Despite starting their match at Vancouver Whitecaps off on the wrong foot, conceding three goals in the first half, LA Galaxy fought with just 10-men, to salvage a wide 3-goal deficit to a 4-2 final loss against their 7th place hosts. “We put ourselves in a really tough spot in the situation. I’d love to say it was fairly soft, but, we put ourselves in a bad situation and a hole that we had to dig ourselves out of” head coach Greg Vanney explained, speaking with the media afterwards. “I thought our response was certainly courageous and they went for it.” The Galaxy are currently also digging themselves out of the poor start to their regular season, but have commendably posted just a single loss in their last 8 matches as they attempt to climb into a playoffs spot.
In what is becoming a habit, Vancouver took an early lead when in the second minute, Brian White headed a goal past Jonathan Bond for his eighth goal this season. Bond later attributed the turf for the mistake. “I mean, I’m not going to lie, the turf absolutely killed me. The ball doesn’t bounce on the turf. And it’s very difficult when you’re training every day and are used to a certain standard of field, and then suddenly you’re playing on that,” he reflected. “And, look, obviously I’ve got to say I can do better, but honestly, that can’t be a professional standard of surface.”
It was just the first of a series of errors that led to the Galaxy’s first loss in the first two months of a post-Klein era. The hosts hit the mark just eight minutes later, when Chris Mavinga accidentally deflected a pass in the box to Ryan Gauld who then struck the ball into net. Mavinga picked up two yellow cards quickly – the first in the ninth minute, the next in the 22nd for an awkward tackle on White who was racing towards the goal on a breakaway. Mavinga was sent off as a result, and Gauld’s penalty kick made the score 3-0 in the 23rd minute. The halftime whistle that rang out like a merciful call allowed the Galaxy to regroup and re-strategize.
Los Angeles were able to close the gap within the first 30 minutes of the second half, with goals from Gastón Brugman and Mark Delgado, in the 61st and 74th minutes. Riqui Puig valiantly recorded an assist and had three chances at goals in the ensuing action but was unable to register a goal. Ultimately, Sergio Cordova scored the last goal of the night, in stoppage time, ending the match, and handing LA their first regular season loss of the summer. The two teams play again in the Leagues Cup on July 29th, but first the 13th place Western Conference Galaxy will face CONCACAF Champions Cup winning Club León in nine days at Dignity Health Sports Park. In spite of the loss in Vancouver, things are looking up for a struggling Galaxy who have shown more vision and passion since the start of June, something that will be key to pulling themselves up from one of the most poor season starts in their historic past.