Galaxy loses 4-2 on the road to Sporting KC

Los Angeles Galaxy loses 4-2 on August 6 despite Javier Chicharito Hernandez scoring two goals
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KANSAS CITY, KSIn another game, another three goals were conceded in the first half for the Los Angeles Galaxy as the Galaxy loses 4-2 away against last-place Sporting KC on Saturday night, their seventh defeat in the last nine matches, and fourth straight road loss.

Galaxy loses 4-2 to Sporting KC

Daniel Salloi had a goal and an assist, William Agada scored a brace and Erik Thommy opened the scoring on 10 minutes for Sporting KC, as they snapped a five-game losing streak at home and the Galaxy slipped to 1-10-1 when allowing the first goal. 

A late brace by Galaxy Captain Javier “Chicharito” Hernández fell short, and L.A. put themselves in trouble early once again, while a late defensive mistake doomed Hernández’s comeback.

“Again, we get ourselves in the hole. There’s still one-third of the season left, but at the same time, we’ve got to stop being in this position and having this discussion,” A frustrated Galaxy Head Coach Greg Vanney shared.

Los Angeles made it easy for SKC as well, letting the hosts get in on Galaxy Goalkeeper Jonathan Bond’s goal just after kickoff with a host of sloppy mistakes.

And even though the Galaxy conceded four goals, the first time they’ve done so since July 2021, Bond was in inspired form, making several important saves to keep L.A. somewhat in the game in the first half.

Thommy on the Volley

He could do nothing about Thommy’s opener, however.

A Roger Espinoza ball played over the top, beat the defense, and left Thommy in yards of open space. He would bring the ball down on his chest and rifle a first-time volley past Bond and into the bottom left corner of the goal for the 1-0 lead.

15 minutes later, a reeling Galaxy defense would give away a penalty from a Derrick Williams handball.

Sporting Captain Johnny Russell stuck a hard-driven shot low and right, but Bond was equal to it, and smothered the ball for the penalty save to keep the score 1-0.

Agada at the double

The Galaxy keeper almost displayed more heroics on 40 minutes after pulling off a massive triple save. After having his first shot saved by Bond, Agada was first to the rebound and followed up with a shot that the keeper “saved.”

VAR would determine Agada’s shot crossed the goal line, and a potential offside from Espinoza in the build-up to the play was deemed non-existent. In the end, Agada was given his goal, Espinoza his assist, and the Galaxy fell further behind 2-0. 

Agada, who was making only his third MLS appearance, would strike again 10 minutes later.

SKC played the ball over the top of the Galaxy defense once more, where Gaspar should’ve been able to deal with it. The left-back misjudged the bounce of the ball, and it fell directly into Salloi’s path on the right wing. The winger played a skipping ball to the back post that Agada had only to push into Bond’s goal to make it 3-0 with his second goal of the game.

The fightback falls short, again

Los Angeles created very little and threatened SKC even less until late in the second half.

Efraín Álvarez played a through ball to Chicharito (5 assists in MLS play) behind the SKC defense on the left side, where Chicharito would receive it. Mexico’s all-time leading scorer turned quickly and fired his shot from six yards, nutmegging Sporting Keeper John Pulskamp to make it 3-1 on 83 minutes. It was the captain’s first goal since July 4.

Chicharito would ramp up the tension, even more, nine minutes later when SKC was whistled for a handball and a penalty. He walked up confidently and fired a shot into the right corner for his ninth goal, bringing the Galaxy within one.

Three minutes later, with the Galaxy threatening, Salloi intercepted Julian Araujo’s weak back pass to Bond deep in the Galaxy’s box. He curled a right-footed effort into the right corner for a deserved goal to make it 4-2 and ice the game for SKC deep in injury time. As a result, the LA Galaxy loses 4-2 at Children’s Mercy Park.

Back to Basics as Galaxy loses 4-2?

A sincere Bond tried to explain the team’s failings post-game.

“At the moment, we’re not getting the basics right. We’re doing sloppy things. We’re putting ourselves in bad positions.  Going behind every first half, and it’s just a mountain to climb, and we’re quite a young and emotional team. So as soon as we concede the first goal, we don’t know how to react positively, and we find ourselves down three at halftime. It’s just obviously not good enough because it completely kills the game,” Bond said frankly.

The L.A. The galaxy has now allowed three or more goals, seven times this year. In five of those, they’ve trailed by a three-goal margin inside a half.

In an indication of just how steep the slide has become, four of them came in the last eight matches played. They’ve been outscored 26 to 14 in those games. They are now just seven points from last place, but 21 points behind the league leaders.

Time to save the season?

At halftime, Vanney said, “the defense is all over the place,” and it’s hard to disagree with that assessment. The Galaxy coach urged his team to remember their roles. Indeed, there was disarray all over the pitch.

Bond certainly didn’t disagree, and echoed the need to get the small things right.

“It’s a very frustrating scenario and situation. We just need to do the basics better, basically all over the pitch. We need to lose the ball less. People need to stay in their positions and do the right thing, including myself. We just need to do the basics better.”

The Galaxy’s window to save their season keeps getting smaller with only 11 games left to play.

They need to figure out how to get points and fast. With two home games coming up, it’s an opportunity to make up lost ground, according to Vanney. The arrival of Riqui Puig should further lift the team.

They’ll see just how much of a lift when they take on Vancouver Whitecaps at Dignity Health Sports Park on Saturday, August 13, and try to avoid a third straight loss.

Photo Credit: Los Angeles Galaxy on August 7, 2022.