Match Report

Match Report: LA Galaxy Extend Unbeaten Run to Three Matches with 0-0 Shutout Draw Against Houston Dynamo FC at Dignity Health Sports Park on Saturday Night

LOS ANGELES (Saturday, Sept. 2, 2023) – Playing their third game in the span of eight days, the LA Galaxy played to a 0-0 shutout draw against Houston Dynamo FC before 20,035 fans at Dignity Health Sports Park on Saturday night.

Galaxy Run Of Form
Following the draw against Houston, the Galaxy extended their unbeaten run to three matches (2-0-1, 6 GF, 2 GA) and improved to 5-1-5 (21 GF, 15 GA) in their last 11 regular season matches played dating back to May 31. With the result at home against Houston, the Galaxy extended their unbeaten run at home to five matches played (3-0-2; 10 GF, 4 GA) dating back to June 21.

LA Galaxy Against Houston Dynamo FC
Saturday’s match marked the 42nd all-time meeting across all competitions between the LA Galaxy and Houston Dynamo FC with LA leading the series 17-14-11. Against Houston, the Galaxy hold a 13-14-11 record in league play, a 1-0-0 record in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and a 3-0-0 record in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs. In the first meeting between the two teams this season, the Galaxy fell 3-0 on the road to the Dynamo at Shell Energy Stadium on April 8. In 18 regular-season matches played at home against Houston, the Galaxy hold a 6-5-7 record.

Goal-Scoring Plays

Postgame Notes

  • Following the win over Houston, the Galaxy extended their unbeaten run to three matches (2-0-1, 6 GF, 2 GA) and improved to 5-1-5 (21 GF, 15 GA) in their last 11 regular season matches played dating back to May 31.
  • The Galaxy recorded their second shutout in the span of three games dating back to Aug. 26.
  • With the draw against Houston, the Galaxy extended their unbeaten run at home to five matches (3-0-2; 10 GF, 4 GA) dating back to June 21.
  • In 15 games played at home (Dignity Health Sports Park, Rose Bowl Stadium) across all competitions during the 2023 campaign, the LA Galaxy hold a 6-6-3 record (23 GF, 19 GA).
  • Diego Fagundez made his home debut for the LA Galaxy, tallying a team-high three chances created in 63 minutes played in his first start for the club.
  • Jonathan Bond, who made three saves in the win over Houston, broke a tie with Donovan Rickets to make the third-most regular-season appearances (82) by an LA Galaxy goalkeeper in team history.
  • Bond recorded his fourth shutout across all competitions this season and his 15th career shutout in league play for the Galaxy.
  • Maya Yoshida completed 61 of 66 passes (92.4%), won four possessions, four duels and two tackles, recorded four clearances and two interceptions in the match against Dynamo FC.
  • In his return the starting lineup, Chris Mavinga completed 68 of 71 passes (95.8%), won eight possessions and notched two clearances.
  • Jonathan Pérez made his first appearance for the Galaxy dating back to April 1, logging 11 minutes off the bench and registering one shot against Houston.
  • With his yellow card in the match against Houston, Raheem Edwards will miss the next match against St. Louis CITY SC due to yellow-card suspension.
  • Edwards won eight duels and four fouls and completed two dribbles in the draw against Houston Dynamo FC.

Next Game
Next up, the LA Galaxy play host to St. Louis CITY SC at Dignity Health Sports Park on Sunday, Sept. 10. The match on Sept. 10 kicks off at 5:00 p.m. PT and will be broadcasted live on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.
2023 MLS Regular Season
LA Galaxy (7-10-8, 29pts) vs. Houston Dynamo FC (11-10-6, 39 pts)
Saturday, Sept. 2, 2023 – Dignity Health Sports Park (Los Angeles)

Goals by Half 1 2 F
LA Galaxy 0 0 0
Houston Dynamo FC 0 0 0

Scoring Summary:

Misconduct Summary:
LA: Edwards (caution), 34
HOU: Steres (caution), 38
HOU: Caicedo (caution), 55
HOU: Quiñónes (caution), 64
HOU: Artur (caution), 90+8

LA: GK Jonathan Bond, D Calegari, D Maya Yoshida, D Chris Mavinga, D Raheem Edwards; M Mark Delgado (Edwin Cerrillo, 63), M Uri Rosell (Jonathan Pérez, 79), M Riqui Puig ©, M Tyler Boyd (Daniel Aguirre, 63), M Diego Fagundez (Michael Barrios, 63); F Dejan Joveljić (Billy Sharp, 63)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Novak Mićović, D Mauricio Cuevas, D Kelvin Leerdam, D Eriq Zavaleta

TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (Tyler Boyd, Dejan Joveljić, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Four players tied, 1); FOULS: 10 (Three players tied, 2); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 8; SAVES: 3

HOU: GK Andrew Tarbell; D Ethan Bartlow, D Daniel Steres, D Griffin Dorsey, D Micael (Brad Smith, 68); M Hector Herrera ©, M Luis Caicedo, M Sebastian Kowalczyk (Coco Carrasquilla, 64), M Amine Bassi (Thor Ulfarsson, 79), M Corey Baird (Ibrahim Aliyu, 64), F Nelson Quiñónes (Artur, 90+3)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Xavier Valdez; D Franco Escobar, M Ivan Franco

TOTAL SHOTS: 9 (Hector Herrera, Amine Bassi, 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Three players tied, 1); FOULS: 16 (Sebastian Kowalczyk, Griffin Dorsey, 3); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 2; SAVES: 4

Referee: Armando Villarreal
Assistant Referees: Stefan Tanaka-Freundt, Felisha Mariscal
Fourth Official: Joshua Encarnacion
VAR: Younes Marrakchi
Weather: Clear, 77 degrees
Attendance: 20,035

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial

On his thoughts on the night, and coming out of a three game in eight days stretch with seven points:
“I think as a collective week, it was a great week. I mean, you put seven points together in three game weeks and you aggregate that over the season, you’re going to win the Supporters Shield. But, the third one at home, we would have loved to get three points out of this one. But, I felt like it was a game of lost opportunities in our attacks. We were able to, I think, pretty consistently, get into the attacking half of the field on several occasions. Get into something that looks like it can be attack and then we falter in the final action. Whether it’s the second to final pass. The second assist pass, which leads to a better pass. The cross. We had 16 crosses, but only one of them, two of them, maybe turned into decent looks. I remember the cut back to Tyler [Boyd], who finished it. But 16 crosses, most of which lead to virtually nothing. So, that, for me, it was just a night of a lot of wasted attacks that I think we need to be more detailed, sharper, and obviously need to try to be cleaner and finish. We had some transitions where I thought we had – we call them fast attacks – where we go through the lines and we go full speed into our attacks, and too many of those we shorted the pass and lost it in front of their back line, instead of being able to get behind them. And those were coming back at us. And they were fast attacks against us, and I thought that accounted for a decent number of their opportunities in their transition as well. Some of those attacks, if we’re talking about, that looked promising for us, it turned around and ended up dangerous against us. That’s just… we have to be better in, again, the creation of the attack and the finishing of the attack. Otherwise we leave ourselves in these vulnerable positions. Especially in the third game of the week, when guys are… they’ve laid it out pretty heavy in the two games prior, and to have an open game where it’s going end to end, where the midfield is pretty empty because one group is attacking and one group is defending, is a tough one. But, again, I give the guys a ton of credit for the work, the effort, getting the zero, protecting the goal down the stretch. With 10 men, I thought we did a good job of managing out the game. This group has gone through a lot. Again, just losing Douglas [Costa] last week. Lucas [Calegari] goes down today. The amount of punches we’ve taken and still fighting and getting seven points this week is massive in my opinion. We can’t be underestimated.”

On the status of Calegari:
“No indication. I just know he went down because of his knee. And he didn’t come back in, which I don’t like. I don’t know anything more until we get a scan and see what’s going on. So I don’t have an indication really.”

On his decision behind making four substitutions at once, at the time in the game he did:
_There was… I mean, Mark [Delgado] was gassed. And Tyler [Boyd] had spent what he had. I felt that Dejan [Joveljić] probably had a little bit more, but I wanted to see what [Billy] Sharpy could bring to this group and give him an opportunity, not five minutes or 10 minutes, but really give him and opportunity to try and impact the group and the team. And I feel like the game just needed some legs. Needed a boost of energy from our side at that point. Because we weren’t necessarily taking any water, but we were managing the situation I felt. We weren’t necessarily on the front foot. So, I felt like bringing multiple guys in could help to change. If you bring one guy in or two guys in, it doesn’t necessarily change the energy of the group. I felt we just needed more. In the end, it left us short in the final minutes, but, hindsight is 20/20 on something like that. But I felt like the group, in order to give us a chance to regain some momentum and to win, we needed a boost and energy.”

On his side managing transition moments well tonight, and what about this group has changed in the last 10 games:
“I would say over the course of the season, we’ve had to manage too many, so maybe we’ve gotten better at it. Adding Maya [Yoshida] with his maturity and his decision making that he’s making in some of these crisis situations. Chris [Mavinga] tonight with his speed adds a different element to our group when he’s on the field, because he can just cover territory and deal with situations. I thought the midfield, our midfield is always very hardworking and they were recovering quickly to get back under things. Our fullbacks tonight, we had Lucas [Calegari] a little bit lower, and didn’t put him in the attack so much. Again, he was in the third game of this week and used Mark [Delgado] a little big higher, so having another defender in defensive situation in crisis helped the situation. We’ve tried to be more cognizant of those situations, and ideally, not putting ourselves in those situations. But, as we’ve said earlier, for the reasons earlier, we did, and we did a solid job of managing and ultimately surviving all of them. We did a good job of managing them.”

On Diego Fagundez’s home debut and first start for the LA Galaxy:
“I felt like Diego [Fagundez] is still settling in within the group. He’s very clever about his positional play. He’s a smart player and he’s a technical player. I still think he’s finding his top speed within our group in terms of just the changing of tempo, the higher intensity moments and getting more of those in, where he can be impactful in some final play moments. Because he has the quality, he has the intelligence to be in the right positions. He knows where he should be running, where he should be. Want to see him get up to a little bit higher speed and higher intensity. Some more of those moments, because I think he will then see the goal more. Because he has an incredible shot, especially coming in on the right foot, it’s a weapon. And I think he’s capable of getting into the box and also getting to the endline from time to time. So, again, I think he’s understanding a lot in terms of the positional play. I just would like to see him get comfortable about taking more risk in some of those high intensity moments in some of those final actions.”

On tonight’s match:
"Going down to 10 men at the end of the game, I actually felt like we were still kind of looking to score the winner more than they were, they were kind of breaking away which is a good sign seeing as we were down a man but in general I thought the game was a really high level especially the first half. Both teams played with a lot of intensity, both moved the ball around really well, both had clear ideas of how to play like positioning and stuff so it was who was going to give in first and neither team gave anything away so I think that is something we have to be proud of because maybe there were times in the past where something didn't go quite right for us and we end up losing the game but if today we weren't going to win it is good to take the point."

On Maya Yoshida:
"His experience really helps us. He's very vocal, organizes very well, very experienced, reads the game very well, just every aspect of it and has a lot of aggression as well. I found a lot of trust in him and him in me very quickly. I think together we feel very comfortable and he did get into good position but then our defending in and outside of the box from everyone was really strong. In tight spaces they really lead some really quick sort of one touch stuff and we dealt with most of it. Honestly they are a really good team, sometimes we've lost games to lesser teams and they've come here and they've been on a roll and in good form and they've come here and put in a good performance and I thought we matched them in every way and honestly probably had anyone had to take three points it would have been us."

On limiting Houston Dynamo's counterattack chances:
"That's one of their main strengths we talked about before the game was their counterattack threat, they have a lot of pace, they are very clean when they do break away and just having Maya [Yoshida], Chris [Mavinga] we try to organize as much as possible behind the ball and I thought we did that very well today. They tried it a lot like 95 percent of their counterattacks we stopped and that obviously comes from being in good positions in possession as well so when we do give the ball away then everyone is in the right position and we can win the ball back."

On the team's defensive performance:
"It's always good to have a clean sheet but at the same time we are a bit lucky today. Could be 1-nil down, 2-nil down and we need to improve like I said last press conference we need to reduce the careless mistakes in the midfield that we conceded last game against San Jose and today we could focus very well, but unsteady probably but in the end we got a clean sheet. That kind of success we need to build up and bring confidence back especially defensively we need it and of course we have to score this is soccer but this is the most difficult part of soccer so it will come."

On getting seven points out of three games:
"In three game we got seven points, two clean sheets as I've said we need to build up this kind of confidence. That is pretty good, not too bad but of course today we wanted to win but they are quite a good team and they have a great midfielders and a lot of times they dominated us in the midfield so it was very different between the last two games but individually I could understand more Major League Soccer so that is a positive thing as well so let's a have a good break and then again next weekend."

On having played 90 minutes in each of his first three games with the team:
"The physical is not easy of course because probably the last time I played three times a week was a long time ago, more than three months. I tried to play simple again and today a little bit unsteady but in the end we got a clean sheet. Chris [Mavinga] played instead of Eriq [Zavaleta] and he played very well and the fullbacks also very solid and [Jonathan] Bond also great save. I'm understanding my teammates little by little so this is a great thing we need to build up and we have to keep going like this, this way I'm pretty sure is good way."