Los Angeles – The U.S. Open was the Galaxy’s cup of life as they breathed fresh energy into their season following a 3-1 home win over the Seattle Sounders on Wednesday, May 10, 2023. Memo Rodriguez, who scored a second-half brace, and Julian Aude, who scored a fourth-minute rocket, led the way with their first Galaxy goals. The win means the Galaxy will move on to the cup’s Round of 16. It also means LA will head into the Cali Clasico in MLS play with the taste of victory after a 3-1 home loss to Colorado last Saturday.
LA Galaxy Post Match
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) May 11, 2023
A Rocket Start
Before most of the announced 8,412 fans had hit their seat, Aude had the Galaxy up 1-0. After a Galaxy corner, Seattle’s clearance attempt was intercepted by Aude. The young defender took a touch to set up the shot and let loose with a rocket from 20 yards out that stung Seattle Keeper Stefan Cleveland’s hands. Cleveland couldn’t get enough of it and LA had a fourth-minute lead and Aude, his first Galaxy goal. LA has a 2-1-0 when scoring the first goal of the match.
“Yeah, it was nice. Again, that’s one of the objectives of this group is to get the first goal. It was nice to get it so early, as you said, I think that frees up the group a little bit as well,” Head Coach Greg Vanney said of the early strike. “And Julián [Aude], when the ball popped out, he took a great first touch, and he had a good look and a good angle, and he got a hold of it.”
But the Galaxy could not take advantage of the early dagger. Once again, the Galaxy couldn’t find their offensive rhythm against a Seattle team mostly composed of Tacoma Defiance players. The first half became choppy, and although the Galaxy created a few chances, they couldn’t take their chances and the half ended 1-0.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) May 11, 2023
The Galaxy took more control in the second half, but could not find their second goal. Club Captain Javier “Chicharito” Hernández was a shadow of himself. There were numerous times throughout Chicharito’s performance when attacks would break down at his feet. Needing more attacking threats, Vanney brought on Dejan Jovelic and Rodriguez. And Memo almost immediately made his moment.
Just a minute after his introduction, the former Houston man got his first goal for the Galaxy. The midfielder found Tyler Boyd’s corner in the center of the box and half-volleyed the ball home for the 2-0 Galaxy lead in the 66-minute. But the Sounders got a goal back through Paul Rothrock to make it 2-1 and set up a nervy ending. But Memo would rise to the occasion again for his second goal of the day.
— CBS Sports Golazo (@CBSSportsGolazo) May 11, 2023
More Memo and Galaxy’s Cup of Life
After Raheem Edwards made a driving run on the left wing, he played a quick interchange with Jovelic. Joveljic would lay the ball back off to Memo with a flick, and he hit a first-time shot from the left wing that flew into the bottom corner of Seattle’s goal for the 3-1 in the 84-minute. It would end here, with the Galaxy earning just their second win in the last 11 matches. And the Galaxy got the goods from a sub.
“I think it’s super important for me, it’s been a long time coming,” Rodriguez said of his multi-goal substitute appearance. “I struggled last season as well, so I think just getting that monkey off my back with those two goals almost felt like I scored my first goals in my career just getting on that scoresheet again.”
Thanks to Rodriguez, LA is on to the Round of 16 in the tournament. And since their MLS play has been abysmal, this is the Galaxy’s Cup of Life. LA can reap the good moments in the cup to build upon their league form. Not only that, they are able to give players like Rodriguez minutes and get him fit for when he’s called upon in MLS. While Vanney was criticized for fielding a first-choice lineup in the U.S. Open, it just might be the vehicle to get this team running again.
This could be the DAGGER! @LAGalaxy‘s Memo Rodríguez with the BRACE to put the Galaxy in command!
— U.S. Open Cup (@opencup) May 11, 2023
Defending the Badge – Memo Rodriguez
Two goals in 25 minutes. It’s hard to argue against efficiency. According to a Galaxy press release, “Rodríguez is the first LA Galaxy player to score multiple goals in a U.S. Open Cup match since Sebastian Lletget scored a brace against Seattle in the Quarterfinals of the tournament on July 20, 2016.” The midfielder’s two goals will certainly make Vanney question whether Memo can give him a repeat performance on Sunday. With the San Jose Earthquakes coming to LA for the Cali Clasico just two points off the league lead, Vanney will need all the efficiency and firepower he can get.
— Mike Gray (@MikeGrayAFC) May 11, 2023
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