CARSON, Calif. — In the semifinals of the inaugural Leagues Cup tournament, the LA Galaxy fell 2-1 to Liga MX side Cruz Azul in front of 20,135 fans in attendance at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. The Galaxy were the only MLS side to advance to the semifinals of the tournament, after defeating Club Tijuana in penalty kicks in the quarterfinals on July 23.
Dropping out of the tournament may be a blessing for the Galaxy, as the final was already set for Sept. 18 in Las Vegas, and the Galaxy already have six MLS matches that month. Adding another game to an already congested schedule while the Galaxy fight to make the MLS Cup Playoffs may have been too much for the Galaxy to handle.
Cruz Azul took the lead in just the 4th minute with a goal from José Madueña, turning the tide of the match in their favor early. The first half, for the most part, continued in this trend except for the Galaxy’s break in the 37th minute. LA Galaxy midfielder Emil Cuello took a shot from distance, and the ball slipped past the Cruz Azul goalkeeper Jesús Corona.
This Galaxy goal helped raise confidence levels to start the second half, but they were unable to overcome the challenge ahead of them. Cruz Azul sealed their win in the 47th minute with a goal from Orbelín Pineda, which reestablished their dominance over the match. Despite the Galaxy’s best efforts, Cruz Azul won 2-1 and move on to the Finals of the Leagues Cup Tournament.
The Galaxy now turn their focus to this Sunday’s match against LAFC at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles. Although the majority of the Galaxy starters did not play in this match, it was still another match on the schedule for head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto to navigate. Fortunately for the Galaxy, LAFC also have a midweek match, Wednesday night hosting the San Jose Earthquakes.