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Match Report: LA Galaxy Extend Unbeaten Run to Four Matches with 0-0 Shutout Draw on the Road Against Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Saturday Night

Match Report: LA Galaxy Extend Unbeaten Run to Four Matches with 0-0 Shutout Draw on the Road Against Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Saturday Night

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (Saturday June 24, 2023) – Playing their second match in the span of four days, the LA Galaxy earned a 0-0 shutout draw on the road against the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Saturday night. 

Galaxy Run Of Form
Following the draw against Colorado, the Galaxy improved to 1-0-3 (5 GF, 4 GA) in their last four regular-season matches played dating back to May 31. In the Galaxy’s last five matches played on the road across all competitions dating back to May 23, LA holds a 2-1-2 record (8 GF, 6 GA). **

LA Galaxy Against Colorado Rapids
**Saturday’s match marked the 93rd all-time meeting across all competitions between the LA Galaxy and the Colorado Rapids, with LA leading the series 46-34-13. Against the Rapids, the Galaxy hold a 38-32-13 record in league play, a 1-0-0 record in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and a 7-2-0 record in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs. In 41 all-time regular-season meetings played on the road against Colorado, LA holds a 13-21-7 record. In two matches played between the two teams this season, LA held an 0-1-1 record against the Rapids.  

Goal-Scoring Plays
None 

  • Following the draw against Colorado, the Galaxy improved to 1-0-3 (5 GF, 4 GA) in four regular-season matches played dating back to May 31. 
  • In the Galaxy’s last five matches played on the road across all competitions dating back to May 23, LA holds a 2-1-2 record (8 GF, 6 GA).
  • Saturday’s match marked the 93rd all-time meeting across all competitions between the LA Galaxy and the Colorado Rapids, with LA leading the series 46-34-13. 
  • Against the Rapids, the Galaxy hold a 38-32-13 record in league play, a 1-0-0 record in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and a 7-2-0 record in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs. 
  • In 41 all-time regular-season meetings played on the road against Colorado, LA holds a 13-21-7 record. 
  • In two matches played between the two teams this season, LA held an 0-1-1 record against the Rapids. 
  • The last time LA earned a win on the road against Colorado, the Galaxy defeated the Rapids 3-1 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on June 21, 2017.
  • The LA Galaxy recorded their fourth shutout in league play during the 2023 campaign, and their first since a 2-0 win over Austin FC on April 22. 
  • Goalkeeper Jonathan Bond tallied one save and posted his second shutout during the 2023 MLS Regular Season. 
  • Chris Mavinga started in his second consecutive match, playing 90 minutes, completing 59 passes (92.2% pass accuracy), two interceptions and three clearances in the draw against Colorado. 
  • Mauricio Cuevas made his first career MLS start for the LA Galaxy, logging 58 minutes, recording three clearances and completing 20 passes (95.2% pass accuracy) in the road draw against the Rapids. 
  • In his 18th consecutive appearance across all competitions, Calegari finished the match with three interceptions, two tackles won, eight possessions won and four duels won. 
  • Riqui Puig finished the match with a team-high three chances created, six duels won and two successful dribbles. 
  • Gastón Brugman completed 54 passes (93.1% pass accuracy), won four duels and six possessions and recorded three interceptions in the 0-0 draw against Colorado. 
  • Dejan Joveljić started and played 45 minutes in his return to the Galaxy starting lineup after missing the club’s last match in league play while on international duty with the Serbian National Team. 
  • Aaron Bibout, who is on a short-term agreement from MLS NEXT Pro affiliate LA Galaxy, appeared as a second-half substitute for the second consecutive match. 

*
Next Game
*Next up, the LA Galaxy travel to face the San Jose Earthquakes at Stanford Stadium on Saturday, July 1. The match on July 1 kicks off at 7:30 p.m. PT and will be broadcasted live on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.

2023 MLS Regular Season
LA Galaxy (3-9-6, 15pts) at Colorado Rapids (2-9-8, 14pts)
Saturday, June 24, 2023 – Dick’s Sporting Goods Park (Commerce City, Colo.)

Goals by Half 1 2 F
LA Galaxy 0 0 0
Colorado Rapids 0 0 0

Misconduct Summary:
COL: Bassett (caution), 74
COL: Rosenberry (caution), 76
LA: Puig (caution), 80

Lineups:
LA: GK Jonathan Bond; D Mauricio Cuevas (Douglas Costa, 58), D Calegari, D Chris Mavinga, D Kelvin Leerdam, D Raheem Edwards (Julián Aude, 62); M Daniel Aguirre (Mark Delgado, 58), M Gastón Brugman ©, M Riqui Puig; F Preston Judd (Aaron Bibout, 83); F Dejan Joveljić (Tyler Boyd, 45)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Jonathan Klinsmann; M Efraín Álvarez, M Adrián González, M Adam Saldaña

TOTAL SHOTS: 13 (Riqui Puig, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Riqui Puig, 2); FOULS: 8 (Mark Delgado, 2); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 1

Substitutes Not Used: GK Marko Ilic; D Sebastian Anderson, D Michael Edwards, F Diego Rubio

TOTAL SHOTS: 8 (Cole Bassett, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 1 (Jonathan Lewis, 1); FOULS: 13 (Jonathan Lewis, 3); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES:3

Referee: Lukasz Szpala
Assistant Referees: Peter Balciunas, Justin Howard
Fourth Official: Jose Da Silva
VAR: Jorge Gonzalez
Weather: Clear, 81 degrees
Attendance: 16,082

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial

LA GALAXY POSTGAME QUOTES
LA GALAXY HEAD COACH AND SPORTING DIRECTOR GREG VANNEY
On the idea with the lineup and his thoughts on the game:
“We have one center back. So, we went with, really, a back five. We played a couple days ago… at altitude… All those kinds of things. We tried to manage the first half a little bit with a back five. Chris [Mavinga] specifically hasn’t played many minutes since October, so back to back 90’s, at altitude, we figured with a five, it allowed him to stay a bit more central and not have to be chasing things all over the field. And then having a five, Kelvin [Leerdam] is used to playing in a three-back system. Lucas [Calegari] is pretty adaptable. So, just, we’re trying to play a little bit of our cards, just given all of the circumstances there. Trying to show the game a little bit. We were looking a little, in the first half, seeing if we could play with Preston [Judd] and Deky [Dejan Joveljić] up top at times. Or, at least having, between those guys, some outlets, to get us out of our lower block at times. The problem we were having was the two of them, again, just don’t have a lot of time together, and they were both kind of ending up standing near the center backs, and so, the center backs were quite comfortable just defending them backs to goal. And we were having a hard time creating the numerical superiority, because the one thing they’ll do, is they’ll man mark you in midfield and they’ll man mark you in certain areas, and a lot of places. And, we, because the two forwards were just staying high like that, and rarely kind of getting off of each other, or running off of each other, we became kind of sitting ducks every time we tried to play out. Usually, if we can win the ball in a positive position, we can break out and get a little something going. But any time we had to build from a deeper position, we were having a really difficult time finding any superiority to advance. So, came out in the second half initially just brought Tyler [Boyd] in, because he will play a little bit more between the lines and do a little bit more diagonal running into channels in the back. We just wanted to get through about 10 minutes of the second half to shorten it up, then we were going to switch back to our normal shape and go for it. I felt like once we got settled in, I felt like, we had the chances to possibly win the game. It’s not to say they didn’t have a chances or a couple, but, I thought when we got into our shape and settled in, I thought we were getting through their lines. We were attacking their back line. We were getting into their box. We were getting some looks. And just the execution of the final plays. Whether it’s the first touch. Whether it’s the finish. It’s the pass. It’s the choice. The decision. It’s just, sometimes, it’s just not as precise as it needs to be for us to finish a couple of those plays off, or one of them at least. But, having said all of that, I thought the guys really competed and battled and dealt with some tough circumstances with a little bit of these conditions that we’re dealing with. And battled out another… kept the unbeaten streak alive. I wish it was a win and I wish the last one was a win. But, it shows some resilience in this group to come into a difficult place and keep a shutout and give themselves some chances to win.”

On Chris Mavinga, his turnaround from Wednesday’s game and what he sees in him on the field and where his progression on this team is:
“Yeah. He doesn’t have a ton of competition. He’s getting settled. I mean, he’s getting his legs underneath him. He’s played in a back three a lot. Never, ever has he played in the middle of a back three. And that puts him on the ball a lot, making those initial decisions. He’s more comfortable playing a little bit more tilted to the left of the three and those types of roles. So, as much experience as he has, he’s still learning a little bit of some of those dynamics. But his defending ability, his athleticism. Those kinds of things in that central position can really cover some plays and can make some plays, where others might not be able to. And, so, I thought he had a strong night. Again, I think he’s starting to get his 90 minutes fitness under him and starting to get his game reading and his sharpness about him back. Again, he just hasn’t played much this year, so he’s going to need a few of those games just to get all of his senses on the field in the right place.”

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On keeping the unbeaten streak alive, and being second from the bottom of the league in the current standings and if the draws aren’t enough to make a difference at this point in the season, putting pressure on the team for wins:
“We understand we’ve got to get points. I think there’s certain games you have to play pragmatic. In Colorado, after playing just on a Wednesday, you’ve got to play it pragmatic and set yourself up for a win. I don’t know the last time we won in Colorado. And, again, just playing smart. You also have to play the cards you’re dealt a little bit. Unfortunately we have one center back, right. I’m usually one that tries to go for everything, but also, within this group, it’s learning how to protect ourselves the right way and set ourselves up over 90 minutes to get a result. I thought we had those chances at the end, we just didn’t have the quality of the final action to do that. But there will be certainly many games, and the ones in front of us, that we’re always going out to win the game. It’s just trying to choose the best strategy game plan to go about winning it given the circumstances that we’re in and trying to play smart. This one had it’s set of circumstances and we tried to manage them appropriately. And, unfortunately, we didn’t execute the one play we needed in the attack to leave here with three points.”

On the last time that Galaxy won in Colorado during the 2017 campaign:
“Right? So, it’s not an easy place to come and get results. I just know how we’ve managed it the past couple years and it hasn’t been smooth for us. And, again, given the guys the conditions that we’re working with, I thought the guys did a great job of managing the game and setting themselves up to get three points. But, unfortunately, we didn’t.”

On Riqui Puig and Gastón Brugman having wraps and KT tape on their legs late in the game:
“Gastón [Brugman] did. He got kneed in sort of the quad slash knee area, so it was more of a contusion. Riqui [Puig], I don’t know if he had a wrap or he just had kind of the, I don’t know what they call that, the strips kind of running down his hamstring area. Nothing other than just kind of precaution or support in the grand scheme of things. Gastón is going to have to manage the contusion that he’s got. We’ll have to do that over the next few days.”

On Dejan Joveljić and not getting goals when he starts the game, and if he views that on Joveljić himself, or a team fault:
“I think it’s a little bit of both. It’s sometimes, when he’s up there, it’s his choice of runs or movements. I think he sits between the lines a little too long when he can open up or maybe stretch or try to get behind. Maybe he can find… somebody can slide him through the lines or put him in a little bit. When he’s with two forwards, I think, especially with Preston [Judd] who is more of the guy who will run the channels, he was the one who was sitting up underneath. Which, if you don’t get behind, and get into the wide channels, or get deep, then the guy who is the trailer that’s coming in doesn’t get a ton of chances when you get deep into their half and get cut back crosses and get in front of the goal if you’re the one that’s underneath a little bit more. But, again, I think it’s a little bit of both. We’ve got to continue to work to get into those deeper crossing positions. How he scored a lot of his goals last year was near post runs when we got deep, or little cut back crosses when he was arriving in. Later in games when things open up, he comes on when the opposition is either pushing for the game and there is opening up in transition to go. I think he’s chosen some moments in the past. And then also, sometimes when we’re chasing the game and the team is really direct forward, lots of numbers, I think he’s also found some opportunities in those situations. But it’s kind of when we’re in between the possession and creation of chances phase sometimes I think it gets a little bit lost in the mix of that. Between his connection with the players, how we create chances, whether he sits in between the lines, stretching it out, things like that. So, I think it’s a little bit of both. It’s a little bit of both. It always is. It’s never just one thing or the other.”

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LA GALAXY DEFENDER CHRIS MAVINGA
On playing back-to-back 90-minute matches:
“I feel well. I needed that, I need to play games for my fitness. This for me is one of the best tests I have to do because it was an altitude game. And it was my second after last October, since last year. So I am very happy with the two games I played. I know my confidence and my fitness are coming so I am very happy.”

On how he is feeling physically after two back-to-back 90-minute performances:
“I feel very great. I am even surprised. I cramped up the last game, and I thought I would cramp up this game, but I did not. I feel very good, very happy with my game. So yeah, it’s good to play and take the clean sheet. We didn’t get the win but for me it was important to at least get the clean sheet.”

On playing in the center of a back five and how important the clean sheet was given the team’s current situation with injuries, international call-ups and the lack of center backs:
“This is what I said to them before the game. We didn’t play a lot this year, this season, like together. And most of the guys haven’t played a lot of games, so we said, if we can, this is our chance. We don’t have a lot of games in our legs but sometimes, unfortunately Jalen [Neal] went to the Concacaf [Gold Cup] and Martín [Cáceres] is injured, so every time you have a chance to play you have to take it. So I said to [Mauricio] Cuevas and Kelvin Leerdam, I said, ‘hey, this is the moment for us to show people that we are here to compete, and we want more.’”

On whether there’s frustration for the team to climb up and make it to the playoffs:
“There’s no frustration. It’s been four games that we didn’t lose. Even when you play for the Playoff line, you need to get back your confidence. First thing we need is to learn how to not lose the game. So, I think we are in a good [path]. For sure now, we need to win, we need to score goals, we need to be better in front of the goal but if we don’t lose, we have more chances to win games. If we don’t concede a goal, same. I think now we are going to play more home games so it’s going to be better for us, in front of our fans, so yes, I am very confident. I know it’s going to be different.”

On how the team is building chemistry in the backline despite the missing players and playing to matches in three days:
“Yeah, we didn’t have a lot of time to prepare, but we all came with the right mentality. We came with the mentality that we want to fight every ball; we want to be tough and yes, I think we came with the right mentality. This is not about tactics or whatever. We came here and we played for the clean sheet first. That was the mentality. I am happy we did a good job in the back, now of course we need to improve [on the attack]. But here, if you don’t [concede] goals, you have more chances to win.”

  • June 25, 2023