Galaxy look to rebound, produce better outcome at Earthquakes

ByField Level Media ESPN logo
Saturday, March 2, 2024

The LA Galaxy will try to put a disappointing result despite a promising performance behind them when they visit the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night.

The Galaxy (0-0-1, 1 point) dominated long stretches of their 1-1 draw against Lionel Messi and Inter Miami last Sunday, but could not put enough distance between themselves and the Herons.

Ultimately, Messi combined with former FC Barcelona teammate Jordi Alba to tie the score in second-half stoppage time after the Galaxy's Dejan Joveljic scored earlier in the second half.

"When he and Alba connect like that, it's ridiculous," LA manager Greg Vanney said postgame. "It's really, really difficult to defend, and Alba's very good at finding Messi when he gets on the move like that. And unfortunately, he just slipped away from us for a split second, and that became the difference."

Earlier, LA's Riqui Puig had a penalty kick saved and failed to convert on a couple of other occasions, and wingers Joseph Paintsil and Gabriel Pec also failed to find the net in their first MLS appearances.

Meanwhile, San Jose (0-1-0, 0 points) suffered a 2-1 defeat at FC Dallas despite taking an early lead on Benjamin Kikanovic's goal. Dallas was also playing without last year's leading scorer Jesus Ferreira or new striking signee Petar Musa.

In a relatively evenly played contest, it was Dante Sealy's 94th-minute goal on a rebound of Sebastian Lletget's blocked shot that proved the difference.

In a silver lining, Quakes striker Amahl Pellegrino, who was acquired on a permanent transfer from Norwegian giants Bodo/Glimt in February, made his debut off the bench in the 74th minute. And though he might not be physically ready to play 90 minutes, manager Luchi Gonzalez appreciated what the 33-year-old had to offer in his brief cameo.

"(Amahl is) still understanding the players, the team, the locker room, and the league," Gonzalez said. "But even in the bit of time he had, he showed he's dangerous. He's getting shots off, he's making great runs in behind in the channels, and he's only going to get better. He has a proven goalscoring record, and I believe it will transfer."

--Field Level Media