CARSON, CA (April 29, 2017) – The LA Galaxy and Philadelphia Union played to a scoreless draw on Saturday night at StubHub Center. The Galaxy had the better of the play, but had trouble finishing. Midfielder Joao Pedro had the best chance of the game
Possibly under pressure, LA Galaxy Head Coach Curt Onalfo made several changes. Both teams came out in a 4-2-3-1. Bradley Diallo replaced Nathan Smith at right back. Baggio Husidic and Joao Pedro started in the holding roles. Jermaine Jones started as the No. 10 with Giovani dos Santos as the lone striker. Gyasi Zardes was unavailable due to illness. He had not trained much all week. The rest of the lineup remained the same from last game.
Union Manager Jim Curtin also made some changes. Fabrice-Jean Picault and Haris Medunjanin started at the left midfield roles in a 4-2-3-1. Ilsinho was not available for the match. C.J. Sapong started up top. Richie Marquez led the defense in front of Goalkeeper Andre Blake.
LA Galaxy And Philadelphia Union Play To Frustrating Draw
The Galaxy started the match on a very positive note. Giovani dos Santos looked alive and well up top, running onto balls in the final third. Just four minutes in, Dos Santos had a chance off a botched clearance, but the shot went wide. The Galaxy continued to get chances off Union errors, but nothing dangerous was created.
The best chance of the half came in the 21st minute. Joao Pedro fired a hard shot from outside the goal. It beat Blake, but went off one post, off the other, and back out.
Philadelphia had trouble creating anything in the first half. The Galaxy defense was very active. Center backs Jelle Van Damme and Daniel Steres made some excellent plays on C.J. Sapong to prevent breaks.
The Union’s best chance came in the 38th minute when Marquez had a header right in front of goal, but it went over the bar.
The half ended scoreless with Jelle Van Damme on a yellow card.
Los Angeles started the second half again pursuing a goal, but had trouble combining. Emmanuel Boateng was the center of several attacks, using his speed, but couldn’t connect with teammates.
Romain Alessandrini had a golden chance in the 60th minute when Jones headed a ball to him at the post, but he couldn’t finish. The front four for LA continued to get chances but could not finish.
The Union showed life in the 68th minute when Haris Medunjanin had a good try from distance. Rowe parried it away. Onalfo tried one last effort to create offense, subbing in former Union player Jack McInerney who just signed with the Galaxy a few weeks ago. It was the striker’s debut.
Neither team could muster anything in the closing minutes and the match ended 0-0.
All this considered, this was probably a good result for the Union. They got a clean sheet on the road. They finished out a game, where of late they’ve faded in the final 30 minutes. This is something Curtin and the players can build off of going forward.
This has to be a frustrating result for the LA Galaxy. While they got a point, they were the better team, but couldn’t finish. The attack continues to struggle. Dos Santos has not scored from the run of play. Jones was all over the place in the No. 10 role tonight. The defense held serve, but wasn’t bothered much. This team still has questions to answer and issues to fix.