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LA Galaxy down New England Revolution 1-0 in preseason action

Jonathan Perez’s latest goal gives Galaxy the edge.

New England Revolution v Los Angeles Galaxy Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

The LA Galaxy unveiled their 2021 team in process Saturday, in a preseason game against the New England Revolution, with Greg Vanney’s side coming out 1-0 winners at Dignity Health Sports Park.

The game, aired on local TV, was the first glimpse of a Vanney-led Galaxy, and while multiple starters were unavailable due to international duty/visa process/injuries or just aren’t on the roster yet, this gave us a look at some of the work done so far this preseason.

The Galaxy’s starting XI remained youthful, but Chicharito, Sacha Kljestan, Daniel Steres, Nick DePuy and Jorge Villafaña all started for Greg Vanney.

The Revolution, meanwhile, played a strong XI at the start, basically their first-choice group or something close to it.

LA dominated possession in the early minutes, and worked the ball out wide in transition. That part they were able to do at will, but struggled to get the ball into the box and get clear-cut scoring chances.

The first good chance of the game came to New England, with Adam Buksa dribbling on goal and hitting a sharp shot, forcing a save from new Galaxy goalkeeper Jonathan Bond on the play. Moments later, a recirculating chance in the box was blocked by DePuy to keep the Revs off the board.

LA found the game’s first goal in the 23rd minute. A great give-and-go for Chicharito led to a blocked shot, but the looping rebound went towards goal, and Jonathan Perez had the presence of mind to beat Matt Turner in goal to head it in, yet another goal for the Homegrown signing in preseason.

Cameron Dunbar nearly scored a couple minutes later, on another give-and-go with Chicharito, but the youngster’s chip attempt was saved by Turner.

Villafaña made way in the 32nd minute, with Danny Acosta, who missed the full 2020 season with a torn ACL, entering the fray.

New England had a sustained run of pressure on LA’s goal a few minutes later, and the Galaxy had some emergency defending, but a goal scored by Buksa was chalked off on an offside call.

LA’s lineup stayed intact after halftime, and Bond was pressed into action in the 53rd minute, when Gustavo Bou’s angled volley was blocked by the ‘keeper. Another Revolution goal was called back a few minutes later, after substitute Connor Presley was ruled offside in the buildup.

At the hour mark, the Galaxy made several lineup changes, with Augustine Williams entering for Chicharito, Jonathan Klinsmann replacing Jonathan Bond, Taylor Davila entering for Perez and draft pick Josh Drack coming on for Dunbar.

A few minutes later, Kai Koreniuk replaced Ethan Zubak and Marcus Ferkranus entered for Jalen Neal. At that point, it was the kids plus Kljestan and the center backs.

In the 78th minute, Daniel Aguirre replaced Kljestan, the veteran looking fairly tired at that point.

The Galaxy had a goal called back in the 83rd minute, Williams jumping on his run and so his tally came off the board.

LA looked much stronger in the first half, and far more disjointed in the second half, which isn’t a surprise considering all the changes made over the course of the second 45. It’s preseason, these results count exactly nothing, but you could see some indications in the first half of what Vanney is trying to do with this team in terms of style of play. The actual XI on opening day will look quite a bit different, but I think a lot of these youngsters will see playing time this season.

The Galaxy are next scheduled to play a preseason game on Wednesday, against this same New England Revolution squad. That game will be streamed live on within 90 miles of the stadium.

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