2
LA: Costa (caution), 68
LA: Joveljić (caution), 70
PHI: Gazdag (caution), 89

LA: GK Jonathan Klinsmann; D Calegari, D Chris Mavinga, D Kelvin Leerdam, D Raheem Edwards; M Riqui Puig, M Gastón Brugman ©, M Mark Delgado; M Tyler Boyd (Daniel Aguirre, 77), M Douglas Costa; F Preston Judd (Dejan Joveljić, 62)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Novak Mićović; D Julián Aude, D Mauricio Cuevas; M Efraín Álvarez, M Jonathan Pérez, M Uri Rosell, M Gino Vivi

TOTAL SHOTS: 16 (Riqui Puig, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Riqui Puig, Dejan Joveljić, 2); FOULS: 13 (Mark Delgado, 3); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 1

PHI: GK Joe Bendik; D Matt Real (Nathan Harriel, 60), D Jack Elliott, D Jakob Glesnes, D Olivier Mbaizo; M Jose Martinez, M Daniel Gazdag, M Alejandro Bedoya © (Jesus Bueno, 81), M Leon Flach (Jack McGlynn, 69), F Mikael Uhre (Joaquin Torres, 80), F Julian Carranza

Substitutes Not Used: GK Holden Trent; M Andres Perea, M Jeremy Rafanello, M Quinn Sullivan, F Chris Donovan

TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (Mikael Uhre, Julian Caranza, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Mikael Uhre, Julian Caranza, 1); FOULS: 10 (Alejandro Bedoya, 3); OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 1; SAVES: 5

Referee: Fotis Bazakos
Assistant Referees: Claudiu Badea, Kevin Lock
Fourth Official: Jeremy Scheer
VAR: Younes Marrakchi
Weather: Clear, 72 degrees
Attendance: 21,269

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial

LA GALAXY HEAD COACH AND SPORTING DIRECTOR GREG VANNEYOn how the relationships on the field are starting to pay off, and what he sees in those relationships within the team:
“I said it a bit earlier… There’s some new faces in the group and they’re learning how to win together as a team and [they’re learning how to] trust each other on field in certain situations. Sometimes you have to go through tough times, but I feel that through the determination, the grit, of being on the road, and whatever those different things are, that the guys are… they’re kind of coming together with these results. A little bit more in terms of the relationship. A little bit more in terms of sharing the ball. The first half we were a little too quick with it, but the second half we calmed the game down more. A little bit more positioning. But I just feel the connection is there, so that’s nice. Because our game depends on it. The way we want to play depends on sharing the ball. It depends on the relationships of the players and the way they move, and being coordinated with each other. And not just looking at how do I get the ball, but how we move the ball together, to rotate to different positions based off of our awareness of one another. I just feel like it’s gotten better. With that, we’ve gotten better. We’ve minimized the number of challenging moments over the course of the game. And we’ve increased the number of good moments we’ve had over games. And we’ve been executing on some of our final actions. Which was a challenge for us earlier in the season. And, we’re obviously finishing more and taking advantage of that. And I think defensively, we’ve lost Martín [Cáceres] and we’ve lost guys in the back, the group has at least found just a certain level of communication and organization of talking each other through situations, and they’ve dealt with these games really well. For Kelvin [Leerdam], who has been out of position, he’s done a fantastic job just working with Chris [Mavinga] to help stabilize the backline. So, they’ve been doing great. Those are just part of the relationships that are inside. But you see Douglas [Costa] and Riqui [Puig]. Douglas, Riqui and Tyler [Boyd] and their relationships, too, in the attacking side. There’s a lot of good things coming out of the group right now. And also the positivity of getting results makes people happier. And when you’re happy, you get out of your head a little bit. And when you get out of your head, you can connect with people. And, so, all these things matter.” _

On the trio of Riqui Puig, Douglas Costa and Tyler Boyd:
“They’re flying. I mean, they’re playing at another speed. All three of them can play that game at a high speed. Riqui [Puig] and Douglas’ [Costa] ability to get away from the first defender and open up and loosen areas. Their combination play. Tyler’s [Boyd] running helps us out. He stretches the game. He runs without the ball. He creates more options for us. He creates the space a lot for guys to receive the balls in between the lines. And he’s also been able to combine with these guys. So, again, just, I think they’re getting into a rhythm with each other. I think they’re playing with a level of predictability and certainty for one another, not necessarily the other team, but for each other, which has allowed the game to flow in the rhythm they’re enjoying themselves in. They’re finally building and sharing, and working together. And creating two, three player combinations, which is nice.” 

On what the difference has been the past few games, especially in the midfield:
“I think we’re just more connected and we’re a little closer together. Again, paying attention to each other a little bit more. And I’ve asked Marky [Delgado] a little bit deeper than where he was, maybe earlier in the season. He was higher and running out and doing a lot of attacking types of situations. He’s not sitting a little bit lower, staying more connected to Gaston [Brugman], which is opening up some space for Douglas [Costa] to come inside. It’s opening up space for us to create some kind of box or different looks where we’re staying closer together and are able to play faster off of each other. Some of its adjustments. Some if its just, again, the group starting to settle into a rhythm and getting comfortable together. And trusting each other. But, it’s just playing a little bit quicker. A little faster. And passing balls off each other. Getting back. Stuff like that. So, there’s a rhythm to our game now, rather than some of the stretches before. That was partly because we were just battling for a win. And, now, I feel like, probably seven games ago, eight games ago, we started really just saying it’s about our process, we need to get better. And our guys started talking about process. And every day trying to improve on one thing and then we’re a little bit better at one thing. And I feel like we are in a much better place, just here, as much as anything. So, the other stuff, kind of comes together like that.” 

On Riqui Puig being possibly one of the better players in Major League Soccer, and how he’s taking over games, and if that’s fair:
“It’s fair. I think this goes… look, the game, soccer, it’s impossible for one guy to really win a game. You need a team. You need guys connecting. You need those relationships we’ve been talking about. You’ve got to use everybody on the field. And, again, I think just kind of the stress of needing to get a result, the game for us was turning a little bit individual for guys, just trying to make that play. That play that gets that goal. Because we were struggling to get goals. We were losing in the connection with each other. And now that that’s coming back, you’re seeing the best of those guys, including Riqui [Puig]. You’re seeing the best of Riqui. Because he uses players to bounce off of them. You give him the ball, he keeps moving, he gets it back. Keeps playing. That’s part of the beauty of what he does and how he builds speed in attacks. And now, back in, gets the ball, and the game is flowing and has a rhythm to it that he shows you all with the ability that he has. And he had a good finish today, too.”
LA GALAXY MIDFIELDER TYLER BOYDOn what this game means for the team:
“I think we're continuing the momentum that we've been building, seven in a row unbeaten. There was an amazing atmosphere at the Rose Bowl game, and we just carried on playing the same way we've been playing the last seven games. The draws are turning into wins, and I think it was a pretty dominant performance from us tonight.”

On whether he can point to any one thing that helped the team turn things around:
“I think sticking with it, staying together as a team, fighting for each other and, I mean, we're getting some continuity, we're getting some fluidity. I mean, we're getting used to each other. There haven’t been many injuries in the last couple games at least, so the lineup's been getting used to each other. Douglas [Costa] came back in. It's a huge help, but I think things are just coming together. We had a lot of new faces at the start of the season. We played a lot of away games and now we've got a few home games and we're building a good moment and let's hope that we continue like this.”

On what Douglas Costa means to this group, coming off a 2022 season with a lot of injuries and him being in his best form now:
“Yeah, I think it's just down to staying healthy. He's getting game time. He's getting minutes. I don't think anyone can question his quality. His career speaks for himself. And he’s a huge asset to us as a team. So, I think it's just down to him staying healthy and having a stretch of games where he gets a lot of minutes and then his real quality shows.”

On what he can say about Riqui Puig that hasn’t been said before:
“I don't know. You can say he's a really good golfer, I don't know if anyone knows that [laughs]. I don't know. Amazing goal, golazo tonight. Another great performance from Riqui [Puig]. I don't think there's much else to say you've all heard it before.”

On having gone through a tough stretch of three games a week, but having a stretch ahead where there's some time to rest and how important that that is for this group going forward:
“Yeah. The schedule's been really condensed, so I think having a week in between games is going to feel like a long time. Lately we've been playing a lot of games, so it'll be good for us to rest and get our training done and get our tactics done and also recover a little bit. We've been playing hard so it's a blessing to have a week off to be honest.”

On what's changed on the team during this seven-game unbeaten streak:
“I think we found the team and we've demonstrated that if we all fight for the objective to win every ball the team will be a little bit more compact and united, and I think that is what changed. Goals come and I think we are also being good defensively.”

On how they were able to neutralize Philadelphia's midfield:
“Because we are also very good in the midfield, and I think today we were superior in all phases and aspects of the field. I think defensively we had a perfect game and we scored goals in the right moment, and we had more fight and that made a difference.”

On this being the team's best 90-minute performance:
“I don't know. It is true that the team has a different vibe and is a lot happier and we are enjoying playing and being on the field. I think the game against Austin and this game have been the best 90 minutes that we were superior than our rival.”

On being on a seven-game unbeaten streak and being three points out of a playoff spot:
“We deserve to have this stretch and we are happy and excited for what's ahead.”

On Philadelphia's physical game:
“It's respectable but since minute one I think Philadelphia went really hard against me and good thing the referee gave a yellow in that first play. We tried to play our game and had a great game in all aspects, and we are happy for the win.”

On his partnership with Gaston Brugman in the midfield:
“With Gaston I have played comfortably, we have a great combination, a great connection and I think when we are good the team notices and we have been playing very well and we haven't lost in seven games and the team is happy and we just have to keep working.”