Galaxy secure fourth consecutive draw in Charlotte

Scott Kinser-USA TODAY Sports
Galaxy goalkeeper Novak Mićović earned a clean sheet in his first start of the season, a scoreless draw against Charlotte FC.

Capping off a three-match, cross-country, weeklong road trip, Novak Micovic managed a clean sheet in his first start of the season for the Los Angeles Galaxy (5-2-7) in a scoreless draw against Charlotte FC (6-5-3) Saturday night.

The result marks the fourth straight draw for the Galaxy and makes the team’s road record 3-3-3, despite a handful of meaningful chances that could’ve swung the pendulum in favor of LA against Charlotte.

“I thought we managed the game pretty well. I thought our possession play was pretty solid. We were able to move the ball around,” Galaxy head coach Greg Vanney said. “I feel like we rushed crosses and we rushed moments that weren’t really great and we didn’t really give ourselves a chance to get numbers in the box.”

On the decision to start Micovic in goal, Vanney explained, “It was pre-planned. It’s a road trip, third game of the week, Eastern Conference. Courtesy of MLS, we don’t have the Open Cup this season to be able to get both of our keepers in games, so we have to kind of manufacture some experience.”

Vanney wasn’t exactly happy with the result, but he wasn’t displeased either.

“There weren’t a ton of clean, really great clean chances. But we were in good spots,” Vanney said of his team’s performance on offense.

Charlotte played in a low block for much of the contest, keeping LA’s dynamic wingers at bay. 

Joseph Paintsil was also sidelined for Saturday’s matchup due to a nagging hamstring injury. Diego Fagúndez started in place of Paintstil along with Dejan Joveljic and Gabriel Pec up top, but the trio couldn’t break through the low block.

“They had numbers in their half the field, and it became a bit of an exercise of breaking down what was a pretty tight group,” Vanney said. “But I thought we didn’t concede many moments where we had turnovers and these huge transitions. Having said that, I still feel like it’s a little too easy to get into our half of the field.”

The Galaxy close the roadtrip splitting points at each stop, but Vanney knows every point counts.

“Third game this week and two on the road all the way across the Eastern Conference. I have to give the guys a lot of credit because I thought we controlled a lot of the match,” Vanney added.

Next, the Galaxy return to Dignity Health Sports Park to play the Houston Dynamo on Saturday, at 7:30 p.m.