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 LA Galaxy

LA Galaxy Fall 2-1 to Seattle Sounders FC at Dignity Health Sports Park on Saturday Night

April 2, 2023 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
LA Galaxy News Release


LOS ANGELES - Playing their second home match during the 2023 campaign, the LA Galaxy three-match unbeaten run came to an end with a 2-1 loss to Seattle Sounders FC before 22,008 fans at Dignity Health Sports Park on Saturday night.

LA Galaxy Against Seattle Sounders FC

Saturday's match marked the 46th meeting across all competitions between the LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders FC, with the Galaxy trailing the all-time series 15-18-13. Against Seattle, the Galaxy hold a 10-13-13 record in league play, a 4-3-0 record in the MLS Cup Playoffs and a 1-2-0 record in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. In 19 all-time regular-season matches played between the two teams at Dignity Heath Sports Park, the LA Galaxy hold a 6-6-7 record at home against Seattle.

LA Galaxy Firsts

Jalen Neal recorded his first career MLS goal for the LA Galaxy in the 63rd minute of the match. Jonathan Pérez made his 2023 MLS regular-season debut, logging seven minutes and recording one shot on target in the match against Seattle.

LA Galaxy Academy and LA Galaxy II Pipeline

Two LA Galaxy players with ties to the LA Galaxy Academy appeared in the match against Seattle: Neal and Pérez. Five players on the Galaxy roster (Neal, Pérez, Preston Judd, Jonathan Klinsmann and Daniel Aguirre), who made their debut with LA Galaxy II before playing for the first team, appeared in the match against Seattle.

Goal-Scoring Plays

SEA - Jordan Morris (Leo Chu, Nicolas Lodeiro), 21st minute - Working down the left flank, Leo Chu's cross into the six-yard box found Jordan Morris, who converted from close range.

SEA - Leo Chu (Nicolas Lodeiro), 35th minute - Leo Chu's shot from just outside the 18-yard box was fired in at the far lower corner of the goal.

LA - Jalen Neal, 63rd minute - From a corner kick, Stefan Frei initially saved a shot from outside the box by Raheem Edwards. The rebound fell to Jalen Neal, who was first to the ball inside the six-yard box and knocked his shot past Frei.

Postgame Notes

Saturday's match marked the 46th meeting across all competitions between the LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders FC, with the Galaxy trailing the all-time series 15-18-13.

Against Seattle, the Galaxy hold a 10-13-13 record in league play, a 4-3-0 record in the MLS Cup Playoffs and a 1-2-0 record in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

In 19 all-time regular-season matches played between the two teams at Dignity Heath Sports Park, the LA Galaxy hold a 6-6-7 record at home against Seattle.

The Galaxy haven't beaten Seattle in league play dating back to Sept. 23, 2018, a run of 10 regular-season matches without a win (0-6-4) over Sounders FC.

LA recorded a season-high 28 shots and eight shots on target in the match against Seattle.

The 28 shots taken are the highest total for the Galaxy in a regular-season match dating back to Aug. 11, 2019, when LA recorded 29 shots against D.C. United.

In the second half in the match against Sounders FC, the Galaxy tallied 19 shots, six shots on target and controlled possession 65% to Seattle's 35%.

The Galaxy defense allowed three shots on target, their third consecutive match with three or fewer shots on target allowed.

Jalen Neal recorded his first career MLS goal, won seven duels, tallied two interceptions, recorded a team-high three clearances and completed 62 passes (89.9% pass accuracy).

Tyler Boyd finished the match with a game-high five chances created and finished tied for a game-high four successful dribbles.

Gastón Brugman finished the match with a game-high 92 passes completed (88.5% pass accuracy) and led the Galaxy with three tackles won.

Riqui Puig finished the match with 84 passes completed (87.5% pass accuracy) and tied for a game-high four successful dribbles.

In his second consecutive start, Calegari created three chances and led the team with three interceptions and three fouls won.

Dejan Joveljić made his 50th career regular-season appearance for the LA Galaxy in the match against Seattle.

Next Game

Next up, the LA Galaxy travel to face Houston Dynamo FC at Shell Energy Stadium on Saturday, April 8. The match on April 8 kicks off at 5:30 p.m. PT and will be broadcasted live on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.

2023 MLS Regular Season

LA Galaxy (0-2-3, 3pts) vs. Seattle Sounders FC (4-1-1, 13pts)

April 1, 2023 - Dignity Health Sports Park (Los Angeles)

Goals by Half 1 2 F

LA Galaxy 0 1 1

Seattle Sounders FC 2 0 2

Scoring Summary:

SEA: Morris (Chu, Lodeiro), 21

SEA: Chu (Lodeiro), 35

LA: Neal, 63

Misconduct Summary:

LA: Delgado (caution), 58

SEA: Ragan (caution), 61

SEA: Joao Paulo (caution), 73

SEA: Lodeiro (caution), 85

Lineups:

LA: GK Jonathan Klinsmann; D Calegari (Daniel Aguirre, 90+1), D Martín Cáceres (Chris Mavinga, 83), D Jalen Neal (Jonathan Pérez, 83), D Raheem Edwards; M Mark Delgado, M Gastón Brugman ©, M Riqui Puig, M Memo Rodríguez (Preston Judd, 45), M Tyler Boyd (Douglas Costa, 78), F Dejan Joveljić

Substitutes Not Used: GK Aaron Cervantes; D Kelvin Leerdam; M Efraín Álvarez, M Uri Rosell

TOTAL SHOTS: 28 (Mark Delgado, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 8 (Tyler Boyd, 2); FOULS: 8 (Tyler Boyd, Mark Delgado, 2); OFFSIDES:2; CORNER KICKS: 13; SAVES: 1

SEA: GK Stefan Frei; D Jackson Ragen, D Yeimar, M Joao Paulo, M Cristian Roldan, M Nico Lodeiro ©, M Albert Rusnak (Nouhou, 69), M Alex Roldan, M Leo Chu (Raul Ruidiaz, 60), M Josh Atencio (Obed Vargas, 69); F Jordan Morris (Xavier Arreaga, 90)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Stefan Cleveland; M Ethan Dobbelaere, M Danny Leyva; F Fredy Montero, F Heber

TOTAL SHOTS: 9 (Three players tied, 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Three players tied, 1); FOULS: 14 (Leo Chu, 3); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 2; SAVES: 7

Referee: Allen Chapman

Assistant Referees: Logan Brown, Cory Richardson

Fourth Official: Mark Allatin

VAR: Sorin Stoica

Weather: Clear, 67 degrees

Attendance: 22,008

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial

LA GALAXY POSTGAME QUOTES

LA GALAXY HEAD COACH AND SPORTING DIRECTOR GREG VANNEY

On it being one of those games where it was unbalanced, Seattle scoring two goals in the first half and his side being responsive in the second half, and what he saw from the game in total:

"To be honest, even in the first half, I didn't think we played poorly. We created chances. We got in the good spots. We made up two soft goals, in my opinion. I feel like, in the final action, sometimes we just need a little more urgency and a little more presence. Which, is why we came out in something different in the second half, to put two forwards, to get to move their center backs more to try to just create a little more chaos in front of the goal when we get into those good spots. In the second half, again, I just thought, in addition to the two forwards, there was just more urgency. We won balls. We tried to play forward. We just continued to build momentum. Which led to chances. The two forwards certainly played a role inside that. So, again, over the course of the game, I thought we controlled just about every phase of what we wanted to do. But, the game ultimately is decided on goals. And, those two, were too easy. For us. Because a team like that, that's stingy in every way, it was tough to get two back. Having said that, I think this is the third game that we've been undone on handball. In my opinion. I believe this... is in the silhouette. This, is in the silhouette. This, is not in the silhouette. This is a handball. When Dejan [Joveljić] takes one off of his chest and the referee is 25-yards back, making the call from behind the play, what is he doing? That's two games ago. The last game, this is a ball that's shot, it hits under the arm and goes that way, is a handball. That is not the silhouette. Three games in a row these guys don't know what handball is. It's getting to be obscene. Honestly. It's ridiculous. And the game is about margins. They have VAR. They have the ability... they're the only entity in the entire game that gets a redo. None of us else get a redo. They get a redo. And it's three times they can't get it right. That's their job. That's their job. And this, right now, we're grinding. We're in the margins. We deserve better. We deserve better. We controlled this game. We controlled the last game. We deserve better. Yes, we need to execute better. That's on us. But what we deserve, we should get. That's better. Those three... were not fair. And that's frustrating. And I'm fighting for my guys. My guys are sitting in there, dumbfounded that they can't get a call. And that's why I'm sitting in here saying that it's unacceptable by them. Unacceptable."

On if the fourth official said anything to him:

"No. He doesn't say anything. He was so far away from me. I don't think I even saw him the whole game. He was next to the Seattle bench every time I looked over. I didn't see him near me. So, no. He didn't say a word to me."

On Jalen Neal and Preston Judd's performances, and Neal's goal:

"Look, I think Jalen [Neal] has played now multiple solid games. I think, the only thing, if I was to be a little critical, I think on a couple plays, in the first half, he dropped a little bit ahead of everyone else, and kept them onside. Which, may have led to the first goal, if I recall. If I was critical. But, that's what kept them going. But, aside from that, he's been exceptional. Again, his capacity on the ball. His composure. His defensive reading. He's trying to communicate, he's trying to be a leader out there. Yeah, I couldn't be more pleased with his composure as a player and his development. But, again, it's me being hyper-critical in those moments, as I am in general with our center backs, just recognizing in that situation that he doesn't need to drop, because, the player that is in his view is running offside, so we should just let him run offside. He's been, again, I'm being critical, but he's been fantastic. Preston [Judd], again, Preston is a handful. That's who he is. There's not... he doesn't have glitz and glamour in his game, but he's an SOB on the field. It's just so hard to deal with, and he'll keep running and fighting. Gets himself into goal scoring... he doesn't really care about the other phases of the game, he wants to score goals. And, so, he put himself into some dangerous positions. I know he feels like he should have had one for sure, inside of that, he, you know, he doesn't need to apologize to me. He did. But he doesn't need to. He just needs to keep working for the next one. That's what being a striker is about. He needs to keep fighting for the next one. But, he's a good example."

On if there is a perspective he can gain, in talking about the handballs in the past three games, on this team being winless through five, and if it feels like that:

"Yeah. I mean, it is. Because we're here to win games, and it's been a frustrating process. When you take a step back from that, certainly, each game for me, has some progressions and some positive things. You know, the first game was by far our worst game. The second game, we showed character and grinding out a point. The third game, we came back here. We took control of the game, we took care of the ball. We did the things that we wanted to do to be who we wanted to be. I think we should have gotten more out of that game, as I said before. Then we went to Portland, and completely controlled the game in Portland. What led to... have gotten the goal, or, the penalty that we deserve. It's just that little this or that, that gives you some momentum to get out in front of the game, and build some momentum. That's what the group needs right now. I think we have progress in some of those ways. I really liked the urgency of the second half. While it was possession based and we controlled the game, there was some real urgency inside of the final actions. Which, I like. And, so, it's to continue to build off of that and there's some takeaways too, and things for me to consider as guys continue to come back. And, we add one or two more pieces as guys come in. But, we have a good team. We have a good concept. And, the momentum will start to go our way. And, I assure you, people won't want to play us when we've got all that going in the right direction."

On Preston Judd and Dejan Joveljić play up front together, and if they are complimentary to one another:

"Yeah, you know, Preston [Judd] is a little different than the other two. When I say other two, Dejan and also Javi [Javier Hernández] because he's a relentless runner that's trying to get behind. He's direct. The other two, you can link off of, connect, they will drop in, they'll play a little bit. So, he's a bit of a space creator and a center back mover. Somebody who can, in 1-on-1 situations, can beat up center backs a little bit. Which is the unique part of him. So, I think, again, he's a nice compliment to either of those two guys. Also, with Dejan, he's looking to connect and find the balls and get touches and then move off of that. And, sometimes, I think against two big center backs, it's not as easy for Dejan to create his own space, as if he has someone else there who is opening space for him and showing some of those powerful runs that Preston is able to make."

LA GALAXY DEFENDER JALEN NEAL

On his goal and how it played out:

"I think it was Raheem's [Edwards] shot, but it went through everybody. So it was kind of in a crowded area. And then, yeah, goalkeeper just made a spill out of it and I was there."

On the team's urgency in the second half and what he thinks the difference was between both halves:

"Exactly that. The urgency we had to go score a goal. I mean the first half, as you saw we created chances and we were playing the football we wanted, but i mean, it's been the same struggle we've had at the beginning of this season. We've been having trouble putting the ball in the back of the net, but second half we just we just played the same way we did the first half, just a little bit better, quicker and applied a little more pressure on them."

On Greg Vanney saying he was hyper-critical of his performance and all center backs', and how he saw the play of the first Seattle goal:

"It was a very hard play to do and that's what Seattle does. They make hard situations for other defenses. But I mean, in that case, I think we could just do, especially the backline, just do a better job of communicating, me also, you know, communicating to maybe have [Martin] Caceres stay or maybe communicating to [Lucas] Caligari to limit the space on his left shoulder or I can even be covering Martin more. There's a lot of things I can go into that first goal, but yeah, I can read that play earlier. I can communicate better. I can read that cross or, you know, just make a better decision on it, for sure. But yeah, I'm definitely hyper-critical on myself as well on that first goal."

On whether he's had time to see his mom yet and what her reaction was to his goal:

"Yeah, I just saw her right before this actually. She told she can't even really remember the goal because she blacked out. But, yeah, she said many people have been sending her videos and stuff."

On what's the biggest think he's had to adapt to at the MLS level:

"I think just focus and consistency throughout a 90-minute game. Compared to USL last season, it's a much higher level and it stays at that level for the whole game. There aren't really dips of a play, or dips of quality in the game. So you have to be alert and focused throughout the whole 90 minutes and It's a challenge that I really like a lot because it makes you a better player and it makes you a better leader also, you know. Being aware of the whole field, communicating to everyone for 90 minutes. You know, it's a hard job, but it's mentally taxing too but I like it, I enjoy."

LA GALAXY FORWARD PRESTON JUDD

On what he thinks he provided to the team in the second half:

"Yeah, when I come on, I just want to provide a spark. I want to bring the energy. I know what I can do on the field and I could bump the defenders around and just show the energy that we needed in that second half and that's all I came on to do. Was unlucky to score a goal but I think it's going to be coming soon. I know what I can do on the field, like i said, it's going to be coming soon."

On Greg Vanney saying he didn't need to but that Preston Judd apologized to him for not scoring:

"It just hurts me. I'll be thinking about this all night. I'll get rid of it. I'll be fine by tomorrow, but it's my job. It's my job to score goals. I'm a forward. I'm a nine. That's where I live or die, scoring goals. And I know that. So, of course, I feel bad after the game and I want the coach to get at least a point, maybe three points out of this game and we deserved it. So I felt bad. I know I didn't need to apologize, but it was just in the moment."

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On his partnership with Dejan Joveljić:

"I think we both bring a different dynamic. He's really good going in, checking-in for the balls and like Greg [Vanney] said, I am a little more comfortable running in behind and getting behind the defense and bring that physicality. I think it compliments each other well and I think it shows our chemistry is pretty well up there."

Whether he feels the team is a little bit unlucky right now given the chances the team is creating and whether he thinks the team can snap out of this:

"Yeah, I definitely think it's unlucky. We had a ton of good chances today, the last game. Pretty much every game we get good chances. I think it's just matter of time. I think we just need to keep pushing forward. Keep getting those chances and it's just a matter of time before we just keep on scoring. Break through that, open up the flood gates."

On every shot being blocked by Seattle and how frustrating that was:

"It's unlucky that they got two goals early, it was easy for them to pack it in. Which made it a little tougher for us. But I think we did well creating chances, even with 11 men behind the ball by them. We just got to move it around, go side to side and get more balls in the box. And it just might be even a lucky touch and lucky goal, almost like Jalen's [Neal], but we just have to push it in the box and create more chances."


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