LA Galaxy triumphed 4-1 over Austin FC at Dignity Health Sports Park on Sunday as goals from Chicharito, Dejan Joveljić and Efrain Alvarez led the Western Conference side to three points.
The Galaxy were given the chance to take the early lead after Austin FC defender Žan Kolmanič brought down Kevin Cabral inside the box to award the hosts a penalty. Chicharito stepped up to the spot, directing the shot to the right for goalkeeper Brad Struver to easily block.
The Mexican forward almost redeemed himself, scoring in the 36th minute before the goal was disallowed by VAR for a handball. Despite LA Galaxy’s dominance in the first half, teams headed into halftime with a 0-0 scoreline.
The two sides returned to the pitch eager to score in the second 45, managing attempts on goal at both ends. It was Austin FC that completed the feat first after Diego Fagundez buried a shot in the 53rd minute to gain the lead. Wolff initiated the goal-scoring opportunity, completing a tackle inside the box to gain possession before finding Fagundez, who made the quick turn to send the ball into the top right corner.
But Austin’s celebrations did not last long. Only nine minutes later, Chicharito leveled the score with a right-footed shot from the left to reach the bottom corner.
Substitute Dejan Joveljić then managed the team’s second and third. The player first took advantage of Žan Kolmanič’s bad defending to strike the ball past Struver for the second goal, before connecting with Efrain Alvarez to complete a right-footed shot into the center of the net for the 3-1.
Efrain Alvarez finished off the game, beating goalkeeper Brad Struver one-on-one to complete a left-footed strike into the center of the goal.
The victory boosted LA Galaxy’s Western Conference standings to fifth, while Austin FC remains in fourth.
GK: Jonathan Bond – 8/10 – Solid performance, cannot be blamed for the goal.
RB: Julián Araujo – 7.5/10 – Exciting at times, but must be more consistent to stand out.
CB: Derrick Williams – 7/10 – Not his strongest performance, but still managed six clearances.
CB: Nick DePuy – 7.5/10 – Good coverage throughout, strong communication with Bond when necessary.
LB: Raheem Edwards – 7.5/10 – Better defending in the first half, but appeared lost during Austin FC’s goal.
RW: Kévin Cabral – 7.5/10 – Not his strongest performance, but reached the goal on two occasions. Must work on precision to make a deeper impact.
CM: Rayan Raveloson – 7/10 – Stronger defensively during the match, but managed to push forward to attempt one shot on goal and one off target.
CAM: Marco Delgado – 7/10 – Took on a supportive role, but should be stronger on the attack moving forward.
CM: Victor Vazquez – 7/10 – Minimal impact in the first 45.
LW: Samuel Grandsir – 6.5/10 – Underwhelming. Did not play to his potential, managing one shot on target before disappearing.
F: Chicharito – 7.5/10 – Widely inconsistent. Missed a penalty, but somewhat redeemed himself with a goal and active participation. Exciting to watch when at his best, but cannot be completely depended on.
SUB: Efraín Álvarez (For Vazquez, ’45) – 10/10 – Exciting to watch, came on to take risks and attempt several shots on goal before scoring in the 90th minute. Also provided an assist.
SUB: Dejan Joveljić (For Grandsire, ’57) – 10/10 – Came off the bench to score twice. Also provided an assist.
SUB: Chase Gasper (For Edwards, ’69) – 7/10 – Provided the necessary coverage, nothing special.
SUB: Daniel Aguirre (For Chicharito, ’69) – 6/10 – Underperformed given the opportunities.
SUB: Kelvin Leerdam (For Cabral, ’78) – N/A
GK: Brad Stuver – 9/10 – Strong performance. Saved Chicharito’s penalty in the first half before saving Austin FC from what could have been a 6-1 game.
RB: Hector Jiménez – 7/10 – Made two necessary clearances, but nothing special.
CB: Julio Cascante – 7.5/10 – Overall good coverage before the third goal, completely lost to Joveljić.
CB: Ruben Gabrielsen – 7.5/10 – Decent, but needs someone in the backline to connect with- cannot stop four goals alone.
LB: Žan Kolmanič – 5/10 – Terrible defending, brought down Cabral to award Galaxy a penalty within the first 5 minutes before making the mistake that led to the second goal.
RW: Owen Wolff – 8/10 – An exciting prospect. Still finding his rhythm and footing, but can be a threatening player. Assisted the first goal.
CM: Daniel Pereira – 7/10 – Did not help, did not hinder.
CAM: Sebastián Driussi – 7.5/10 – Not at his best, but took some risks to shake things up.
CM: Alexander Ring – 6/10 – Another disappointment. Failed to get involved as we’ve seen him be. Far too dependent on teammates.
LW: Diego Fagúndez – 9/10 – Scored the goal.
F: Maximiliano Urruti – 6/10 – Disappointing, lacked impact and strength. Blended into the background.
SUB: Jon Gallagher (For Kolmanič, ’66) – 7/10 – Better than Kolmanič, at least he wasn’t a liability.
SUB: Nick Lima (For Jimenez, ’66) – 6.5/10 – Didn’t do much to change the tempo.
SUB: Ethan Finlay (For Wolff, ’66) – 7/10 – Managed a shot off target, but mediocre otherwise.
SUB: Felipe Martins (For Fagundez, ’75) – N/A
SUB: Moussa Kalilou Djitté (For Urruti) – N/A