The LA Galaxy hoped an unexpected break after a bye weekend on short notice would help them turn over a new leaf in an increasingly frustrating 2022 season, but instead, it was a night full of frustration in a 3-2 loss to Minnesota United on Wednesday at Dignity Health Sports Park.
A suspect red card midway through the first half put the Galaxy down a man and from there, the rout was well and truly on. While LA played better in the 2nd half, much of that likely came down to their opponent completely managing the final 45 minutes to see out the result.
Coming in, there weren’t too many surprises in LA’s XI, with Daniel Aguirre getting the start in place of Rayan Raveloson. Douglas Costa was available off the bench, as was Dejan Joveljić.
Minnesota had to make a change within the first four minutes, with Kervin Arriaga appearing to come down the wrong way on his foot and was stretchered off immediately, Joseph Rosales replacing him.
That change in plans didn’t seem to slow down the visitors, as Emanuel Reynoso hit a curling blast from distance in the 9th minute to put Minnesota ahead 1-0.
Reynoso with the curler to the far post! @MNUFC take the early lead! pic.twitter.com/6aVWEu7Kid— Major League Soccer (@MLS) June 30, 2022
The Galaxy put more emphasis on attack from there, and Victor Vazquez forced a point-blank save from Loons GK Dayne St. Clair in the 15th minute to keep them off the board.
But Minnesota continued to hold the upper hand, and about 10 minutes later, came the turning point in the game. Kevin Cabral was red carded for bumping St. Clair’s forehead with his trailing foot while he tried to jump over the GK. The call is sure to be a talking point, as it seemed rather harsh considering Cabral appeared to be trying to avoid the goalkeeper.
A straight red card was given … for this. #MLS #LAGalaxy pic.twitter.com/O6BL4TsbR3— Shawn Medow (@ShawnMedow) June 30, 2022
The hurt got worse, as Minnesota then got their second goal in the 36th minute, with Franco Fragapane hitting a sharp finish from close range.
¡Tremenda volea dentro del área de Franco Fragapane! ¡Segundo golazo argentino de #LosLoons en Los Ángeles! pic.twitter.com/qcQFQELz1Y— MLS Español (@MLSes) June 30, 2022
Reynoso then got his second, and Minnesota United’s third goal, in the 43rd minute as the game was fully in the books by that point.
Another one for Reynoso! That's 3-0 in favor of @MNUFC! pic.twitter.com/y6WU4DO1HJ— Major League Soccer (@MLS) June 30, 2022
The teams went into the locker room at halftime with LA down a man and Minnesota ahead 3-0. Needless to say, it was a disaster, although Cabral’s red card was not the right call and they were unlucky it compounded their problems.
Efrain Alvarez replaced Vazquez to open the 2nd half for LA, the only change at the break for the home side. He hit a corner kick that was nearly turned in a few minutes into the half, only for a Minnesota player to clear it at the doorstep.
Credit to the Galaxy for continuing to push for an opening goal, with Chicharito getting a great look in the 58th minute, but St. Clair made the stop again. Moments later, however, Alvarez drew a penalty, and Mark Delgado converted the spot kick to open LA’s account just before the hour mark.
On the board ✅ @MarkyDelgado converts from the spot for his first goal at home. pic.twitter.com/QXaXgM6Jth— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) June 30, 2022
Costa made his return from injury in the 65th minute, entering the game for Samuel Grandsir. Four minutes later, Raveloson and Joveljić took over for Chicharito and Delgado. Sega Coulibaly then replaced Derrick Williams in the 76th minute. LA did get a second goal, deep in stoppage time from Joveljić, but it was too little, too late.
¿Habrá milagro galáctico? ¡Joveljic descuenta en tiempo extra y los locales están a un gol del empate!#VamosGalaxy pic.twitter.com/jNPEKLyYSq— MLS Español (@MLSes) June 30, 2022
Costa picked up a red card after the final whistle, for throwing a sharp elbow at Rosales’ head. Honestly, that looked like a fair call.
The Galaxy were pretty good in the 2nd half, as they tried to claw their way into an unlikely comeback, but that didn’t cancel out the horrible 1st 45. I think the fight back is promising, since we’ve seen the Galaxy appear to lose the fight in prior regimes, but considering how much money this team is spending, how many quality players they have, the resumés of the coaches...this wasn’t just one really bad night, although it was definitely a bad night. It’s also a continuation of a slump that started weeks back and seems to be threatening the season already, and we’re only halfway through.
At the same time, if you’re ready to pack it in, remember that Cabral’s red card was poor, and I think there’s a decent chance LA can get his suspension overturned if they appeal it. For those who would quip that missing Cabral for a game won’t be a major loss considering his lack of production, I think it’s more a need to get some validation that the decision to give him a red card was not correct. Otherwise, I guess players will need to change how they play from now on.
LA have an odd double-game week here, with their next game on Monday, albeit the annual July 4 extravaganza, this one at DHSP against CF Montreal. Hopefully that will be the game that changes the Galaxy’s fortunes...let’s hope so, although the team formerly known as the Impact have been very good this season. Buckle up.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.