FC Dallas vs LA Galaxy - GAME RECAP

The LA Galaxy suffered their first loss in their first road trip of the season. FC Dallas beat the Galaxy 2-0 on a pair of defensive mistakes.   

The LA Galaxy’s trip to Frisco, TX didn’t go as planned.  With injuries to key players like Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Romain Alessandrini, the team went into Toyota Stadium with a bit of a makeshift line up.  The midfield featured brand new signing Joe Benny Corona started alongside Jonathan dos Santos with a surprise start from Sebastian Lletget, who was returning from injury.  

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Dallas created a lot of issues for LA at the edges of the attacking areas.  The Galaxy having to concede a number of fouls in the first half.  Both Rolf Feltcher and Sebastian Lletget saw yellow cards.  Diego Polenta was lucky to avoid a yellow card as he hacked down Bryan Acosta in the 34th min.  The referee didn’t even call a foul.  

Still, The Galaxy created chances.  At the end of the 1st 45 minutes, it felt like LA could steal the game.  Rolf Feltcher and Uriel Antuna hit the post.  Corona and Pontius both missed on free headers. The teams went into halftime tied at 0-0.

The Galaxy’s luck seemed to run out in the 2nd half however.  Diego Polenta gave away a penalty in the 50th min when he kicked Matt Hedges’ arm as he tried to clear the ball from a corner kick.  Polenta had already committed another dangerous mistake in the 35th minute when he seemingly played a ball off to Dominic Badji which sent him 1-on-1 with Bingham.  Thankfully Badji missed on the shot.  Polenta wasn’t so lucky here as referee Armando Villarreal confirmed with VAR that Polenta had raised his foot too high, and too late, kicking Hedges.  Reto Ziegler converted the ensuing penalty to give Dallas the 1-0 lead.  

FC Dallas doubled their lead in the 61st minute with a Bryan Acosta screamer.  The play started when Joe Corona’s errant back pass was picked up by Pomykal at the top of the 18 yard box, Pomykal made his way to the end line and sent the ball back to the top of the 18 where Acosta was running on to the ball unimpeded.  Bingham had no chance to save that one.  

Sebastian Lletget’s day had to end early and will possibly be out for next week’s match as he was hit in the face with an elbow in the 57th min.  He has since posted on his instagram that he has a broken nose.  

16 year old Efrain Alvarez, replaced Lletget in the 59th minute and newly promoted Forward, Ethan Zubak made his first team debut in this match.  Zubak and Alvarez combined for the best chance of the 2nd half as Zubak played off a cross from Rolf Feltcher for Alvarez.  The youngster took a touch toward the goal, megging a defender in the process and hit a  ball that was destined for the top corner but Dallas goalkeeper, Jesse Gonzalez got enough on it to send the ball out for a corner.  

The LA Galaxy will return to “The Diggity” as they host a Minnesota United team that has been impressive in their first two outings.  

Beckham Statue

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LA Galaxy open Legends Plaza

LA Galaxy opening day was both busy and rainy. The newly renamed home of the Galaxy, Dignity Health Sports Park, had its official unveiling.  A number of changes were presented to the Galaxy faithful as they braved the rain.  

The Galaxy and AEG held a ribbon cutting ceremony in front of the new Dignity Health Sports Park sign early this afternoon. The location is also home to Legends Plaza in front of the Team LA Store at the Main Entrance.  

The rain stopped just in time for David Beckham to step out onto the stage at Legends Plaza ahead of his statue unveiling. The event was not without the pomp and circumstance of such an occasion. Rob Stone hosted the presentation of the David Beckham statue, the 1st of its kind in MLS. Commissioner Don Garber, Bruce Arena, Robbie Keane, Todd Dunnivant, Mike Magee, Cobi Jons and Mauricio Cienfuegos were all in attendance to pay tribute to one of soccer’s biggest icons.    

Galaxy President Chris Klein received several loud “BOOs” as he was announced by host Rob Stone and when he came up to give his speech. Many fans feel that Klein is directly responsible for the team’s downturn the past few seasons.  Klein however did his best to brush off the jeers.  

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Former Galaxy GM, Doug Hamilton’s widow, Paige Hamilton was also in attendance.  She received a nice round of applause as she was announced by Rob Stone.  Doug Hamilton passed away after suffering a heart attack while on a return flight from an away match in Costa Rica in 2006. Hamilton is one of three people the Galaxy have inducted to the Ring of Honor. Beckham was the fourth to be inducted at halftime of LA v Chicago later in the evening. 

Robbie Keane shared some nice words for his friend Beckham as he recounted Beckham convincing him to join him in LA while he was at a training stint at Tottenham.  Keane remembered Becks speaking highly of the league, saying that it would be something massive  in about 10 years time. Keane said after that, it was an easy decision.  Keane joined Beckham in 2011 and was the catalyst that propelled them to an MLS Cup win in 2011 and 2012.  Keane also went on to say that Beckham was not only a great father, but a loyal husband and friend.  Keane thanked him for welcoming him and his family from day one, and noted that the league has changed because of him.  Keane couldn’t resist in closing out his speech saying that he hoped to see everyone back next year when they unveil his statue.  

Beckham was brought to tears as the statue was unveiled. As the man of the hour came to the mic, he thanked the city for their warm welcome when he and his family first arrived in LA. A man who was truly humbled by the honor that the LA Galaxy has bestowed upon him, going as far as thanking the kit man, Raul Vargas in referring the Galaxy organization as a family.  He did not shy away from his rocky start with the team as he said that “it wasn’t always easy, I know, I know, and for that, I apologize.”  He went on to say that he hoped he won fans over, acknowledging that his arrival was not going to be a successful until they found success on the field. Beckham closed out by saying that people used to tell him that LA was a place where dreams come true, and today, a dream came true.  

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Buyout Reaction

 Giovanni Dos Santos Debut game vs The Seattle Sounders. The Galaxy won 3-1

LA Galaxy buy out Giovani dos Santos 

Speculation about what the LA Galaxy was going to do with their Designated Player situation ended at 2:50 P.M. on Friday.  Kevin Baxter of the LA Times reported that the Galaxy had exercised their once per season buyout which means that Gio dos Santos contract with they LA Galaxy has been fulfilled and his salary, a reported $6 million will no longer count against the Galaxy’s salary cap.  Since dos Santos was a DP, his salary cap hit to the overall roster was the MLS max of $530,000 the rest was fulfilled by the club’s owner AEG.

What does this mean for the Galaxy going forward? 

 For one thing, the LA Galaxy no longer has 4 Designated Players, which was 1 above what the league allowed.  In buying out Gio, they are now roster compliant ahead of the 5 P.M. deadline and have freed up an international slot, in which they were also at the maximum allowed.  They also recoup some salary cap space which they can use to strengthen the team for the upcoming season.  Galaxy General Manager Dennis Te Kloese and head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto have said they are looking to strengthen the defense, the midfield and the forward rankings.  This move along with the sale of Ola Kamara that was announced recently will allow Te Kloese to bring in a player or players, that suit Schelotto’s playing style.  

#GalaxyTwitter was buzzing about the move once it happened. 

It's very clear that Dennis Te Kloese is dead set on cleaning up the previous FO’s mess.  He has taken some very important steps in his first few months on the job.  

The Galaxy now have room to strengthen their roster.  Be warned MLS, the LA Galaxy are coming.  

Night Navy

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Kit Reveal: LA Galaxy unveil their away kit

Rob Stone hosted the LA Galaxy’s 5 Star Night Navy Kit Reveal at the Novo at LA Live.  Galaxy fans came out in force and were very easily pumped up by Rob Stone’s hype. He joked that the Galaxy were a little late coming on stage because Guillermo Barros Schelotto sent them on a run to that other stadium to “take a quick leak” and turn back.  The crowd erupted in laughter and cheers.  The excitement of the Galaxy faithful shows how eager everyone is for the season to get started.   

Starting off the night, Dennis Te Kloese and Guillermo Barros Schelotto sat down for a quick Q&A with Stone.  When asked about what kind of expectations the fans should have for the 2019 season, Te Kloese said the fans should have high expectations, especially for a club of the LA Galaxy’s stature.  Schelotto reiterated that he is for offense, he wants to fight, the expectations should be high. When asked about style, Schelotto said again that they will try to play an attacking style with some of the big name players they have.

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After the player introductions, and the new kit was revealed, Rob Stone asked the crowd which player they wanted to come back out for a Q&A.  Much to his surprise, the crowd was asking for Gio Dos Santos. Likely, Galaxy fans want answers as to why he hasn’t preformed or perhaps just to see him address the fans he worked so hard to avoid.  Rob Stone did well to try and get everyone back on track as Zlatan came back to the stage.  The moment was not lost on the Swede as he  joked that Gio had gone home already.  Then tried to recoup by saying that he has a hard training session coming up the next day.  Zlatan then delighted the crowd as he and Rob Stone played word association, many times asking Stone to repeat the word since as he put it, was getting older and couldn’t hear well.  When the subject of IKEA came up, Zlatan recounted buying all his furniture for the home he’s renting in LA from the Swedish furniture store. He recalls the real estate broker commenting that “rich people don’t shop at IKEA.” Zlatan replied, “Yes, but intelligent people DO”.  The next subject, LAFC, Zlatan quickly replied “who?” then with perfect comedic timing he followed up with, “that time I heard you” 

Zlatan made a point to apologize to the fans for the last game of the 2018 season, this season he promises to bring something and he plans to break every MLS record in the process.  

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Te Kloese talked about how he is trying to restructure the culture around the club to create more of a pyramid starting with the youth teams and working from top to bottom.  He said the Galaxy has spent a lot of money in their academy and he thinks there is talent to be found in the area.  He pledged to the fan base that they will work harder than any team and they want to give the fans everything that the fans have the given the team over the last few years. 

The players came out game day starting XI style with Michael Araujo announcing player’s numbers and fist names and the crowd chanting back their last names.  When Gio Dos Santos was  announced, the crowd had a mixed reaction, some boos and groans could be heard.  Noticeably absent were Julian Araujo who just signed a 1st team contract and Emil Cuello (unsigned) who had been getting significant minutes in the Galaxy’s preseason matches.  

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The new Night Navy jersey itself was met with mixed reviews from the fans.  The blocky, distorted stripe design is a bold choice when you look at some of the more subtle designs on other MLS kits this year. We noticed quite a few fans already wearing their newly purchased jerseys as the night went on.  The online reaction ranged from, people saying they can’t wait to purchase theirs to saying that they would just get last year’s home jersey again since they’ve added the 5 stars to the Galaxy crest.  

 The event ended with fans able to interact with players as they mingled around the floor taking photos and autographing items for fans.  Chris Pontius, Romain Alessandrini, David Bingham, Juninho, Rolf Feltcher and Sebastian Lletget were all roaming around.  

In the end, Galaxy fans went home happy and felt like they had something to look forward to in 2019.  Once the venue closed that didn’t stop fans from showing love and support for their club as members of Angel City Brigade danced and chanted as they left.  

 

For more thoughts on the new Night Navy jersey and all things LA Galaxy, check out the LAisOurHouse podcast which can be found on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play and Soundcloud.  All our links can be found on the homepage.