AUSTIN, Texas (Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023) – Down 3-1 in the 75th minute, the LA Galaxy scored two goals late in the second half to earn a 3-3 come-from-behind draw on the road against Austin FC at Q2 Stadium on Sunday night. Michael Barrios scored the game-tying goal in stoppage-time, while Riqui Puig and Dejan Joveljić each recorded goals in the draw at Austin.
LA Galaxy Against Austin FC
Sunday’s match marked the sixth all-time MLS regular-season meeting between Austin FC and the Galaxy, with LA leading the series 4-1-1. In two meetings between the two teams this season, LA held a 1-0-1 (5 GF, 3 GA) record against Austin. In three all-time matches played at Q2 Stadium, LA holds a record of 1-1-1.
LA Galaxy Run Of Form
Following the come-from-behind draw against Austin, the LA Galaxy improved to 6-2-7 (32 GF, 27 GA) in their last 15 regular season matches played dating back to May 31. During that span, LA has lost the fewest games in the league (2) and ranks tied for the second-most goals scored with Atlanta United (32) behind only the Columbus Cew (35). Notably, the Galaxy have rescued 13 points from losing positions during the 15 league matches played (6-2-7, 25 points) dating back to May 31. In their last eight regular-season road matches played dating back to May 31, the Galaxy hold a record of 2-2-4 (16 GF, 18 GA). Riqui Puig has 10 goal contributions (6 goals, 4 assists) in 10 league matches played dating back to July 4, while Billy Sharp has notched five goals and one assist in his last four matches played dating back to Sept. 10.
ATX – Alex Ring (Emiliano Rigoni, Sam Gallagher), 11th minute: Sam Gallagher’s cross from the right wing was knocked down by Emiliano Rigoni into the path of Alex Ring, whose shot from inside the penalty area was curled into the bottom right corner of the goal.
LA – Riqui Puig (Penalty Kick), 45+2nd minute: After being fouled inside the box, Riqui Puig stepped up to the spot and fired his penalty shot past Brad Stuver.
ATX – Ethan Finlay (Sam Gallagher, Alex Ring), 45+6th minute: Sam Gallagher drove down the left flank and fired a low cross across the six-yard box to Ethan Finlay, who fired in from close range.
ATX – Emiliano Rigoni (Dani Pereira, Alex Ring), 75th minute: Emiliano Rigoni latched onto Dani Pereira’s pass from midfield and his shot from inside the penalty area was struck into the roof of the net.
LA – Dejan Joveljić (Billy Sharp), 45+2nd minute: Billy Sharp carried the ball towards down the left side of the penalty area before delivering a cross into the six-yard box that was headed in by Dejan Joveljić past Brad Stuver at the near post.
LA – Michael Barrios (Jonathan Pérez, Kelvin Leerdam), 90+4th minute: Working down the right flank, Jonathan Pérez floated in a cross at the back post that Michael Barrios headed in from close range.
- With five games remaining in the 2023 MLS Regular Season, the LA Galaxy (29 GP, 8-11-10, 34 PTS) sit in 13th place in the Western Conference standings and five points behind ninth place FC Dallas (29 GP, 10-10-9, 39 PTS) for the final playoff spot.
- Following the come-from-behind draw against Austin, the LA Galaxy improved to 6-2-7 (32 GF, 27 GA) in their last 15 regular season matches played dating back to May 31.
- Notably, the Galaxy have rescued 13 points from losing positions during the 15 league matches played (6-2-7, 25 points) dating back to May 31.
- During that span, LA has lost the fewest games in the league (2) and ranks tied for the second-most goals scored with Atlanta United (32) behind only the Columbus Cew (35).
- In their last eight regular-season road matches played dating back to May 31, the Galaxy hold a record of 2-2-4 (16 GF, 18 GA).
- In 10 road matches played across all competitions dating back to May 23, LA holds a 3-3-4 (20 GF, 21 GA) record.
- When trailing in the 75th minute of a match this season, LA improved to 0-11-3 overall and 0-7-2 on the road.
- When the opponent scores first this year, the Galaxy hold a 0-10-5 record and a 0-6-1 record on the road.
- Sunday’s match marked the sixth all-time MLS regular-season meeting between Austin FC and the Galaxy, with LA leading the series 4-1-1.
- In two meetings between the two teams this season, LA held a 1-0-1 (5 GF, 3 GA) record against Austin.
- Riqui Puig has 10 goal contributions (6 goals, 4 assists) in 10 league matches played dating back to July 4.
- Puig converted his second penalty kick of the season, with the Galaxy have converting five of five penalty-kick attempts as a team in league play this year.
- Billy Sharp has notched five goals and one assist in his last four matches played dating back to Sept. 10.
- Dejan Joveljić tallied his fourth goal of the season in 21 minutes of action as a second-half substitute.
- Joveljić leads all MLS players in goals scored by a substitute (11) dating back to the beginning of the 2022 season.
- In his fourth appearance off the bench, Michael Barrios recorded the game-tying-goal and recorded an assist in 45 minutes of action.
- In 10 minutes played off the bench, Jonathan Pérez recorded his first career MLS assist and created two chances against Austin.
- Jonathan Bond moved into sole possession of second-place in Galaxy history in regular-season appearances (86) by a goalkeeper.
- The match between the LA Galaxy and Austin FC was delayed for three hours due to inclement weather in the area.
Next up, the LA Galaxy play host to the Portland Timbers at Dignity Health Sports Park on Saturday, Sept. 30. The match on Sept. 30 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 (8-11-10, 34pts) at Austin FC (9-13-8, 35 pts)*
Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023 – Q2 Stadium (Austin, Texas)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
LA Galaxy 1 2 3
Austin FC 2 1 3
ATX: Ring (Rigoni, Gallagher), 11
LA: Puig (penalty kick), 45+2
ATX: Finlay (Gallagher, Ring), 45+6
ATX: Rigoni (Pereira, Ring), 75
LA: Joveljić (Sharp, Barrios), 89
LA: Barrios (Pérez, Leerdam), 90+4
ATX: Gallagher (caution), 3
ATX: Väisänen (caution), 30
LA: Cerrillo (caution), 84
LA: GK Jonathan Bond, D Kelvin Leerdam, D Maya Yoshida, D Chris Mavinga (Eriq Zavaleta, 26), D Raheem Edwards; M Mark Delgado, M Uri Rosell (Dejan Joveljić, 69), M Riqui Puig © (Jonathan Pérez, 80), M Tyler Boyd (Michael Barrios, 45), M Diego Fagundez (Edwin Cerrillo, 69); F Billy Sharp
Substitutes Not Used: GK Novak Mićović, D Julián Aude, D Mauricio Cuevas; M Daniel Aguirre
TOTAL SHOTS: 22 (Riqui Puig, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 11 (Dejan Joveljić, 3); FOULS: 5 (Billy Sharp, 3); OFFSIDES: 4; CORNER KICKS: 8; SAVES: 3
ATX: GK Brad Stuver; D Leo Väisänen, D Jon Gallagher, D Julio Cascante, D Nick Lima; M Jhojan Valencia (Owen Wolff, 76), M Dani Pereira (Rodney Redes, 90), M Alex Ring; F Emiliano Rigoni, F Sebastian Driussi © (Maxi Urruti, 85), F Ethan Finlay (Memo Rodriguez, 85)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Damian Las; D Hector Jimenez, M Bandan Craig, F CJ Fodrey, F Will Bruin
TOTAL SHOTS: 13 (Sebastian Driussi, Emiliano Rigoni, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Emiliano Rigoni, 2); FOULS: 8 (Julio Cascante, 2); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 8; SAVES: 8
Referee: Ted Unkel
Assistant Referees: Kyle Atkins, Kevin Lock
Fourth Official: Ismail Elfath
VAR: Younes Marrakchi
Weather: Cloudy, 68 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial
LA GALAXY POSTGAME QUOTES
LA GALAXY HEAD COACH AND SPORTING DIRECTOR GREG VANNEY
On the rain delay and everything that went into this delay, and the comeback on the field once the game played through:
“Guys were loading up in the tunnel to head out for the start of the game at regular time, and, actually, subs were already out there. They called everyone back. We sat around, obviously, as you know, for what seemed like a couple hours. An hour and a half or so. I didn’t know exactly. I actually feel like the group was in a really good place to get started, and then you pause for an hour and a half. But, I thought the group kept their spirits up. We were in a good spot to get restarted. It just so happens the first tackle of the game Riqui [Puig] is down, and now he’s struggling through good chunks of the game, and spent a good chunk of the night trying to get him different tape jobs, different things to see if he could feel a little bit more comfortable. So, I was processing that all night and the best use and moments for him out there. But, then the group… I think, again, the goals we give up, we’re just too far apart defensively. We don’t defend on the second one. It’s a 3-on-3 in the wide area, essentially, and one guy is just kind of standing, one guy is just chasing his guy and the other then is forced to deal with it. It just was not dealt with properly. The communication wasn’t there. The collective engagement of the three of them working together wasn’t there. Then the guys scores from the endline essentially. Just, again, just the way we gave up goals tonight made it really difficult for ourselves. But, some of that is… some of the collective defending, too. I think Riqui struggling a little bit. Didn’t have as much on the defending side, and was trying to pick his moments more on the attacking side. So, I think as a group we were trying to carry him a little bit on the defending side. And, also the group just generally being three games in a week and still hot and humid, and the delay. We weren’t as collective and active defensively as we had been in the last game. Even though we gave up three goals, I thought we defending collectively better the other night. So, nevertheless, the group stayed in it. At 3-1, we put Johnny [Perez] in, have Mark [Delgado] sit a little bit lower. Use the two pivots a little bit differently. I just tried to get Johnny running hard through the line, and two forwards creating some reparation, and put some balls in front of the goal. And, we had an incredibly number of chances down the stretch. We had two or three chances, like, really good chances, before we even scored the goal, that got us to 3-2. We had some more good looks after it. I thought all the guys who came on did excellent. That’s a lot of credit to the subs who came on. I thought all of them brought energy and brought value to the group. They helped us get a point out of this, when it wasn’t looking great for chunks there.”
On if there was concern on keeping Riqui Puig on the field in case of further injury, and his thoughts on Puig not wanting to come off:
“I was watching closely again. I think they retaped him at half to see if they could do something else to make him more comfortable. We weren’t really worried about further injury, it was more just how comfortable he was or wasn’t on the field trying to move around. How he can play. As the second half started, I saw that he was struggling a little bit. I had a plan in my mind, I was going to bring on two forwards. See if he could slip the forwards in and try it for 10 minutes or so, and see if he could slip those guys in or get one of them in behind to get a goal. But I wasn’t trying to push it the long hall, I was just trying to see what he could do. I lot of his magic is off the speed that he dribbles, and he just didn’t have that tonight, so it was going to be off of his vision, the pass, things like that. We were in conversations, I was looking at him, he was giving me things back in terms of where we’re at. But, also, I was just trying to calculate some of the running, and some of the things that we needed time in that game, as well."
On Chris Mavinga’s status, and his overall thoughts on the backline with so many changes:
“Chris’ [Mavinga] was a groin issue, I think. When he kind of jumped and delay with the play and twisted. I just asked him on the way out, he said, yeah, it was groin. I don’t know the severity. Obviously, he couldn’t continue, but I don’t know anything other than that at the moment. The backline is ultimately trying to do their best. They’ve had a lot of changes. A lot of new faces. There are a lot of new partnerships. Tonight, I don’t think… there was a couple plays that our backline has to dealt with, but I think our front group needs to do a better job tonight of making the game a little more predictable, cleaner for them so they can do their jobs. But. I thought there was a number of situations where the backline was overloaded in plays, and they were having some not easy decisions. And, having to manage some – what I call – crisis situations that just aren’t super clear. I think, ultimately, as a group, we have to stop conceding goals, or we have no chance to win against a team. We’re outing so much pressure on ourselves to get three points. Proud of the guys fighting back, but we can’t allow two, three goals in games if we’re going to make it to the playoffs.”
LA GALAXY MIDFIELDER JONATHAN PÉREZ
On Greg Vanney mentioning he would come in and change the game with his play, and if he thought he did that:
“I think I did what Greg [Vanney] told me to do, which was to make runs and whip in the ball because that’s what he asked me to do when I went in. And, I did pretty much that.”
On if he saw Michael Barrios and if he was his intended target:
“Yeah. Yeah. First, I saw Dejan [Joveljić] making the run, but then after I saw Michael [Barrios] and that he was open. I was just hoping that when I whipped it in, the goalie was not going to touch it. The good thing is he didn’t touch it and Michael was there to finish it.”
On the recent back to back results, and what that says about the LA Galaxy:
“That we just need to do a better job of starting off the games. In the last game, we were starting off winning, but off our mistakes they took advantage of that. [And in this game] that’s what happened to us. I think we just need to do a better job as a team and individually. Just do our roles so we can start winning the games because right now it’s very crucial. We need every point right now to make the playoffs.”
On whether or not he believes he and his teammates are still in the playoff chase:
“Yeah, of course. The whole team, everyone believes in each other. We all have faith that we will make the playoffs. Right now, we just kind of made the same mistakes again. We just need to go out there and win the games right now. We need to win games.”
LA GALAXY MIDFIELDER MARK DELGADO
On coming from behind 3-1 down and getting a result and if the team has belief in facing a deficit:
"Anything is possible in this league when you have belief and you play with a lot of heart, and you just leave it all out there and just believe. Play the game the right way, let the ball move and this is MLS. Things will happen right? Especially when you’re giving it your all and you play honest on the day. Things can happen, like in the game against Minnesota and then tonight as well. Even at 3-3, we even felt like let’s throw a few Hail Marys and maybe we can get that to 4-3. And this is MLS… It’s crazy, but it’s what makes this league special.”