Match Report: LA Galaxy vs. Colorado Rapids | May 6, 2023

LOS ANGELES (Saturday, May 6, 2023) – Playing their 10th match of the 2023 campaign, the LA Galaxy fell 3-1 to the Colorado Rapids at Dignity Health Sports Park on Saturday night.

LA Galaxy Against Colorado Rapids
Saturday’s match marked the 92nd all-time meeting across all competitions between the LA Galaxy (1-6-3, 6 points) and the Colorado Rapids (2-3-6, 12 points), with LA leading the series 46-34-12. Against the Rapids, the Galaxy hold a 38-32-12 record in league play, a 1-0-0 record in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and a 7-2-0 record in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs. In 43 all-time regular-season meetings played at home against Colorado, LA holds a 25-11-6 record.

LA Galaxy Firsts
LA Galaxy forward Preston Judd recorded his first career MLS goal for the club in the match against Colorado. Midfielder Gino Vivi made his MLS and LA Galaxy debut, logging 10 minutes as a second-half substitute.

Packed Schedule
Saturday’s match against the Colorado Rapids marked the first of three games in the span of nine days for the LA Galaxy. Additionally, the match against Colorado marked the first of five games in the next 15 days for the Galaxy; an average of a game played every three days during that span.

Goal-Scoring Plays
COL – Lalas Abubakar (Connor Ronan), 14th minute – *Lalas Abubakar headed in Connor Ronan’s out-swinging corner-kick service from just outside the six-yard box.

COL – Kevin Cabral (Diego Rubio, Connor Ronan), 65th minute – *On a counter-attacking play, Diego Rubio squared pass into the center of the penalty area found Kevin Cabral, who placed his shot into the back of the net.

COL – Jonathan Lewis (Connor Ronan), 81st minute – *Conan Ronan slipped a pass in behind the Galaxy back line to Jonathan Lewis, whose chipped shot from the left side of the six-yard box was finished at the far post.

LA – Preston Judd, 89th minute – Working down the right side of the penalty area, Efraín Álvarez’s curling shot from the edge of the box was deflected by a Colorado defender. The ensuing rebound was finished by Preston Judd from close range.

Postgame Notes

  • Saturday’s match marked the 92nd all-time meeting across all competitions between the LA Galaxy (1-6-3, 6 points) and the Colorado Rapids (2-3-6, 12 points), with LA leading the series 46-34-12.
  • Against the Rapids, the Galaxy hold a 38-32-12 record in league play, a 1-0-0 record in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and a 7-2-0 record in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.
  • In 43 all-time regular-season meetings played at home against Colorado, LA holds a 25-11-6 record.
  • LA had an expected goals total of 2.18 compared to the Colorado’s 1.08.
  • In five matches played at home during the 2023 campaign, the Galaxy hold a record of 1-3-1 (7 GF, 9 GA).
  • Forward Preston Judd recorded his first career MLS goal, in the 89th minute in the match against Colorado.
  • Midfielder Gino Vivi made his MLS and LA Galaxy debut, logging 10 minutes as a second-half substitute.
  • Defender Jalen Neal completed 72 of 73 passes (98.6% pass accuracy) and had a team-high four clearances, 11 possessions won and one interception.
  • Midfielder Tyler Boyd tallied a game-high four chances created as a second-half substitute.
  • Midfielder Riqui Puig recorded a game-high four successful dribbles.
  • In 10 career regular-season matches managed against Colorado as head coach of the LA Galaxy and Toronto FC dating back to 2015, LA Galaxy Head Coach and Sporting Director Greg Vanney holds a record of 3-5-2.

Next Game
Next up, the LA Galaxy play host to Seattle Sounders FC in the Round of 32 of the 2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at Dignity Health Sports Park on Wednesday, May 10. The match on May 10 kicks off at 7:30 p.m. PT and will be broadcasted live on CBS Sports Golazo Network.

2023 MLS Regular Season
LA Galaxy (1-6-3, 6pts) vs. Colorado Rapids (2-3-6, 12pts)
May 6, 2023 – Dignity Health Sports Park (Los Angeles)

Goals by Half 1 2 F
LA Galaxy 0 1 1
Colorado Rapids 1 2 3

Scoring Summary:
COL: Abubakar (Ronan), 14
COL: Cabral (Rubio, Ronan), 65
COL: Lewis (Ronan), 81
LA: Judd, 89

Misconduct Summary:
COL: Cabral (caution), 28
LA: Aude (caution), 45+1
COL: Nicholson (caution), 52
LA: Neal (caution), 90+4

LA: GK Jonathan Klinsmann; D Calegari, D Séga Coulibaly (Jalen Neal, 27), D Martín Cáceres, D Julián Aude (Gino Vivi, 80); M Mark Delgado (Efraín Álvarez, 71), M Gastón Brugman, M Uri Rosell (Tyler Boyd, 45), M Riqui Puig; F Dejan Joveljić (Preston Judd, 71), F Javier “Chicharito” Hernández ©
Substitutes Not Used: GK Novak Mićović; D Kelvin Leerdam; M Daniel Aguirre, M Memo Rodríguez

TOTAL SHOTS: 21 (Riqui Puig, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Preston Judd, 2); FOULS: 11 (Julián Aude, Dejan Joveljić, 2); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 6; SAVES: 2

COL: GK William Yarbrough ©; D Keegan Rosenberry, D Danny Wilson, D Andreas Maxso, D Lalas Abubakar; M Max, M Connor Ronan (Braian Galvan, 86), M Ralph Priso (Danny Leyva, 67); F Diego Rubio (Darren Yapi, 67), F Sam Nicholson (Anthony Markanich, 73), F Kevin Cabral (Jonathan Lewis, 73)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Marko Ilic; D Sebastian Anderson, D Michael Edwards; M Michael Barrios

TOTAL SHOTS: 10 (Kevin Cabral, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Kevin Cabral, 2); FOULS: 8 (Kevin Cabral, 2); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 1; SAVES: 6

Referee: Ramy Touchan
Assistant Referees: Nick Uranga, Diego Blas
Fourth Official: Kali Smith
VAR: Kevin Stott
Weather: Clear, 64 degrees
Attendance: 19,101

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial


Watch the full postgame media availability on Youtube. 
On his side not being truly connected in the first half, and that same lack of connection carrying over into the second half, and how he saw it:
“We came in the game, and we didn’t really have any… well, Tyler [Boyd] was questionable during the course of the week. So, I wasn’t sure I was going to have a winger. So, we adapted into something that looked more like a diamond in the first part of the game. Trying to keep the two strikers on. Trying to give Riqui [Puig] a little bit of some freedom to move, but still keep some structure. They’re a tough team to play against, because they’ll man mark you. They’ll just lock onto you, and they’ll track you around the field. We became chaotic, I would say. We started to move too much, We were kind of all over the place. Guys were trying to get free of their marks, trying to find ways to help each other. And the group was pressing a little bit, and trying to find ways to help each other, and we ended up in bad spots. We ended up interchanging positions, and it’s just doing too much. We never really found a consistent, stable structure, and just played the numbers. Played where three versus two is. Played to the next two versus one. And it just became a jumbled mess. And the problem is when you are all in one place when you have possession, and you turn over the ball, you’re in bad positions to defend in transition. We still, we talked about it this week, and the first goal that comes off of it, is a set piece, yes, and we know they’re very good at, but, we play a straight ball to Riqui, who drops down, and we lose the ball right in front of our line, and it goes out and gets a corner kick. It’s, again, an unnecessary loss of possession. We don’t need to play the ball there. Jalen [Neal] wasn’t in trouble. And we play kind of a lazy pass, and we’re not ready for the pressure coming on us if we lose it. And now we’re defending a corner, and we know that’s one of their strengths. They’re a big team, and we don’t defend it well. Now we’re down one, and now we feel, again, we’re pressing a little bit more to try to… pressing not from a defending standpoint, pressing from a mentality of, we’ve got to try and go get this. And the game was very narrow. And, you know, we needed to open the game more, We’ve got to stop forcing the game down the middle of the field. We’ve got to use the outside channels. We’ve got to get wide players in. We’ve got to get in wide positions. And, so, we made adjustments to try to make sure. Ensure that we had some wide play, so we went into something like a 3-5-2 to ensure some width. And, I felt like we had some dangerous moments, but then the issue becomes that we have so many guys high in the attack that when the ball turned over because of our formation sometimes, to try to force attacks, to try to play long balls that we don’t get behind them, we lose it in front of them, we have numbers high and then we put the back group in situations where they’re now having to defend numbers running at them, guys with speed. Some challenging situations. I felt the balance of things was all off. In terms of the balance between playing outside versus playing inside. The balance of numbers being high versus being in low, controlling positions. I feel like we were mentally just pressing the whole game, trying to get something out of it. And we exposed ourselves too many times.”

On ACB returning to the Supporters Section tonight, the atmosphere being a little more similar to the past, and ACB chanting “we want better” at the end of the game and his thoughts:
“We welcome them back. It wasn’t the performance we wanted on the night. I think at the end of the day, from the performance, the chant is fair. It needs to be better. Part of what we need to do is just simplify some things inside of our game. Simplify our structure with two strikers. I’ve got to take a hard look at if we’re gaining enough on the attacking side with having two strikers than what I believe we’re losing on the defending side at times. So, it’s trying to find… and then some basic things. Again, I think this group is eager, hungry and has huge desire to get on the right side of these results. And I think, as a process, And part of that, we’re overplaying things. We’re trying to force balls into areas that are dangerous. We’re turning into transitions. We’re rushing into our attacks, versus, again, playing where the numbers game is. We’re kind of our own worst enemy at times because the mentality of us, I think the group is just trying to get on the right side of things. And so, we need to simplify. Simplify our structure. Simplify some of our decisions. Be a little bit more patient about things. And make sure we stay in good positions to defend and to control scenarios to stay close to the game so we don’t have to chase the games.”

On if this team can dig deep to mentally come together on the pitch, and how the team looks up to him as the coach to lead them, and how he can get the team there:
“I think, to be honest with you, I know sometimes it may or may not look like it, depending on the eye of the beholder, but, I think the group is trying too hard sometimes to turn the momentum. And when they’re trying so hard, and when things are… we’re forcing things. And when things are faulting, the frustration grows even higher because you’re putting so much into it in many ways. And that’s what I feel when I work with them every week. And I know what their process was this week, and this group, and the things they did together and what they wanted to achieve. I know they’re trying. The frustration is, I think, that we’re forcing things too much. And of course when you’re forcing, and you’re not getting the reward of forcing, you end up exposing yourself too much. So, as I said to them, we almost need to take a step back and simplify a little bit. And everyone needs to simplify their game and play simple. We don’t need to rush with the attack. We don’t need to score a goal every single time we get on the ball within five, six passes because we think we’ve got good movements. Their own worst enemy in trying to do the best thing. I firmly believe that the mentality is just overtrying. I know we’re frustrated.”

On if right now in this process, if he feels it’s more about performance versus getting three points, knowing that there’s still time in the season and where he is at in the juxtaposition between the two:
“I think, I mean, I think it’s always… it’s always about results because players feed off of the results. A lot of their confidence comes from the results and feeling, and things that come around, are the feelings and emotions of people that feed off of results. However, I do think that a big part of us getting froward, is getting into something that we feel and look very comfortable in. And, that, I think, as time, I believe, and this is how I’ve always believed, is that over time, it will lead to the results. I’d like to think that it would happen fast, and that we have the talent within the group to make things happen fast, but I think it’s important that we do not lose ourselves completely in this process of trying to figure out how to get a result that we, again, need to go back to some of the things that I think the group is comfortable in. Maybe we don’t have the perfect profile for a couple of these things, but we have guys who can do a role for us inside of that, and get back to something that feels very natural and comfortable for us. And, I think that the results will come off of that. I believe that’s the case. Because, like I said, we have good pieces, it just needs to get back to simplifying things and trusting in ourselves.”

On if he, as a manager, feels let down by the effort, and the way the group is preforming:
“I get frustrated when we don’t transition and defend. When we show emotion in situations, or we lack resiliency sometimes when things are getting tough against us. Those are the moments I get frustrated with the group. But, I understand intimately where their heads are at. And that they’re trying extremely hard to, again, force the issue sometimes. I don’t believe in this game, and the team we have, that that is the answer for us, to force the issue. I think we have to be more calculated. A little more simple, again. The beauty of our team, at its best, is when the ball is moving quickly and it’s simple. From one guy to the next. And we’re getting from one side to the other side. We are pulling the opposition apart, and then we’re creating spaces that we can use. Right now, we’re all gravitating towards the ball, trying to figure out how do I get on the ball to make a play for the team to make something happen so I can change the momentum of the game. And, that in the season. And that becomes what I think you alluded to a little bit, is disconnection a bit, which is… I don’t… my communication to them, is again, just to trust themselves and the simplicity of things that will get them to where they want to be, where we all want to be. And I believe that they all understand that. But some of it’s taking some of that desire of wanting to make the play that moment that ends up hurting us. Getting that out a little bit. And just simplifying some of our thought process. And, I think as we do that, I think we’ll get there. Does that make me feel let down? Again, I think there’s moments when the going gets tough, and we need to be a little bit more resilient and we need to just work through it and understand that’s where we’re at. I believe that we’re all… we’re in this together. So, it’s not me being upset with them or mad, it’s that we’re working through the process together and we’ll work to get that on the right page.”

On his thoughts on the match tonight and his frustration on how things are going: _
“Yea, we need to do different things, obviously, to get out of here. I don't know what. We need to figure it out, but we cannot keep doing the same things and waiting for the same results. It's very frustrating, man. I don't know what else to say.”

On whether he thinks the effort from the team is there:
“Yeah, the effort is there but the effort is not enough either. Yeah, we need so many things to change. Starting from like, I believe that more people need to come here and face the things. We're the same people speaking always. That's a thing that needs to change too. You know, we always are speaking here, the same guys, so I think that should change in the beginning and then in the training ground other stuff needs to change. Something needs to change. We need to be accountable and we need to see that the reality is not in the way that we are doing. We cannot say that things are going to turn around doing the same things. We can’t.”

On he feels about moving forward and whether he feels like as a captain there’s only so much he can do:
“The fans were right because I think this organization deserves better. That's everything that I want to say. We all deserve better. We need to gain that betterness. Fans are right. We deserve better, like we all deserve. Starting from me, but, the thing is if all of us don't go and feel that this situation is not a situation that you want to be in and you don't need to suffer, you need to realize it is painful. If you don’t realize it is painful, and you don't care about this club, you shouldn't be here, that's all what I'm going to say. LA Galaxy being almost in the last of the conference. Nah. That's not something that Galaxy deserves. You know, we could be three or four more spots higher having a bad season, at least. I don't know. I don't know. In my career and in my life, I learned that you need to do the things that you have control with. That's your mentality. That's your effort. That’s your reaction. That's your professionalism. That's your decision making, not only inside the field outside the field. We are not doing enough that's for sure. That’s why we are where we are.”

On how to approach the next games and whether matches like the Cali Clásico can spark the team:
“In my point of view, if you find motivation in just the Clásico’s, that means that you're not a big team. If you're a big team, you need to [treat] every single game as a final. That's what I learned being in the top teams. You go to Stoke City, when I was in Manchester United, and you feel that you need to play like if it was Liverpool to survive over there. When you are Real Madrid, we went to Granada, Cordoba and you need to survive there too, and we’re Real Madrid. The least that we can give is everything. I keep coming here and telling you guys and me telling them my teammates. It's supposed to be hard. Greatness is not about pleasure. Greatness takes a lot of your life, a lot of your time, a lot of your effort. It takes a lot, man. I haven't met any champion or winner that says it was easy. Ever. Tell Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, [Lewis] Hamilton, Ayrton Senna. Rest in peace. Who else? Muhammad Ali. Who else? We are LA Galaxy man, and when I say we need to behave at that standard. The standard is you need to be, they're giving you the chance to be the greatest. You are in the greatest [expletive] organization in USA. At least you give everything and if teams are better than us, perfect, like I can take that. I can take [those] losses. I can take that. In El Tráfico that happened. We were way better. We killed ourselves. We were the better team, but we lost. I can take that one. These ones at home against a direct rival. Man, no. Not good enough, not good enough. And yeah, the fans were right this time. They were right.”

On the team's poor start to the season:
“I agree that our own main enemy has been ourselves in this situation. Moving forward we have to continue working hard and doing that much more and each one of us analyze the things we are doing wrong and where we can do better. I think right now we have to find that unity in the team, that unity that characterized this group last season which I don't think is there right now. It's really hard to talk with a start like the one we are having, it's very difficult.”

On feeling the pressure to get better results:
“It's complicated, I've been able to be with great championship winning teams and fighting to be at the top but there was an instance in my career dealing with relegation. It was a moment that was hard to deal with but I don't think that situation applies here. I think the team is still alive and we are going to turn it around and we have to find ourselves and it is a problem we aren't doing well with right now but that is reflected on the standings obviously.”

On team lacking hunger in tonight's game:
“I agree with Javier [“Chicharito” Hernández] I think that we each have to take a deep look at ourselves and see what we are doing wrong. I think Colorado today showed that they were hungry and we didn't see that with our team and that is where we have to start getting better and hopefully result will then come.”

On playing a different formation tonight:
“All situations are complicated. I think Greg [Vanney] it trying to find the team and has tried different systems and formations and today he tried that diamond in the midfield. There are situations where I think we did fine and there was situation where it wasn't good enough. We didn't have a lot of time to work on this specific formation, we just had a couple of days. In my career I have tried that formation as well before, but I think beyond that this is more on something that Chicha mentioned that we need to have that hunger to win and we don't have that. We have to keep trying and working on that.”