The LA Galaxy struck out in a new episode of the Traffic Classic, the first of 2021, after beating LAFC 2-1 on Saturday night at Dignity Health Sports Park.
It was a night of many emotions for the LA Galaxy, they had the support of their people in the stadium, they went ahead with a goal from Chicharito, the discount from LAFC came, followed by the victory with a goal from Jonathan dos Santos.
“It is an afternoon, it cannot be said perfect, but almost complete. The one we win in our field, we knew how to suffer, the rival has a lot of ideas and they have been playing together for a long time, but we showed that resilience of not failing, continuing to fight, it was special. I am pushing myself personally to give my best, beyond that, I am moved by how we are growing as a team ”, said Chicharito after the victory.
Javier Hernández is showing his best version. He started 2021 with six goals in four games.
“Since I came to the team, (Chicharito) has worked very hard and the first thing that I consider all leaders should do is set an example with respect to the work you put in and how you prepare to be successful in the field and that is how you have that credibility of the group, not only based on past achievements of your career, but the daily work. That’s what he has done, since we took over the reins of the team, he works every day to be better himself and to help his teammates, “said Galaxy coach Greg Vanney.
At minute 79 ‘, Jonathan dos Santos sealed the winning goal from Chicharito’s pass. Compatriots and friends spoke before the game, feeling that something like this would happen. The hunch came true.
“I don’t want to sound like Nostradamus, but I told Jona before the game that I was going to assist him,” shared ‘Chicha’.
“Jona for me is one of the best players in MLS and he has to show it because he has talent to spare, I have known them since they were children, just like his brother Gio (dos Santos). He is doing well with America and I am very happy. He has had bad luck are the injuries (Jona) because this is the case, but he is recovering, he played another 90 minutes, scored, marks a lot of ground, recovers balls, this goal shows a lot because he is our leader, the captain, we are waiting for this Jona that he played for a long time in Europe, that he came out of the Barcelona youth squad ”, added the Mexican forward.
Dos Santos’ last goal with the Galaxy had been in the 2019 season playoffs against Minnesota United. Little by little, Jonathan is recovering his best version. For the second consecutive game, Jonathan played all 90 minutes.
“It was a goal, personally I really needed it a lot, I know it’s a very important year for me, I’m getting the rhythm of the game, of competition, the important thing is that the team won against a very difficult opponent, they had all the time the ball, in the end the team played with a lot of heart, which is how these games are won, ”said Jonathan dos Santos, who dedicated his goal to the club’s medical staff. “I’m dead if I’m honest, but it’s a day to remember.”
LAFC had control of the ball with 61.1 percent possession during the match. In the first half, they were not fine in the last touch and went to rest down 1-0. Galaxy recovered the ball at the start with a great sweep from Derrick Williams, who served Chicharito for the goal. The annotation was not without controversy because it seemed that the Mexican forward was out of place.
“I feel like we controlled most of the first half, we were wrong at precise moments. (The goal) was very close, close to being out of place, we have to move faster and Tristan (Blackmon) has to come out faster. We pushed in the second half to tie and then we were careless, “said LAFC manager Bob Bradley.
The aurinegros showed greater intensity in the second half and the reward came with Diego Rossi’s goal at 62 ‘to equalize the score. The changes benefited those at home, as Greg Vanney’s modifications took effect. It was not the case for Bob Bradley who switched to his usual defense during the game. At half time, he replaced Diego Palacios with Marco Farfán on the left side. At 70 ‘, Eddie Segura left the field and Kim Moon-Hwan entered. Tristan Blackmon crossed to central defense, to make way for Moon-Hwan on the wing. It was the South Korean defender’s debut game with LAFC in the middle of the derby and the lack of communication between Jesús Murillo and Kim took its toll on the play of the second goal for the Galaxy.
“I think some players were not up to the intensity of a derby in the first half and we made the changes. Then we were careless in defense with the goal from their advantage, “said Bradley. “Kim still needs time to adjust and get to know her peers. The relationship you have with the player in front of you. To be fair, I don’t think it was the ideal time to receive his first few minutes. I made the decision to give him 20 minutes because I thought it would help us, but we did not collectively organize ourselves well in defense as a group in the final stretch ”.
LAFC lost its first game of the season, having started the tournament with a win and two draws. The aurinegros still do not have Carlos Vela as he suffered a muscle injury on matchday 1.
Next week, Galaxy will face Austin FC, while LAFC will visit Seattle Sounders. The second edition of the Los Angeles derby will be on August 28, hoping that, by then, the best version of both Chicharito and Carlos Vela can be seen with their respective teams.