A crowd of 18,337 at Dignity Health Sports Park could only watch in horror. Bad defense and a terrible referee decision doomed Greg Vanney’s side as they fell 3-2 to Minnesota United Wednesday night.
Normally an early injury is a cause for concern, but shortly after midfielder Kevin Arriaga left the match Emmanuel Reynoso scored a beauty in the 9th minute. The former Boca Juniors attacker zig-zagged from the top of the box before unleashing a 25-year rocket with his deadly left foot that Jonathan Bond could only flap at. LA nearly equalized but a Victor Vazquez diving header was saved off the line by Dayne St. Clair.
Controversy struck when Kevin Cabral was ruled to have kicked St. Clair in the head despite minimal (zero) contact and was given a straight red card. The usually mild-mannered Vanney was beside himself on the sidelines, calling the play “diabolical” in the postgame presser.
“I saw video from all angles,” said Vanney. “He’s certainly trying to get out of the way. There was no intention, and red cards change games. Now you’re at 10 [men].
I felt like we didn’t manage the situation great, maybe a little shock. I was so shocked that he was walking off the field. I didn’t even think he’s going to get a yellow card.”
It only got worse for LA as Franco Fragapane snuck behind Raheem Edwards to bury Kemar Lawrence’s cross from close range doubling Minnesota’s lead. Finally it was Reynoso’s trailing run that allowed the Designated Player to slide an easy finish past Bond. 3-0 Minnesota at halftime as the crowd booed the players off the pitch.
Efrain Alvarez checked into the match at halftime and drew a penalty which Mark Delgado converted in the 60th minute. After several near-misses from the Loons, LA made it interesting when Daniel Aguirre smartly laid a pass off for substitute Dejan Joveljic to shuffle into the net, but Minnesota would prevail 3-2. (Douglas Costa was tossed late in the match for a blatant elbow).
With the loss the Galaxy dropped to 7th in the Western Conference right above the playoff line. A July 4th matchup vs. Montreal awaits the Blue White and Gold.