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 LA Galaxy

LA Galaxy Earn 2-1 Victory Over Houston Dynamo FC at Dignity Health Sports Park on Saturday Night

May 26, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
LA Galaxy News Release

LOS ANGELES - After falling behind in the 18th minute, the LA Galaxy battled back to earn a 2-1 win over Houston Dynamo FC before 21,707 fans at Dignity Health Sports Park on Saturday night. Gabriel Pec recorded a goal and an assist, while Riqui Puig tallied the game-winning goal as the Galaxy extended their unbeaten run to five matches dating back to May 5.

Unbeaten At Home

In six matches played at home during the 2024 campaign, the LA Galaxy hold an unbeaten record of 3-0-3 (13 GF, 10 GA). During those six matches played at home, Puig has tallied five goal contributions (2 goals, 3 assists), while Pec has recorded four goals and one assist at Dignity Health Sports Park.

LA Against Houston

Saturday's match marked the 43rd all-time meeting across all competitions between the LA Galaxy and Houston Dynamo FC, with LA leading the series 18-14-11. Against Houston, the Galaxy hold a 14-14-11 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 18 regular season matches played at home against Houston, the Galaxy hold a 6-5-7 record. Notably, the victory against Houston marked the Galaxy's first win over the Dynamo at Dignity Health Sports Park dating back to April 19, 2019, or a duration of five years, one month and six days.

Goal-Scoring Plays

HOU - Latiff Blessing, 18th minute: Latif Blessing intercepted a pass inside the penalty area and converted his shot from close range.

LA - Gabriel Pec (Miki Yamane), 41st minute: Miki Yamane received the down the right flank, avoided a tackle and delivered a cross into the box that Gabriel Pec headed past Houston goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell into the far corner.

LA - Riqui Puig (Gabriel Pec), 59th minute: Gabriel Pec slid the ball towards the top of the 18-yard box to Riqui Puig, who rifled his shot into the bottom right corner of the goal.

Postgame Notes

Through 15 matches played during the 2024 MLS Regular Season, the LA Galaxy hold a 6-2-7 record (27 GF, 22 GA; 25 points) and sit in third place in the Western Conference standings behind Real Salt Lake (8-2-5, 30 GF, 17 GA; 29 points) and Minnesota United FC (7-2-4, 24 GF, 17 GA; 25 points).

Saturday's match marked the 43rd all-time meeting across all competitions between the LA Galaxy and Houston Dynamo FC, with LA leading the series 18-14-11.

Against Houston, the Galaxy hold a 14-14-11 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 18 regular season matches played at home against Houston, the Galaxy hold a 6-5-7 record.

In five matches played dating back to May 5, the LA Galaxy have an unbeaten record of 1-0-4 (6 GF, 4 GA).

The Galaxy have won 10 points from losing positions during the 2024 campaign, with only Inter Miami CF (20) and Austin FC (11) recovering more points from losing positions.

Riqui Puig finished the match with a goal scored, three chances created, 59 of 69 completed passes (85.5%), won six duels, four possessions and four fouls in the 2-1 win over Houston.

In 10 matches played dating back to March 23, Puig has tallied two goals and eight assists.

Gabriel Pec tallied a goal and assist and created two chances in the victory against the Dynamo.

Miki Yamane recorded his first career assist for the Galaxy, and finished the match with six duels won and two completed dribbles.

Martin Cáceres won seven of nine duels, three of four tackles and two possessions and completed 46 of 49 passes (93.9%).

Gastón Brugman completed 52 of 59 passes (88.1%), won four of five duels and five possessions and registered a game-high four interceptions in the win over the Dynamo.

Next Game

Next up, the LA Galaxy play host to FC Dallas at Dignity Health Sports Park on Wednesday, May 29 (7:30 p.m. PT, MLS Season Pass on Apple TV).

2024 MLS Regular Season

LA Galaxy (6-2-7, 25pts) vs. Houston Dynamo FC (5-6-3, 18pts)

Saturday, May 25, 2024 - Dignity Health Sports Park (Los Angeles)

Goals by Half 1 2 F

LA Galaxy 1 1 2

Houston Dynamo FC 1 0 1

Scoring Summary:

HOU: Blessing, 18

LA: Pec (Yamane), 41

LA: Puig (Pec), 59

Misconduct Summary:

LA: Brugman (caution), 90+4

HOU: Olsen (caution), 90+4


LA: GK John McCarthy; D Miki Yamane, D Maya Yoshida ©, D Martin Cáceres, D Julián Aude (John Nelson, 66); M Mark Delgado, M Gastón Brugman, M Riqui Puig, F Gabriel Pec, F Diego Fagundez (Daniel Aguirre, 84), F Dejan Joveljić (Edwin Cerrillo, 84)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Novak Mićović; D Mauricio Cuevas, D Jalen Neal, D Emiro Garces; M Jonathan Pérez, F Miguel Berry

TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Riqui Puig, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Gabriel Pec, Riqui Puig, 2); FOULS: 10 (Gastón Brugman, 3); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 7; SAVES: 2

HOU: GK Andrew Tarbell; D Daniel Steres (Jefferson Valverde, 78), D Griffin Dorsey, D Erik Sviatchenko (Franco Escobar, 90), D Micael dos Santos, M Artur, M Amine Bassi, M Hector Herrera ©, M Coco Carrasquilla (Gabe Segal, 84), F Latif Blessing (Brad Smith, 46), F Ibrahim Aliyu

Substitutes Not Used: GK Xavier Valdez; D Ethan Bartlow, D Tate Schmitt; M Brooklyn Raines, M Jan Gregus

TOTAL SHOTS: 13 (Latif Blessing, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Latif Blessing, 2); FOULS: 12 (Three players tied, 2); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 4

Referee: Allen Chapman

Assistant Referees: Jeremy Hanson, Felisha Mariscal

Fourth Official: Elijio Arreguin

VAR: Younes Marrakchi

Weather: Partly Cloudy, 62 degrees

Attendance: 21,707

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial



On tonight's win:

"I thought it was a huge three points. I feel like we've been on the road a lot. You come back home and you are starting four out of five, I think, at home. You want to take the first one. No matter how you do it, you want to take it, and we were able to do that tonight. I think that's big. I think that settles the group in going into Wednesday and going into the week because it's another busy week. So really important."

On defender Miki Yamane and his role in tonight's win:

"With Miki (Yamane), I think when he first got here, he was super eager, really spry. Really active. Super involved. And then, I think, the league kind of lets you know it's a tough league. And I think he had a tough penalty called on him at LAFC and a couple set pieces that maybe get redirected at the front post, ended up a goal. I feel like he carried those pretty heavily for a little while, and I feel like he's kind of emerged out of that recently. We are trying to find more ways to keep him involved in the game and not let him get stuck in the back where he's just kind of hanging out but getting him more into the midfield and getting him high. The second half, we used him more as an attacker and wing back. Again, try to keep him involved. I think the more involved he is; the more you see him; the more quality that you see that comes out of him. I just think he had a stretch where he was out there but he wasn't involved enough, and I think he was just taking up very conservative positions where he was almost hiding a little bit. Now, it's like, go get involved; we have so much quality. We have been working on that with him and talking him through it, and I feel like he's really coming to life again in terms of that role, and that's important to us. He's a very good soccer player. So he was important for us tonight."

On forward Gabriel Pec's goal and his performance:

"I felt like he was really competing, he was dynamic and he was aggressive and whether it was in transition or times when we were getting him on the run, (you see) some of his power and speed and more of his qualities come out, right, and so that's two things. I think some of that is us getting him involved and some of that is him not just being kind of passive in a way and looking for the ball at his feet and trying to play one-on-one all the time but to play aggressive and for us, to play him moving into some faster actions, whether that's in the space he goes or whether that's him getting it and he's already on the move. I feel like what he does that, you see a lot more of what he can bring to the occasion. He did it on the right-hand side in the first half, and he did it on the left-hand side in the second half. So he's capable of causing problems on either side and tonight he showed that. He probably wishes he had one more because Riqui (Puig) I think set him up for a really good look there in the second half. But I felt like he was aggressive and he was running aggressively, too, and competing out there, which it gets him involved."

On wanting the team to press forward in the second half:

"That would be accurate, and it's mostly when we were up 2-1 and it's the latter part of game. These are battles, and guys, as the games progress, maybe they get a little tired, and I feel that guys then tend to go what's easy. Yeah, playing backwards is easy, but it's not necessarily what's right or what's good for us. And I wanted us to do the little extra work to try to play forward and play in the opposition's half versus continuing to go back to John (McCarthy) and have John hit long balls that don't necessarily even get us far as we were when we passed backwards. Like to me, it doesn't add up. It's doing a little more and being a little confident to play through lines and play forward to try to keep the game away from our goal versus back towards our goal."

On adjustments made at halftime:

"I thought we struggled in the first half. I thought in terms of organizing our defensive responsibilities, I thought we were not good. And that kind of set the tempo for the game. Because if you can't get pressure to the ball and you can't win the ball in a reasonable area, then your attacks are starting in bad places; you're always kind of under it. Hence the switch at halftime was more of a defensive switch in many ways to try to reorganize our numbers. They overload the midfield, right. They bring (Adalberto "Coco") Carrasquilla, who is supposed to be a winger on paper; he comes inside. They create a four-man midfield. They are all very comfortable with the ball. We were not matching their numbers, and it was creating difficult decisions for Mark (Delgado) and Gastón (Brugman) on do I step forward and defend the pivot that's in front of me, but then I have a guy behind me. And there was all these difficult decisions, and I felt like we were between everything. And that's never a good place to be. So we tried to reorganize it on the fly with Gabe (Gabriel Pec) on the left. It wasn't really coming off clean. So then we switched those two and let Diego (Fagundez) just come inside and really defend more narrow, and that way Gabe could defend the outside back who was taking a higher position and Diego could really defend narrow, and if they wanted to play out to that side, then we were comfortable with that because we could organize the defending. I feel like we matched their numbers, which helped to defend things and control the middle of the field better, which then led to us having the ball more. Us being able to break out in transitions that were from better areas versus in our box. I feel like we were able to kind of reestablish a level of control of the game that we needed to then go on ask get something out of it. So that kind of was the impetus of the adjustment. I feel like we needed to do that just to kind of get ahold of the game and get guys to the right spots."

On the performance of goalkeeper John McCarthy

"I think John's an experienced goalkeeper, and I don't love when we go back to John and he just launches it up to midfield. I feel like for us we need to get guys to the right spots, provide John with the solutions, and then John needs to make the right solution and execute upon the solution.

Sometimes we don't get guy always to the right spots fast enough depending on how aggressive the opposition's pressure is, and sometimes John on very few occasions, John doesn't necessarily execute the right decision. I feel like that's more rare. John is usually one who plays a little more conservatively versus aggressively, and so I don't want him to shy away from still looking for those opportunities to play because I think it's important to our team and it's important to how we play. I don't think we win a ton of balls to get launched up to the top, you know. So it's important for us to provide him with the solutions and him to play. Today, he got one pick that I'm sure he wishes he had back and maybe that was a moment that we could have gone longer. But I think it's important to how we play that we get there and he try to find the right solution in that situation to help us. It's good for us when teams try to press us if we can break it clean because we do have pace and things on the other side that if they want to stretch themselves out and we can get through them and we create some really good opportunities for ourselves. I want John to stay confident and keep finding the right solutions, and if he doesn't see them, then he plays long and question live to fight another day if we don't recover it."

On being behind in the game:

"I don't love that. Again, when you talk about home at RSL (Real Salt Lake) we started fantastic and we didn't execute to store. That's one situation. And today, I don't think we had a great first half at all. But I don't think it's a great cycle to get behind in games and have to come back to win them. But this team has showed a lot of resiliency. Maybe playing on the road is part of that during this stretch, but this group has shown a lot of resiliency to make up some deficits. But it's not something we love to do. I'd love for to us have a better first half than we did today, get on top of the game and manage from that side of things. Something that we obviously talk about and that we want to try to do. But you've got to play the game that's in front of you, and you've got to deal with what you deal with. Maybe with some home games, not tonight withstanding, that maybe we can get the front side of things and maybe play from there."

LA GALAXY FORWARD GABRIEL PEC (Portuguese with English Translation)

On tonight's goal and assist:

"The team is getting better little by little. After three ties in a row, getting back home and getting a result, that's feeling very good. The team has been doing great. Also, myself. I hope I can help my team moving forward."

On confidence while playing at home:

"Yes, all of my goals have been at home. I know that. I feel very good in front of the fans playing over here. My next goal is to score away, as well and I hope I can do that as soon as possible. When I score, I show the message to everybody that it's something that I like and I believe the field is the place that I feel comfortable the most. I hope I can continue showing the love of Jesus Christ for everybody."

On working well with midfielder Riqui Puig:

"Yes, Riqui (Puig) and I, we get along, game by game and day-by-day in training. Definitely the ball was an unexpected ball. I should do better on that position. And I'm pretty sure moving forward we are going to create a lot more chances. I'm getting more comfortable in the environment I'm in right now. I'm developing game by game as you can see. The fans have been welcoming since day one, and I feel very pleased with that. And about Jesus Christ and this jersey, this is what I do and what I'll continue doing."

LA GALAXY DEFENDER MIKI YAMANE (Japanese with English Translation)

Opening statement:

"I'm happy to help the team win. Thank you."

On his time in MLS and with the LA Galaxy:

"There's definitely a better understanding between the players and definitely building a better relationship, and definitely having fun on the field. So yeah, I'm definitely starting to show that on the field as well."

On tonight being his best game thus far:

"In MLS - so happy. It's about time."

On being more involved in the attack:

"My responsibility for each game changes every game, but it's definitely my style to be attacking like that, what I did in the second half. I'm definitely comfortable with going up and attacking from the side."

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