The LA Galaxy entered Wednesday’s game against FC Dallas shorthanded and chastened by a loss at the weekend in which they felt they deserved something from the game, but they put all that in the rearview mirror for the night, defeating Dallas 3-1 at Dignity Health Sports Park.
While LA will want to have kept the shutout, the game was essentially over at halftime and credit to the Galaxy for seeing the match out on both ends of the field, especially while missing 10 players, including nearly all of the non-rookie center backs.
Rayan Raveloson got his second straight start for his new club, this time slotting in at center back with a lack of experienced options at that position. Ethan Zubak started at striker with Chicharito out injured.
Kevin Cabral had a great leaping header in the 8th minute that forced a big save from Dallas goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer, Victor Vazquez sending in a great early cross to set up the chance for LA.
But with the free-scoring Chicharito on ice, it was the newcomers who stepped up. First was Raveloson, who opened his Galaxy account in the 17th minute with a routine header off corner kick service from Vazquez.
10 minutes later, it was Cabral’s turn, as Vazquez again had the assist, the Spaniard setting up the Frenchman with a cutback that Cabral scored on first time.
The second half continued in the manner of the first, with Ethan Zubak opening his account for the season, by easily intercepting a terrible backpass from Ryan Hollingshead and beating Maurer to make it 3-0 in the 51st minute.
With the Galaxy cruising, Vanney opted to make some early changes to keep his team fresh. Adam Saldaña replaced Vazquez in the 54th minute, the veteran playmaker pulling the strings in one of his best performances to date in a Galaxy jersey.
Just after the hour mark, Nick DePuy had a great near the goal line to keep the clean sheet, after Jonathan Bond played himself out of the way and Jesus Ferreira had an open path to goal, only for the defender to block it.
But Dallas got on the scoreboard in the 71st minute, with a ball over the top latched onto by Franco Jara, who beat Bond 1-v-1 for their first highlight of the night.
Right after the concession, LA made their second change, with Augustine Williams replacing Zubak. The game was Williams’ MLS debut.
Samuel Grandsir nearly had his goal in the 75th minute, but his effort in the 18-yard box just missed wide of the far post.
There were three changes to close out the game in stoppage time, with Daniel Aguirre and Josh Drack making their MLS debuts, and Cameron Dunbar joining them, with Grandsir, Sebastian Lletget and Cabral making way.
I think it’s a testament to the Galaxy that they were missing so many key players and their reserves were just fine. Is FC Dallas a good team? No, honestly they aren’t, but the Galaxy did what they needed to in order to regroup from the loss to Sporting Kansas City, and getting the likes of Raveloson and Cabral off the mark will hopefully lead to them offering more contributions moving forward now. In actual fact, I think the Galaxy are still a work in progress, of course, but they have not only upgraded all over the field this season, their depth is quite good, too. All good signs moving forward.
The Galaxy are off this weekend, and will be back in action on Saturday, July 17, when they take on the Vancouver Whitecaps on the road again. It looks like that game will be played at Rio Tinto Stadium in Utah again, and last time ended pretty well for LA, right?
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