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 LA Galaxy

LA Galaxy Score Stoppage-Time Equalizer Against St. Louis CITY SC to Earn 3-3 Draw Before Sell-Out Crowd at Dignity Health Sports Park on Saturday Night

March 17, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
LA Galaxy News Release


LOS ANGELES - Down 3-2 in the 88th minute, the LA Galaxy scored the equalizing goal in stoppage time to earn a 3-3 come-from-behind draw before a sell-out crowd of 25,174 fans at Dignity Health Sports Park on Saturday night.

Men On Fire

With his goal scored in the match against St. Louis, Joveljić is the fifth player in LA Galaxy history to score in four consecutive matches to begin an MLS season. Zlatan Ibrahimovic holds the LA Galaxy record with five consecutive games with a goal scored to begin an MLS season, with seven goals scored during that span to begin the 2019 campaign. Mark Delgado recorded his league-leading fourth assist of the 2024 MLS Regular Season, while Joseph Paintsil notched his second goal of the season in the come-from-behind draw against St. Louis.

Goal-Scoring Plays

LA - Dejan Joveljić (Julián Aude, Diego Fagundez), 3rd minute: Julián Aude was released down the left side of the penalty area and cut his pass back into the path of Dejan Joveljić, who took a touch and fired his left-footed shot into the bottom right corner of the goal.

STL - Tomas Ostrak, 27th minute: A turnover in midfield was picked up by Tomas Ostrak, whose low shot from the edge of the 18-yard box was curled in.

LA - Joseph Paintsil (Mark Delgado, Riqui Puig), 51st minute: Mark Delgado released Joseph Paintsil behind the St. Louis backline and the Ghanaian international forward slotted his shot from inside the penalty area.

STL - Joakim Nilsson (Samuel Adeniran, Aziel Jackson), 60th minute: Aziel Jackson's corner-kick service was headed into the path of Joakim Nilsson, who bicycle kicked the ball into the top right corner.

STL - Own Goal (John McCarthy), 88th minute: A corner-kick delivery into the box was deflected off the hands of LA Galaxy goalkeeper John McCarthy and found the back of the net.

LA - Maya Yoshida (Gastón Brugman), 90+5th minute: Gastón Brugman's free-kick service into the penalty area was headed in by Maya Yoshida from the edge of the six-yard box.

Postgame Notes

Through three matches played during the 2024 MLS Regular Season, the LA Galaxy hold an unbeaten record of 1-0-3 (9 GF, 7 GA) and sit in fourth place in the Western Conference standings.

The Galaxy rank second in in the league in goals scored (9) behind only Inter Miam CF (13).

Saturday's match between the LA Galaxy and St. Louis CITY SC marked the third regular season meeting between the two teams, with the all-time series tied 0-0-3 (6 GF, 6 GA).

The stoppage-time goal scored by Maya Yoshida in the 95th minute against St. Louis is tied for the fourth-latest goal scored in LA Galaxy history, with the latest coming in the 99th minute by Riqui Puig in LA's 2-2 draw against Nashville SC on Sept. 10, 2022.

In three career regular season matches managed against St. Louis CITY SC as head coach of the LA Galaxy dating back to 2023, Greg Vanney holds a 0-0-3 record.

With his goal scored in the match against St. Louis, Dejan Joveljić is the fifth player in LA Galaxy history to score in four consecutive matches to begin an MLS season.

Joveljić has registered seven goal contributions (5 goals, 2 assists) in his last six regular-season appearances (5 starts) dating back to Oct. 7, 2023.

Joseph Paintsil scored his first goal at home and his second goal of the 2024 campaign. Paintsil finished the match with one goal scored, four chances created, eight of 11 duels won, four possessions won and a game-high five fouls won.

Mark Delgado recorded his second assist at home this season and leads MLS in assists (4) during the 2024 campaign.

In his 50th career appearance across all competitions for the LA Galaxy, Riqui Puig notched his first assist of the season and finished the match with a game-high 104 touches, 77 of 90 passes completed (85.6%), five of seven duels won, four fouls won and a team-high five possessions won.

Julián Aude recorded an assist for a second consecutive match and recorded a game-high three interceptions.

In 21 minutes of action as a second-half substitute, Gastón Brugman notched his first assist of the season, completed 39 of 43 passes (90.7%), created three chances and won three possessions.

Next Game

Next up, the LA Galaxy travel to face Sporting Kansas City at Children's Mercy Park on Saturday, March 23 (5:30 p.m. PT; MLS Season Pass).

2024 MLS Regular Season

LA Galaxy (1-0-3, 6pts) vs. St. Louis CITY SC (1-0-3, 6pts)

Saturday, March 16, 2024 - Dignity Health Sports Park (Los Angeles)

Goals by Half 1 2 F

LA Galaxy 1 2 3

St. Louis CITY SC 1 2 3

Scoring Summary:

LA: Joveljić (Aude, Fagundez), 3

STL: Ostrak, 27

LA: Paintsil (Delgado, Puig), 51

STL: Nilsson (Adeniran, Jackson), 60

STL: Own Goal (McCarthy), 88

LA: Yoshida (Brugman), 90+5

Misconduct Summary:

STL: Totland (caution), 25

LA: Cáceres (caution), 35

LA: Paintsil (caution), 45+1

STL: Jackson (caution), 51

LA: Puig (caution), 65

STL: Nilsson (caution), 70

STL: Adeniran (caution), 83

LA: Cáceres (caution), 90+9

Lineups:

LA: GK John McCarthy; D Miki Yamane, D Maya Yoshida ©, D Martín Cáceres, D Julián Aude; M Mark Delgado, M Edwin Cerrillo (Gastón Brugman, 69), M Riqui Puig, F Diego Fagundez (Gabriel Pec, 62), F Joseph Paintsil, F Dejan Joveljić (Miguel Berry, 69)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Novak Mićović; D Mauricio Cuevas, D John Nelson, D Eriq Zavaleta; M Daniel Aguirre, M Jonathan Pérez

TOTAL SHOTS: 16 (Dejan Joveljić, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 8 (Dejan Joveljić, 3); FOULS: 13 (Three players tied, 2); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 3

STL: Roman Bürki ©; D Joakim Nilsson; D Anthony Markanich (Nikolas Dyhr, 59), D Tomas Totland, D Josh Yaro; M Tomas Ostrak (Sam Adeniran, 60), M Chris Durkin; M Aziel Jackson (Hosei Kijima, 71); F Joao Klauss (Kyle Hiebert, 81), F Indiana Vassilev (Rasmus Alm, 71

Substitutes Not Used: GK Christian Olivares; D Jake Nerwinski, D Akil Watts, F Nokkvi Thorisson

TOTAL SHOTS: 19 (Aziel Jackson, Joao Klauss, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Five players tied, 1); FOULS: 21 (Chris Durkin, 5); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 5

Referee: Atahan Yaya

Assistant Referees: Ryan Jung, CJ Koll

Fourth Official: Viviana Diaz Rodriguez

VAR: Mark Geiger

Weather: Clear, 65 degrees

Attendance: 25,174

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial

LA GALAXY POSTGAME QUOTES

LA GALAXY HEAD COACH GREG VANNEY

On tonight's officiating and whether it was frustrating"

"Yeah, I was frustrated. I felt like the standard was of what's a foul, what's not a foul, was off and I felt like that was consistent for the night. So sometimes it happens and I felt like it happened tonight."

On whether there was any discussions with a fourth official at least on some of those calls, maybe the early yellow card for Martin Cáceres seemed to be a normal foul, but then that leads up to the second card that sends him off:

"Yeah, was there any discussion? Not really. It was more I think me saying my peace and being appeased but not really discussion about anything, and I think to be fair, some of my frustration probably didn't warrant sometimes a discussion but there were times when it certainly did. But there wasn't going to be an answer or a justification or anything in the situation. I just felt like - and it wasn't - I don't know if it was major calls, major moments, I didn't see the third goal on [John McCarthy] J-Mac there. I didn't see what happened. I felt like he was definitely in his space. The question was the contact before, I didn't see it. I just felt like the flow of the game, they are a pressing team, and they get in your space and they get in your space. And I'll say this forever and I'll say it to everyone: If the standard of a foul is off when you play these teams that are in your face and up your back and grabbing you from behind and doing all that stuff, then it's going to be tough for the team that wants to have possession and wants to play. That's one of the reasons I think it's kind of hard to do what we do in our league sometimes is to want to have the ball and want to manipulate the opposition. Because you can have nights like tonight where if the opposition takes risks and no foul is called, you can be on the wrong side of something really quick. You know, I felt like the standard was just a little bit off tonight. But again, that can happen and I felt like it happened today. It's my opinion. Others can have their own opinion. Having said that, we missed and/or [Roman] Bürki made a bunch of great saves and we missed some chances that we shouldn't even have been in the game honestly in my opinion. We should have buried enough of our chances because they were really good chances. They weren't just kind of good chances. They were really good chances, and we didn't bury them. Dejan had multiple that he wasn't able to finish on the night. Again sometimes Bürki made great saves, and sometimes we headed against the crossbar from four yards away. Just a lot of really good chances. They are a tough team to play. They make it difficult on you because they are super committed in the press and the defensive side, and they work hard. But as you saw that that can also open up some gaps that we took advantage of and some space in behind that Joseph took advantage of. But we didn't punish them when we got into those spots enough. And having said, that we still stored three goals, but we didn't punish them enough. I think there was six or more for us tonight if we are clinical."

On what Martín [Cáceres] did at the end sacrificing himself for a result and whether this was a game where the Galaxy should have scored a few goals. On whether scoring the decisive goal in stoppage time makes it feel a little bit like a win:

"First, let's talk about Martín [Cáceres]. He's a warrior, first and foremost, and he is - obviously he's been around the block a time or two, and he's dealing with a guy with a lot of speed and a lot of pace and a lot of power. He knew he could take no chance in the guy getting by him if we were going to end that play. So he had to sacrifice himself for it, and I felt like Maya [Yoshida] should have grabbed him earlier and that would have saved Martín because Martín already had the yellow. But Martín did what he had to do and it was professional, and it probably saved us a bit there. As far as the team coming back, look, I'm proud of them for fighting back and getting the equalizer and staying in it and keep putting things in dangerous positions and getting it. Did it feel like a win? No. It still doesn't feel like a win. I think it felt a little bit like kind of a draw, I guess. But I felt like when you leave so many opportunities on the table, and again, they weren't for me. They are not half-opportunities. These are really good opportunities. You know, like again, there's three more of those that have to hit the back of the net. I know Bürki is a really good goalkeeper; he's one of the best in our league, but they were maybe a little too much in his wheelhouse for him to make those saves, and they need to be a little more tucked in the corner and a little bit better finished. But certainly, he had a good night, and we weren't clinical enough."

On the team giving the ball away in areas where you don't want to give the ball away and how to balance the risk factor of looking to have possession:

"It can't happen. It's happening too much and it can't happen. And it makes us vulnerable. It's something we've talked about all through preseason that we can't force plays through the middle of field. Every team in the League knows that we want to try to combine in the middle of field and we have the tendency to over combine, especially these teams that press and are aggressive and are going to get in your space and they are going to take a risk to come through you and to get really tight. When you overplay these things, you can get tackled. You can get things rebounded off of you. There's a lot of things that they just can't happen. The majority of our success tonight came when we built off of the outsides and we got them in their rotations and pulled them apart and ran through the channels and opened them up and squared the ball back across. That's where vast majority of it - you still have to use the middle of the field, but the middle of the field is to connect you to each of the slides. You don't need to play straight through the middle of the field; they are asking for big problems. So it will be something that we continue to harp on and discuss and make sure that we are more mindful of."

On whether the defensive line played okay overall but giving away two set piece goals. On his thoughts whether the defense is coming along in the way that he has expected so far and especially in this game:

"Yeah, to be fair, I've been pleased with our defending for most of the year. We haven't - we've kept our expected goals pretty low except for last week, it was a ball with chest down in the box; and a penalty after a very good effort to recover and then turns into a penalty out of nothing. Teams are going to get chances but I feel like we've limited the chances outside a few of those moments. The set pieces tonight certainly caused us a problem. We knew that coming in they are a big team, and they will put balls in on top of the goal. And you have to be able to defend set pieces against these guys. We didn't do that well enough tonight. But I do, I do think the defending has been solid and has been better about you you've got to eliminate -- it's about all moments. It's not just about, you know, those moments."

LA GALAXY DEFENDER MAYA YOSHIDA

On scoring the goal that ties the game and his thoughts on the goal and the game in general:

"We started off and our goal, and I thought that maybe we are too - too relaxed, maybe. Yeah, again, conceded some mistakes. We could dominate in the first half and instead we made ourselves very difficult moment, difficult stretch. So feel very disappointed to drop two points. Of course, second foul, cost us. We knew that we shouldn't be like this since last season. We need to learn or we have to improve that kind of part, of course. Yeah, much more disappointed today, I feel."

On his goal and how that went in to tie the game there late in stoppage time:

"Even though, you know, a difficult game, and we didn't play well in the end, we got one point. That's positive. Of course we can pick the positive things. That's very important, as well. In the end of the season, we say, okay, that point made a huge difference or the three points we drop makes a huge difference. That's up to us now. Anyway, we need to get three points. We keep drawing and we say, yes, we are very positive blah, blah, blah, it's enough. We need to get the three points. Probably the coach say the same things. That's what he said in the dressing room and I totally agreed. Again, we fly away to Kansas, next game. Away game is not easy, especially traveling, time difference. Is there time difference? Okay. Again. So we need to manage it and of course, after that, big games coming again. Hopefully, well, we have to get three points next game."

On whether there's a lot of frustration with the officiating and the consistency in what was a foul and what wasn't a foul:

"I hope that the Pro will agree with the league as soon as possible. That's very shame. Stop. That's it."

On whether Martín Cáceres sacrificed himself at the end to stop a goal chance:

"I already spoke with him and I apologized to him. Because I need to stop him and make yellow card, that's it. This is part of experience. My teammates expect it from me, and Martín [Cáceres] did what he need it do. Of course the first yellow card was too easy probably, but the second time, the second foul, he did what he need to do. Again, I need to do that thing before he make - before he got red card. So I feel sorry for him and of course, we need to react from his - for his intuition."

On the defense in general, St. Louis had two goals off a set piece, one of them a giveaway in the midfield. On whether he is satisfied with how the team is defending their shape and whether he sees an improvement compared to last year:

"We knew they are very direct and physical team. Set piece is also very strong. Well, but if we make a mistakes on our side, doesn't matter how they play. That we need to improve obviously, and secondly, set piece, we need to reuse set piece, of course, and, well, anyway, we need to stop conceding the goals. I need to build good solidarity for defensive line and confidence as well. That's what we need is numbers. Numbers is going up, up, up now, conceding every game. Doesn't matter how, but I want the numbers, zero, zero, zero. If it happens, we feel much better, especially defensive players, feel much better. Even they score three goals and we concede the three goals, nobody happy with that."

On whether he thinks the team is close to achieving their first clean sheet of the season:

"Well, of course, we are going to miss Martín [Cáceres] now but in terms of solidarity and communication and the organization, I feel much better than last season. Of course, Riqui [Puig] also bring a lot of experience, but he need to reduce the mistakes, as well. We spoke already after the game and he's - today is not his level game, obviously. Of course I need to help him and he need to help me as well. Everybody have to improve. Everybody have to be better than today for sure, including myself. Yes, I score a goal and in the end it sounds good but if we specific an analyze the game, we are not good enough today, very obvious."

On Martín [Cáceres] being out next week and how he thinks the team will absorb that pressure in the back line:

"You know, he has a lot of games, especially with Greg [Vanney], and he know what we need to do, and he has experience. You know, the senior player have to show our personality, identity and authority in the game immediately. Otherwise people will start to say "he's too old," easily. If I make two, three mistakes in a row, people start to say, 'he's too old.' I think this is big opportunity for Eriq [Zavaleta] and he was waiting for a long time for last three games, of course. And nobody is happy with setting on the bench. So I'm sure that he's ready for next game and the communication for me, it's easier, English, speak, no doubt."

LA GALAXY FORWARD DEJAN JOVELJIÆ

On whether it was a frustrating night tonight and his thoughts on how the game played out tonight:

"Of course, it's frustrated game. We should have won that game. I should have scored more goals than one. I want to say that goalkeeper of St. Louis was amazing today and big shout out to him, and I'm going to keep working, even harder, and we are going to come back for sure and the good thing is that we are unbeaten. Unbeaten four games."

On tonight's officiating:

"I mean, you are right, but it's not my job to talk about refs. We should have controlled better this game. Unfortunately we didn't. We conceded three goals but next game, hopefully we are going to play better."

On the confidence he has brought into this team and how his game is growing:

"I mean, I don't really care about people that think something about me; they don't own know how to pronounce my name. So I care what coaches think, but yes, I'm the box player, but unfortunately I didn't show that today. I take responsibility for today's loss, let's say. We didn't win one point. We lost two points today."

On how close is the team to having a killer mentally and being able to do that week-in and week-out:

"I think that we are very close. We are still knowing each other, and I think that Paintsil already built very good relationship between our midfields and other guys. He's such a good player and good person, humble, and he's going to help us a lot this season with his goals and assists. I can say that we are going to work even harder and that we are going to be more dangerous this year, more than ever."

On how excited he is for the potential that this team has:

"I mean, I was always saying that I am pleased. It's my pleasure to play with the players like them. So I think that we have very, very good team and yeah, this season, we are going to be on our top, and that's simple."

On whether he feels like the team is still in a position to continue to build on the current momentum:

"Of course, because we are unbeaten four games. But we should have won this game. Everyone can agree, and yeah, for sure, we can work out of this and continue this way and hopefully next game against Kansas can which is very good team, we can make very good result, why not."

On his header that went off the crossbar and whether he got get bumped as he hit the header:

"Yeah, I get bumped from behind. But I need to check. I need to see that again. I think that I jumped maybe too high. I'm not sure. I'm not sure. But unbelievable what was happening this night."

On how comfortable he is feeling on the field with your teammates and the potential that the team has:

"I feel very comfortable because I know that our players are able to create chances in every game that we are going to play. So my job is just to be on the right place at the right time. I've been just once tonight but in the next game, I'm going to be more times there."

On the team dominating in most of the games and how to get over that mental hump of being the better team in all the games that they've played but seemingly not walking away with the points the team deserves:

"Yeah, it's mentally, it's hard, but the good thing in football is that everything is happening quick. So in seven days is the new chance, and if you win three points, nobody will talk about St. Louis game. So new chance is coming fast and we need to take it."


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