Despite creating 29 shots and maintaining 69.5% of the possession throughout the match, the LA Galaxy fall to D.C. United 2-1.
With this loss, the Galaxy sit in the fifth spot in the Western Conference standings on 37 points. However, It is crowded between spots 2-8, with only five points separating seven clubs.
Guillermo Barros Schelotto made a number of changes to his starting lineup, including a switch in formation, against the capital club.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic slotted back into that striker role, while Favio Alvarez dropped in behind. New signing Cristian Pavón, who was making his debut, went out into the left winger position. Meanwhile, Uriel Antuna switched to the opposite side. In midfield, Joe Corona was left out of the lineup completely. Finally, in defense, Daniel Steres and Diego Polenta returned to the lineup.
Two former LA Galaxy members, Ema Boateng and Ola Kamara, were recently added to the D.C. United roster, however neither played. Boateng made the bench, but did not see any action, while Kamara could not get his visa processed in time for the match.
Galaxy control proceedings, but give up easy goals
The 23-year-old Argentine was active early in his debut with his new side. He hit a wicked curling effort two minutes into the match that was blocked by a D.C. defender. Then, throughout the opening 25 minutes, he tried to connect with his new teammates and create opportunities for them.
But D.C. United opened the scoring in the 28th after the Galaxy controlled a majority of the possession and created the better opportunities.
Bill Hamid played a long ball to start the move off a goal kick. Ulises Segura then played a soft ball over the top of the defense into the path of Paul Arriola. The USMNT member did not hesitate before sliding his first-timed effort past David Bingham.
The home side nearly scored a second goal with three minutes remaining until halftime. Bingham left a big rebound out in the middle of the area up for grabs. United’s Lucas Rodriguez was quick to fire the ball behind the Galaxy goalkeeper. However, after video review, Rodriguez had his goal taken away as he was clearly in an offside position.
In first-half stoppage time, Pavón played a cross into the danger zone. Antuna headed the ball towards the ground, got on the end of it, and forced Hamid to make a diving save.
The Galaxy kept up the pressure after the halftime restart, they were able to level the match at one.
Uriel Antuna sent a cross at Ibrahimovic, who was standing at the edge of the area. The Swedish striker, though, could not control it at all. But Alvarez was quick to react and slid shot into the bottom left corner of the goal. This was Alvarez’ third goal in 12 appearances for the 26-year-old.
Ibrahimovic could have given the Galaxy the lead in the 70th minute off of a freekick from Jonathan Dos Santos. His volleyed effort, though, was saved spectacularly by Hamid.
Schelotto and the Galaxy will certainly learn to regret those opportunities they did not finish in the match. This is because two minutes later, D.C. United scored the match-winning goal. Bingham saved the initial two attempts before Rodriguez finally beat the LA shot-stopper to win all three points.
LA has a quick turnaround coming up with a midweek game against FC Dallas on Wednesday. Kickoff for this match is scheduled for 7:30 PM.