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 LA Galaxy

LA Galaxy Earn 2-0 Shutout Victory Over New York City FC at Dignity Health Sports Park on Wednesday Night

June 20, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
LA Galaxy News Release


LOS ANGELES - Playing the second of three games in the span of seven days, the LA Galaxy earned a 2-0 shutout victory over New York City FC -2 win before 20,043 fans at Dignity Health Sports Park on Wednesday night. Dejan Joveljić notched a goal and an assist for a second consecutive match, while John McCarthy made four saves and registered his third shutout of the 2024 campaign in the win over NYCFC.

Unbeaten At Home

In nine matches played at home during the 2024 campaign, the LA Galaxy improved to an unbeaten record of 5-0-4 (22 GF, 12 GA). Notably, LA has won four consecutive matches played at Dignity Health Sports Park dating back to May 25, outscoring their opponents 11-4 during that span. In nine games played at Dignity Health Sports Park this season, Joveljić has six goals and three assists, while Gabriel Pec has totaled 11 goal contributions (5 goals, 6 assists).

Joveljić Enters Top 10

Notably, with his team-leading 11th goal this season, Joveljić has moved into a tie with Eduardo Hurtado for 10th place in LA Galaxy history with 30 career MLS goals scored. Joveljić has recorded 42 career goal contributions (30 goals, 12 assists) in 95 MLS Regular Season appearances (46 starts) across four seasons played (2021-Present) for the Galaxy. Joveljić has fifteen goal contributions (11 goals, 4 assists) in 17 matches played (14 starts) during the 2024 campaign. Additionally, Joveljić is averaging 1.08 goals and assists per 90 minutes played (1,248 minutes) this season.

Goal-Scoring Plays

LA - Dejan Joveljić, 41st minute: After Gabriel Pec's shot from the middle of the penalty area was blocked by an NYCFC defender, the ball fell to Dejan Joveljić and he calmly placed his shot into the empty net.

LA - Diego Fagundez (Dejan Joveljić, Gabriel Pec), 49th minute: In transition, Gabriel Pec played a no-look pass down the right side of the penalty area to Dejan Joveljić. The Serbian International forward then cut the ball back towards the top of the box to Diego Fagundez, who rifled his shot into the top right corner.

Postgame Notes

Through 19 matches played during the 2024 MLS Regular Season, the LA Galaxy hold a 9-3-7 record (37 GF, 27 GA; 34 points) and sit in third place in the Western Conference standings behind only Real Salt Lake (10-2-7; 40 GF, 22 GA, 34 points) and LAFC (10-4-4; 32 GF, 21 GA, 34 points).

The LA Galaxy sit in fifth place in the Supporters' Shield standings, seven points behind Inter Miami CF (12-3-5; 46 GF, 29 GA, 41 points).

LA improved to an unbeaten record of 5-0-4 (22 GF, 12 GA) in nine matches played at Dignity Health Sports Park during the 2024 campaign.

Notably, LA has won four consecutive matches played at Dignity Health Sports Park dating back to May 25, outscoring their opponents 11-4 during that span.

In nine games played dating back to May 5, the LA Galaxy hold a record of 4-1-4 (16 GF, 10 GA).

Tonight's match marked the seventh all-time regular-season meeting between the Galaxy and New York City FC, with LA trailing the series 3-4-0.

In five matches played at home against NYCFC, the Galaxy hold a 3-2-0 record.

With his team-leading 11th goal this season, Joveljić has moved into a tie with Eduardo Hurtado for 10th place in LA Galaxy history with 30 career MLS goals scored.

Mark Delgado won eight of 13 duels, five of seven tackles, six possessions and two interceptions in the win against NYCFC.

Gabriel Pec finished the match with an assist, 40 of 42 passes completed (95.2%), 10 possessions won and two successful dribbles.

Diego Fagundez recorded his third goal of the season in the win over New York City. Notably, the Galaxy are unbeaten (5-0-5) in each of Fagundez's ten starts during the 2024 campaign.

Jalen Neal completed 68 of 72 passes (94.4%), won two of three duels and recorded three interceptions against NYCFC.

John McCarthy posted his third shutout of the season after registering four saves in the 2-0 win over New York City.

With his second-half appearance, Isaiah Parente made his LA Galaxy debut in the win over NYCFC.

Next Game

Next up, the LA Galaxy travel to face Real Salt Lake at America First Field on Saturday, June 22 (6:30 p.m. PT, MLS Season Pass on Apple TV).

2024 MLS Regular Season

LA Galaxy (9-3-7, 34pts) vs. New York City FC (9-7-2, 29pts)

Wednesday, June 19, 2024 - Dignity Health Sports Park (Los Angeles)

Goals by Half 1 2 F

LA Galaxy 1 1 2

New York City FC 0 0 0

Scoring Summary:

LA: Joveljić, 41

LA: Fagundez (Joveljić, Pec), 49

Misconduct Summary:

LA: Neal (caution), 19

LA: Aude (caution), 29

NYC: Rodriguez (caution), 31

NYC: Wolf (caution), 45+1

LA: Delgado (caution), 62

Lineups:

LA: GK John McCarthy; D Miki Yamane, D Jalen Neal, D Maya Yoshida ©, D Julián Aude (John Nelson, 76); M Edwin Cerrillo, M Mark Delgado, M Gabriel Pec (Tucker Lepley, 90+4), M Diego Fagundez (Isaiah Parente, 90+4), M Joseph Paintsil (Mauricio Cuevas, 66), F Dejan Joveljić (Miguel Berry, 76)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Novak Mićović; D Martin Cáceres, D Emiro Garces, D Eriq Zavaleta

TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (Gabriel Pec, 7); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Gabriel Pec, 3); FOULS: 9 (Mark Delgado, Miki Yamane, 2); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 2; SAVES: 4

NYC: GK Matt Freese; D Birk Risa (Strahinja Tanasijevic, 45), D Thiago Martins ©, D Kevin O'Toole, D Tayvon Gray; M James Sands, M Andreas Perea (Keaton Parks, 79) M Santiago Rodriguez, F Monsef Bakrar (Alonso Martinez, 66), F Hannes Wolf (Maxi Moralez, 66), F Malachi Jones (Julian Fernandez, 79)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Luis Barraza; D Christian McFarlane, F Jovan Mijatovic, F Agustin Ojeda

TOTAL SHOTS: 14 (Santiago Rodriguez, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Four players tied, 1); FOULS: 8 (Santiago Rodriguez, 3); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 3

Referee: Rubiel Vazquez

Assistant Referees: Corey Rockwell, Matthew Nelson

Fourth Official: Brandon Stevis

VAR: Younes Marrakchi

Weather: Partly Cloudy, 68 degrees

Attendance: 20,043

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial

LA GALAXY POSTGAME QUOTES

LA GALAXY HEAD COACH GREG VANNEY

On tonight's game:

"I thought we stayed collective for the most part, stayed together. We were in good positions to help each other. They are going to have their moments and they are going to try to put balls in the box and put some numbers forward. I thought we managed most of them pretty well, not every one. But still a couple moments I would like to have seen us play behind them long instead of playing shorter long. I thought the group just competed over 90 minutes. Stayed connected to each other. Went through their rotations the right way. Tried to make things as clean, as predictable as possible. I thought we had a pretty clean night and a professional night. Again, two in a row where I thought we were connected all night."

On closing out games:

"At home, being up a couple goals, when we had three center backs on the bench today and I was thinking about shifting guys on the upper half of the field to get fresh legs up top, it was a calculation of who, when and where exactly because we didn't have the straight swaps. But even as we brought guys on, as Mauricio (Cuevas) came on, he did a great job, again, in a role that's not traditionally his role. I thought the two pivots did a great job of helping make things as predictable as possible. I think Diego (Fagundez) had another wonderful night in terms of both sides of the ball collectively helping the team defend, but also taking up good spots, getting a goal. I think when we are following through on our responsibilities and we are making the game as predictable as you possibly can, it helps the group deal with things a lot easier and a lot cleaner, and we've done a nice job of that the last two games which helps us to defend better, it just does, right. The guys who are recovering balls and having to deal in the box or around the box, they know what's coming because the guys ahead of them are doing such a good job of make the game predictable for them. I think it's great. I think it gives the group a lot of confidence. The last two games I think gives the group a lot of confidence and understanding that if we do our responsibilities and we stick to the things we are trying to do, we can be a lot more efficient and cleaner as we talk about the defensive side. Because our upside is really going to be dependent on how well we can defend over the course of games and over the course of the second half of the season. When I say "upside," I mean championship upside, not just winning games and getting to the playoffs. But capacity to win trophies is going to be on our collective ability to defend well."

On the first goal and forward Joseph Paintsil:

"I didn't actually see. I kind of put pieces together based on what happened after, it seemed like maybe they gave up the ball to us or something in a transition whether it was hands or something, and we didn't turn that into a quick transition and a goal. I didn't see all of it. I saw the part where we recovered the ball and then Gabe (Gabriel Pec) had it. That piece I saw; so I guess the important part. I missed it because I thought Joe (Joseph Paintsil) beat his guy and was in going to the box and was probably fouled from behind. So I was involved in kind of that discussion. But they were nice enough to give us a second chance at it and we took it. The second goal was spectacular. As a collective team goal, it was an outstanding goal. From goalkeeper all the way to the end, we broke pressure. And this is what I said, if teams want to come press us and they don't win the ball, they are in danger on the other side, and that was a good example of what that looks like. That was a really good goal."

On officiating missing the foul:

"This is so confusing to me, but I felt like this wasn't the first time in the night. I feel like is a really difficult call sometimes in our league, not for them, but I just I feel like we tend to -- when I say "we," I feel like it's a common theme that officiating sometimes misses the foul from behind or the holding in the box, whether it's on corner kicks or in a play like that where the attacking player has position on the defending player. The defending player does not have a right to the ball or a right to throw somebody out of the way. That's a foul. Everywhere that's a foul. But that's such a hard call in our league. I just don't understand it. And it happened earlier when the ball was played out to Gabe (Gabriel Pec) and he was in position between the player and the ball and he gets kind of smashed from behind. It's a tough call but it's a foul. Again the attacking player has position. The defending player can't access the ball. You can't go through them or throw them out of the way. That's a foul. It's mind-boggling to me. If our defender is shielding the ball, that doesn't mean that you can throw him out the of the way. It just is confusing to me. Because to me, it's a simple call, but it's made difficult a lot."

On Dejan Joveljić:

"I think, you know, his connection to the game over 90 minutes has gotten better. Whereas early, when he first got here, we saw a lot of success coming on as a substitute when the game opens up and there's spaces. He's always had the capacity to when space is there for him, to find that space and fill that space and be at the right place at the right time and finish. We've always said his evolution for us was going to be that 90-minute striker; the one that when you're in the build-out, can link a play; the one that when you're on the sideline can get you help to get off the sideline; the one when the opposition sits in a low block and still find his windows of space to finish. You know, these kind of things; can help us on the defending side. He did a really solid job of Diego (Fagundez) helping to shape the game today the way he wanted and he was very good on that side of it. Becoming a compete striker is about doing all the little things and not just scoring the goals, even though that's what you're really paid to do. But doing all the little things is what helps the team really win and what helps the team get shutouts. When we think about the defending team, but really it starts with Dejan and Diego and how they can make the game predictable for everybody else and they can do their jobs efficiently, and I thought he did a nice job of that tonight with Diego, again."

On Gabriel Pec:

"He's another player that, in my opinion, the more he's with us, the more he settles in, the more he's going to continue to evolve as a player. Because coming to us, he's a one-on-one winger, and what we are trying to get him to do is be more than just a one-on-one winger. You see at times when he showed up inside, he's able to get the ball and he gets us out of pressure. He starts an attack and he's on the end of the attack with an opportunity on the other side. He's staying more connected to the game than just staying on the outside waiting for someone to get him the ball, and because of that, he's getting many more touches and getting involved a lot more. And the other thing is I think he's playing more direct than he was at certain times when he first kind of came where he was looking to the ball at his feet a lot and then trying to do things off of it. I feel like he's on the run a little bit more. He's on move. He's not just waiting for his feet and trying to pick up speed. He's already developing speed before he receives it, and when he does that, he's really difficult to deal with. He's adding more layers to his game in my opinion, and I think on the defending side, he's also a player who when he first got here, he's thinking it's me against the fullback. That's my defensive reference; I'm just going to defend the fullback, and we are getting him now defending with the team. So it's not always the fullback. Sometimes it's another responsibility, and that evolves inside of the game a little bit. And he's starting to pick up more and more on some of those things which keeps him connected to the group which is going to allow him to be more impactful in games and I see that evolution. And because he's more involved, he's enjoying it. He's not just waiting for the game to come to him. He's in it. There's a couple chances he was a little frustrated because I think we had maybe chances to come back to him or play him in and we didn't get hi into it. But I thought we had him involved and he got involved in the game, and because of it, he's influencing the outcomes and you start to see all the qualities that he can bring to the table."

On the ninth win of the season and momentum:

"It's really good. I think over the last couple games, what we realized in the first 17 games, and now 18 and 19, is when we stick inside of our structure and inside of our system and we make things sort of clear for each other but unpredictable for the opposition, we are at our best. When we start functioning in a little bit of an improvisational world where we are too all over the place, that's when I feel like we are at our most vulnerable. The last couple games -- because that's what we've worked on the last two weeks is: This is when we are good; this is when we are vulnerable. This is when we are good; so let's stay more inside of this space and less inside of that space. The more you can be predictable for each other and be in the right spaces at the right time so that the solutions are there, both on the attacking side and defending side, the more collective we are as a team and able to accomplish things. I think the last two games are an example of that. We are missing very important players in our team, but the collective is doing the work, finding the right spots and the ball is moving with speed, and because of that, wonderful things are coming out of it as well. I think the momentum is important but also the realization of these very specific things is also really important out of these last couple games, and we need to keep repeating."

On Riqui Puig's status:

"Riqui is back, kind of back on the field. He'll be questionable. We'll see where he is for this weekend, very questionable. Be some game-time decision a little bit. But Jonny (Jonathan Perez) will be out. He had kind of a mild grade one and will probably be two weeks to three weeks before we'll be able to get Jonny back out there. We are trying to progress Riqui along but it's a Catch 22 to make sure that he goes through enough protocol so he's not vulnerable when we throw him out there. We'll see how the next couple days look, really, but we'll see."

LA GALAXY MIDFIELDER DIEGO FAGUNDEZ

On what's working for the team:

"I think I said it last week. Players have to show up when players are missing, and I think that's what we are doing now. Doesn't matter who is on the field or who is out and this. Whoever is on the field, we are stepping up and doing what we are supposed to. Tonight you saw what kind of team we can be and like you said, once we start adding key players back, I've been saying this since day one, I think we are a team that is hard to play against. The main thing I think today was it was nice to keep a shutout, and to keep that clean sheet is definitely night for our defenders and goalkeepers, and at the end of the day everybody put in the shift."

On breaking through New York City FC's high press:

"I think we had a game plan and we stuck to it. I want to say, when you stick to that game plan, they are going to give you the ball at one point, and I think on Decky's (Dejan Joveljić) goal, that happened. It would have gave us the ball, Diego (Fagundez) was trying to go one-on-one, takes a shot and like No. 9, you're supposed to be at the right spot and I told Decky, sometimes when we want to be selfish, the ball is going to land on you and look at what he did today. Decky is such a hard worker at training and he wants to score goals and when he misses, he gets frustrated. As a number nine, you have to be in the right spot and he's doing that. It's awesome to see. At the same time, even when he's not scoring, he's making plays happen. It's amazing to see that, and now we just want him to keep doing that, keep scoring goals, keep assisting, keep this team going."

On the team being unbeaten when he starts in the midfield:

"I'm just taking my turn right now being on the field and doing everything I can to help out the team defensively, attacking, whatever it takes. It's a role that I've played before. And I think that's one thing when I got here, Greg (Vanney), he basically said, look, you are one of those players that can play in any of these positions, so just be ready, and that's what I do. But like I said, I'm having a lot of fun right now out there. We have amazing players out there. When you work hard, you're going to get rewarded and I think today I definitely got rewarded with that goal. It's nice to see and now we have to recover, get ready and go to Salt Lake and hopefully do it again."

On the team collectively working:

"To be honest when I got here last year, I think there were a lot of injuries, a lot of players that when the team doesn't do well, it's hard to keep that going. I think since I've been here, the team has been winning games and scoring. It's nice to see that. This year, from the first day we said, hey, we need to make sure that we get points early. We need to make sure that we are winning games ask scoring goals when we have our chances and everybody is buying into it. Doesn't matter who is on the field. Everybody is doing what they are supposed to, and when we have chances to score goals and punish a team, we do that. I think any of the attacking players can score goals at this point and they can assist. It's nice to see, and I think if we keep working on what we're doing and everybody sticks to the game plan, we can win more games."

LA GALAXY FORWARD DEJAN JOVELJIÆ

On his game this season:

"Nothing has changed in my preparation before the game and during the week, preseason. This season we have just, I don't want to say better players. I mean, I can say better players for me, and the players in the past years were also good, but not that good for me. So now we have completely different team, and we are stronger. We have more confidence and we are going to continue like this."

On midfielder Diego Fagundez:

"I mean, I don't know how many players can say that they score 70 goals plus and 70 assists as well. I think that's maybe only ten players, you can tell me. So that's an amazing thing. I saw him running, and I knew if I play good ball, he is going to score nine out of ten. So he managed to score, and I'm happy because of him."

On the team collectively working:

"I mean, always we knew what we have to do. But now, finally, we have some real quality and real speed on the side. And plus with other players, it's completely different story this year, so maybe because of that, I don't know. I mean, I'm just happy to be here and to play with these guys, and these guys are making me better. I hope that I'm making them better. So let's go for the next one. Let's go for the third win in a row."

On momentum going into Saturday's match against Real Salt Lake:

"Yes, I mean, the next couple of weeks, we are going to have two big matches but I always say, we play for three points. Doesn't matter if it's 85,000 people from us or less. We've got to take points and finally win three games if a row."

On his goal:

"Yes, first I play to him (Gabriel Pec) and we were driving and I turn around, I could walk around slowly, but I was almost sprinting, and I was feeling that the ball will come to me in my direction. I was lucky enough, again, to score easy goal."

On matching Eduardo Hurtado for tenth place on the LA Galaxy's all-time scoring list:

"It's an amazing pleasure to play on this club, like I said, but my goal is not to be in top ten. So I'm going to be up there."

LA GALAXY GOALKEEPER JOHN MCCARTHY

On keys to closing out games:

"It was just a good, all-around team performance. I think even on Saturday it was a good, all-around team performance. Just teams are going to get chances and sometimes they score, and tonight we are fortunate enough that they didn't put one or two in the back of the net. But I think both games were just a good all-around performance going forward and defending."

On defender Jalen Neal:

"He's a good young center back. I think everyone saw the glimpse in him over the last two years before picked up a few injuries. He's catching stride. He's a good kid. Plays well. When he gets his confidence, I think he's a really good center back. I think he has a huge upside, and that's another reason why he plays because he needs the experience as a young player and he needs the minutes, and he's getting them and he's doing really well."

On maintaining momentum:

"Every win is important. It doesn't matter if the three guys that you said are in the lineup or they are out of the lineup or three other guys are in or out. Every win matters and you just have to take it one game at a time. You can't look too far ahead. Now we watch a little film and get on to this weekend, Salt Lake."

On getting to a string of three or more wins in a row:

"I have not thought about it until you just said it. I'm a day-by-day, game-by-game guy. I think these guys in front know that from talking to them over the last two years. It's just onto the next game. You just play to win and see who is in the lineup and see you are playing against. When you can get on a win streak, that's awesome. A lot of momentum can go your way and great things can happen. Two down, and now got to take care of the weekend."

On taking it day by day:

"I have not thought about it until you just said it. I'm a day-by-day, game-by-game guy. I think these guys in front know that from talking to them over the last two years. It's just onto the next game. You just play to win and see who is in the lineup and see you are playing against. When you can get on a win streak, that's awesome. A lot of momentum can go your way and great things can happen. Two down, and now got to take care of the weekend."

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