mls

Galaxy defeat Sounders, 1-0, move atop Supporters’ Shield standings

The Galaxy move into first place in the MLS after a 1-0 win over the Seattle Sounders, leading into next week’s El Trafico against LAFC.

CARSON, Calif. — It was a cold, wet night at Dignity Health Sports Park Saturday and the conditions on the pitch seemingly tilted the scales in favor of the visiting Seattle Sounders.

Yet, Gabriel Pec’s first goal in a Galaxy uniform in the fourth minute proved to be the difference maker in a 1-0 victory for LA over Seattle.

The victory moves the Galaxy (3-0-3) into first place in the MLS Supporters’ Shield standings with 12 points, following Minnesota United’s loss to Philadelphia Union earlier in the day.

”A resilient effort and one we needed today, because for a number of reasons, it wasn’t the easiest day to to possess and keep the ball and we were a little bit in a rush when we got our got our chances to go forward,” Galaxy head coach Greg Vanney said of his teams performance.

Dejan Joveljic was unable to extend his scoring streak to six matches after entering as a sub late in the second half due to a “minor” groin injury he suffered last week against Kansas City, according to Vanney.

Miguel Berry started in place of Joveljic and while he was unable to produce a goal, his performance and recent form drew high praise from Vanney.

”Miguel always puts in a shift. He works and works and works and he’s powerful. He’s a powerful runner and he had a couple of chances here and there in the game,” Vanney said. “Today was a chance for him to start and to see what he could bring to the equation, but I like him.”

Martín Caceres went down with a leg injury in the first half, but Vanney’s initial reaction postgame was that Caceres’ injury was “more muscular” and the team subbed him off as a “precaution.”

”I don’t know exactly. I’ll find out more as I as I go check in on (Caceres) but I think he was starting to tighten up somewhere so it was a precaution. I hope, we’ll see,” Vanney said afterwards.

The trio of Pec, Riqui Puig and Joseph Paintsil were all involved in the game-winning goal and have spearheaded the turnaround for the Galaxy this season, providing a newfound spark on offense that makes the G’s must-see TV to start 2024.

When I looked at our schedule, to be honest with you, at the start of the season. I thought ‘sh*t this is going to be a really difficult start to the season’

LA Galaxy head coach Greg Vanney after moving into first place in the Supporters’ Shield standings

Next, the Galaxy prepare for the first rendition of El Trafico in 2024 Saturday, April 6, at BMO Stadium. Vanney understands the emotions and challenges that come with Clásicos, but he assures his team is prepared, given its current form.

”That’s the challenge we want. To stay unbeaten, we want to stay on the top,” Vanney said. “When I looked at our schedule, to be honest with you, at the start of the season. I thought ‘sh*t this is going to be a really difficult start to the season,’ because a number of these games are on the road, against really good opponents, that are hard to beat, that we don’t have particularly great records against and the guys have managed each of these.”

Nonetheless, Vanney and the G’s have all eyes on LAFC in a week.

“Next week is going to be no different from that. It’s going to be a huge challenge, but the resiliency of the group and the quality of the group makes me excited to go in there and see what we can do.”