Los Angeles – As far as emotional roller coasters go, the Los Angeles Galaxy’s 2-2 home draw vs. Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday, June 21, 2023, had it all. There was the emotional high of the returning supporter groups, MLS debuts disallowed goals, and the Galaxy coming from behind to get another result. In the end, though, there was a disappointment despite LA’s resiliency. An injury to Galaxy Defender Martin Cáceres is cause for concern. Worse, a late SKC penalty denied the Galaxy all three points after they wasted plenty of chances to put the game out of reach for the visitors.
LA Galaxy Post Match
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) June 22, 2023
Everything is in its right place. Galaxy supporter group voices were passionate and loud in their return to Dignity Health Sports Park. And you could see it in the body language of the players. Galaxy Head Coach Greg Vanney confirmed as much.
“The energy in the building, there was certainly more of that than the rest of the season. I think the guys profited off that noise and were able to use it in a positive way. It’s nice to have an environment like that to play in. It’s good for the players.”
Unfortunately, all the good vibes couldn’t hold back Alan Pulido’s scoring. The Mexican International found Erik Thommy’s cross and nodded home from close range to open the scoring and give SKC the lead in the 12-minute. It wouldn’t last long for Sporting.
After the Galaxy won a free kick in the 24-minute, Douglas Costa sent in a swinging cross to the back post that Cáceres nodded down to tie the score at one.
“I think we’ve seen that now from the last three league games we’ve played in. Two of those on the road, that we were in Salt Lake, we were up one, then we were down one, then we came back and won by one.” Vanney expressed what the team’s fightback spirit means. “I think again, there’s some resiliency in there.”
— Mike Gray (@MikeGrayAFC) June 22, 2023
You Always Remember Your First
Preston Judd will surely keep this match as a core memory. The Galaxy 2 product, which grew up a Galaxy fan, lead the line in the long-awaited return of the supporters. He made sure to give them a show. The 24-year-old was a physical force and a constant threat to the SKC backline.
“He’s big and strong and powerful. And he likes contact. He looks for contact. And he actually uses contact to his benefit. And he plays center-backs like that. He’s the type of forward that center backs hate to play against,” Vanney explained. “It was nice to see tonight, and it gave us something different.”
Judd’s good work almost paid off with a goal early in the second half. Although he was called for a foul on the play and the goal was disallowed, he wouldn’t be denied.
After Raheem Edwards won the ball in midfield, he found Riqui Puig in the 64-minute. The Catalan played an exquisite outside-of-the-boot chip pass to Judd. Judd’s diving looping header sailed past SKC goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh for the striker’s first MLS goal and the 2-1 Galaxy lead.
“First off it was great having the fans back. It changed the whole atmosphere. It was nice playing in front of them for the first time, and I’m looking forward to the next time,” Judd confessed. “With Dejan [Joveljić] out, I knew I had an opportunity, I had been preparing for this the whole season, just waiting for my shot. So, I was confident coming in, and I did what I could to help the team.”
Vanney hit the nail on the head when he said, “If we didn’t have bad luck when it comes to some of our player stuff right now, we wouldn’t have any luck at all.” The injury to Cáceres proves this.
It forced Vanney into a substitution he didn’t have cover for in the 85-minute, and five minutes later, LA had given up the tying penalty kick, which Pulido duly dispatched for the 2-2 final. But it shouldn’t have ended this way. The Galaxy had numerous chances to put this match away. Their best, a well-worked counter-attack, saw a wonderful Judd pass find its way into Tyler Boyd’s path. Boyd had only McIntosh to beat, but his shot cannoned off the crossbar. It was indicative of the Galaxy’s wastefulness on the night, and indeed, on the season.
The Galaxy’s profligacy is a matter of luck according to Judd.
“We just keep working hard, and we’ll start getting the lucky bounces to get the three points that we need.”
It would be good if lady luck can start breaking the Galaxy’s way, starting with their visit to Colorado on Saturday, where they look to get revenge for a 3-1 May home defeat.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) June 22, 2023
Defending the Badge – Preston Judd
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) June 22, 2023
The man was a beast. If the soccer gods were kind, Judd would have finished his night with a game-winning brace and an assist. As it was though, he scored what should’ve been the game-winner only for the Galaxy to let themselves down again. But for Judd, the only way to go is up.
If Judd can continue to get game time, his physical presence might be the different “dimension” the Galaxy needs to start setting goals and getting wins.
The post LA Galaxy Post Match Talking Points for June 21; Disappointment Despite LA’s Resiliency appeared first on Last Word On Soccer.