Supporter groups return, Galaxy draw with Sporting KC

Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports
The Galaxy lost a 2-1 lead in the final minutes in a 2-2 draw against Sporting Kansas City.

CARSON, Calif. — On Wednesday, the LA Galaxy supporter groups returned to the stands for the first time this year after the Galaxy parted ways with president Chris Klein. The club also celebrated Juneteenth

Despite the game time festivities, the 20,960 announced fans in attendance left the Galaxy’s home stadium, Dignity Health Sports Park, with little to celebrate as the Galaxy drew with Sporting Kansas City (KC), 2-2, after a stoppage-time equalizing goal by Sporting KC. 

12 minutes into the game, midfielder Mark Delgado turned it over, trying to pass toward the center of the field. Then, Sporting KC built their own attack as midfielder Erik Thammy crossed it to forward Alan Pulido, who scored.

Despite the early 1-0 deficit, the Galaxy rallied back.

 24 minutes into the game, forward Douglas Costa’s strong free-kick towards the back post was headed into the goal by defender Martin Cáceres to tie the game, 1-1.

Then, the Galaxy knocked on the door for the rest of the game. And midfielder Riqui Puig was the catalyst of many of these attacks.

26 minutes into the game, Puig missed the goal slightly wide after finding space in the middle of the box; a few defenders were blocking and around his shot, making it tough to put the shot on goal.

Shortly after, 27 minutes into the game, Puig played a well-placed through ball to midfielder Tyler Boyd, who crossed it toward the box, but it flew past every player. 

Finally, 60 minutes into the game, Sporting KC turned it over, and forward Preston Judd scored a goal. However, the goal was not allowed due to a foul by Judd en route to his disallowed goal.

But Judd got redemption moments later when, 63 minutes into the game, Puig crossed it through to him, and he scored as he dove toward the goal. 

“Unbelievable. It was unbelievable,” said Judd about Puig’s pass before his goal. “Once I saw it come off his foot, I knew it was a perfect ball. I watched the replay as I was walking back and was like, ‘holy crap, how did he do that.’ Crazy ball. Not many people in the world can do that.”

Puig finished the game second on the team with completed passes (57). Midfielder Gastón Brugman led the team with 64 completed passes.

Unfortunately for Galaxy fans, Pulido scored a penalty for Sporting KC in the final stoppage time after midfielder Daniel Aguirre was shown a yellow card for a handball. 

“After a tough tie, it feels like a loss,” Judd said.

Also unfortunate for the Galaxy was Cáceres picking up an injury near the end of the game. He was immobile as he left the field after he took a hit during the game, according to head coach and sporting director Greg Vanney. 

Despite the loss, Galaxy fans added another reason to visit Dignity Health Sports Park on Wednesday. Before the game, while the Galaxy celebrated Dignity Health Sports Park’s 20th anniversary, they unveiled Galaxy Park, a recreation center featuring five 5v5 soccer fields, eight pickleball courts, four Padel courts, and more. 

The Galaxy unveiled Galaxy Park by hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony involving the sportscaster Jim Hill, Carson Mayor Lula Davis-Holmes, former and current broadcaster Cobi Jones, and others. 

“This facility is just a testimony of how we invest in our community,” said Davis-Holmes during the ceremony.

Next, the Galaxy plays the Colorado Rapids on Saturday with hopes of three points instead of one.