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LA Galaxy steal win vs. San Jose

The San Jose Earthquakes hosted the Los Angeles Galaxy in a mid-week match up on August 30th, 2023, and it lived up to the bill being one of the famous MLS rivalry games. The California Clasico once again took place on the pitch inside PayPal Park which featured a game of twists and turns, yellow cards, and tons of drama.

(Image by Jose Rocha / Rocha Multimedia)

Whenever these two teams come together, there is always a different type of buzz that is in the air. Whenever it is the Bay Area versus LA there’s always a different field to the game and it definitely changes the way things play out on the pitch. Both teams came in confident, but the seasons couldn’t have been more different for these two teams up to this point. San Jose has, for the most part of the season, been in the playoff race and has had one of the better home records throughout the whole MLS only losing two times in all competitions this year at home with loses against St. Louis, and Liga MX’s Tigres in the Leagues Cup. LA Galaxy had a rough first part of their season filled with injuries, and recording more losses than wins, but have seemed to finally be able to piece things together more recently.

LA Galaxy’s heart of the team is Riqui Puig, and he has showcased why he is one of the best players in the MLS this season. Even with everything pointing towards danger for the Galaxy, Puig has showcased his leadership abilities along with some great performances on the pitch. This past Wednesday was no different.

(Image by Jose Rocha / Rocha Multimedia)

The way of the game was played through the midfield, and the LA Galaxy started the first 20 minutes with almost complete possession as they kept the ball towards their side, moved it up to Puig and then attacked with quick movements. Tyler Boyd was able to open up the score sheet for LA with a precision attack to give them the lead with the 16’ minute.

The tide started to change shortly after the 20’ minute mark as San Jose was able to push up and caused an own goal to tie the game up. Almost immediately after, a deflection in the midfield, Jeremy Ebobisse was able to put a goal into the top of the net after a three-man attack consistent of Ebobisse, Cristian Espinoza and Jamiro Monteiro. The sequence was so quick the in-stadium announcer couldn’t even announce the first goal yet.

After half time, LA came back into the pitch about a minute before the Earthquakes, and they were ready to strike immediately. Riqui Puig had one of the more impressive runs of the season and it allowed him to add another goal to tie the game at 2-2. As things were playing out things got chippy to the point where yellow cards were already being shown, it lead to a Dejan Joveljic penalty for LA to give them the lead at 3-2.

For the remaining of the game, there was a lot of food movements by both teams, but the team that really shines through the last five minutes of regulation, and the seven minutes of overtime was San Jose. They had a few chances that goal with two specific players that could have gave them the goal they were looking for to tie the game. Unfortunately, the ball didn't go San Jose’s way, and they suffered just their second MLS loss at home this season.

Similar to the last time these two teams played against each other it was really the battle of the middle of the field. The teams drew in their previous match up at Stanford Stadium, and they were a Espinoza shot deflecting off the crossbar away from having the same result. Although the Earthquakes have played well this season, specifically at home, it seems that the Galaxy have had been playing some of their best football against them. With San Jose having a game fairly quickly after this one, it will be interesting to see how the Earthquakes will look this Saturday vs. Minnesota United.

LA Galaxy also have a quick game after their win in San Jose as they take on Houston Dynamo who have recently qualified for the US Open Cup finale (vs. Inter Miami), and who are also coming off a win against Columbus.

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