Musings on the LA Galaxy Match: Kissing your Sister from Carson, CA, Again


by Jason Goodbody

In its second matchup, CITY once again drew a tie with the Los Angeles Galaxy, but only its 4th on the season which is the second lowest behind only Minnesota United FC which means…..actually I'm not completely sure what this might mean. Now that I think about it, Minnesota has a better record away than at home so they are a bit off and not a great example to compare against. On to the musings then.

  • They say that in soccer, there are wins that feel like wins, there may be losses that feel like victories (of the moral category, I suspect) and there are ties that feel like wins, or losses, or even ties. Soccer is life, according to my AppleTV subscription, and philosophers tell us that the ebbs and flows it can deliver may only affect us to the degree that we allow it to. But soccer also being soccer, despite how we feel about it impacts us if we get a point when we draw and if your rivals lose way harder than our team and don't advance in the standings. To me, this tie definitely feels like a loss but after that last 46 minutes, like many of you, I was relieved to exit that match with a point but can't help but be a little salty after being up 2-0.  
  • This weekend I learned that when you schedule a US Men's National Team friendly on a College Football gameday and Mizzou home opener on family weekend, AND after having burned the local US Soccer fan base by delivering a "C" team against the St Kitts & Nevis All Inclusive Resort Staff team in June for $100 a seat, AND scheduling a 4:30 match when the America's Soccer Capital (disputed) citizens' children have…well…soccer games, AND then charged $50+ for an inconsequential game against Uzbekistan, folks might have other plans. I went though. It was fun. I also met and talked with some local and Chicago-based Uzbeks. All very pleasant and completely xursand* to be there. *Uzbek for "stoked"

  • In a season of firsts, this is the first time we had all of CITY's most lauded signings together; Bürki, Nilsson, Parker, Löwen, Blom, and Klauss, all the stars on scene at the same time -- like Fast and Furious 6. Without the spine of this team, from goalkeeper to striker, the first 28 games of the season gave us a team not unlike a wacky waving inflatable tube man at the dealerships; very flexible, all over the place, can't help but just stare at it, surprisingly effective, and with flailing arms that occasionally draw handball fouls. But now we have our spine! …..and then Nilsson went to the ground, wincing in pain and holding his groin and hamstring. Well, that 70+ minutes was fun while we had it.  We'll see how he heals up. 

  • I also learned this week that all but 4 MLS teams had players join their country's national team during the international window. Colorado, DC, Montreal, and St. Louis CITY SC each had zero players called up. Incidentally, Inter Miami had 9 missing and still proceeded to clobber Sporting Kansas.

  • Aziel Jackson, MLS Team of the Match honoree and human embodiment of a fidget spinner, was back in fine form pickpocketing Galaxy players in the first half and serving up an assist to a galloping João Klauss who then one-touched it between the legs of Galaxy keeper Jonathon Bond's. Someone please commit this kid to a long-term apartment lease. Would like to keep him around.

  • We went from "Ah Sam, how did you do that!" To "Oh Sam, why did you do that?" within an hour. In all fairness, while that tackle on Riqui Puig seemed unnecessary, there are admittedly few ways to deter the adolescent-looking Galaxy midfielder without grounding him and threatening to take away his PlayStation.

  • LA Galaxy's Dignity Health Sports Park seemed awfully empty. Overheard in my living room… "That supporters section has more flags than people." I get it. When you live within 15 miles of the stadium and it still takes two hours to get there and two hours to get home, and it's a work and school night, I might hit the couch as well.

  • With their long injury list plus star forward Raheem Edwards' yellow card suspension, Galaxy had nearly $10M in combined market value unavailable. That's tough to win with. That's like having Löwen, Klauss, and Nilsson out at the same time earlier in the year. No sympathy from this side.

  • I saw Bürki in a Lou Fusz commercial. That's how you know your sports team has finally made it; b-roll of your gameplay inserted into TV ads selling trucks. Have these been playing for a while and I've just missed them? Next up, a Continental Tire ad with a Löwen voiceover talking about smart choices.

  • They say that the VAR giveth and the VAR taketh away. Waiting for VAR to giveth a little bit to be perfectly honest. Like Job, we are being tested for our early good fortune. Here's hoping we get all our mojo back.

  • Markanich started the game at left back serviceably well but the Galaxy's veteran attacking third eventually exposed his inexperience, putting him a step behind for most of the game. This was made more obvious when CITY went down a man in the 60' when a more experienced player would have adapted better. We got a good one for sure but just need someone with a few more years under his belt. Future Bradley Carnell and future CITY SC will likely be very pleased with Markanich's veteran play but for now an experienced veteran on that back line would be really helpful.

  • I saw the frisbee dogs over the broadcast. I want frisbee dogs in CITYPARK. At least once. With Purina as a sponsor, I'm surprised this hasn't happened yet. 

  • It was great seeing Klauss in the starting lineup after all this time. It was great seeing him log so many minutes after all this time. It was just great seeing him after all this time. But on closer inspection, what I saw and then thought was "Man, Klauss is really bowlegged" And then I thought, "How is it that he doesn't have a quad injury ALL the time?"  Those angles must make an orthopedist very nervous.

  • Rumor has it that on his way through the team hotel's lobby later that night, Roman Bürki was ran into and knocked over again by LA Galaxy striker Billy Sharp. No call.

  • CITY has conceded goals in the last 15 min of games more than any other team in MLS. This is not a stat that is typically affixed to the top team in the conference and so it speaks well of the team's performance in the first part of games as much as this dismal stat tells us. This late-game collapse trend will not continue as Carnell improves his game and personnel management which will happen as his familiarity grows with the players and their strengths and weaknesses, which will take some time, even over the offseason. He'll have a much more mature and informed rotation of players as this team develops over the years. It'll all work out. 

So with that behind us, we look towards our second match with the Houston Dynamo on what I am sure will be a pleasantly warm September Houston evening.  This Houston game will be a banger as the Dynamo are 3-0-1 in MLS play since League's Cup. Just need a few wins to secure home field advantage in the playoffs. Buckle up sports fans. It's going to be a wild ride. It'll all work out.

Check out musings from the Sporting Kansas Match

Photos by St Louis CITY SC