The LA Galaxy won their 2019 MLS regular season home opener Saturday night by defeating the Chicago Fire 2-1 at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. Here are three things we learned from the match:
Winning after being down a goal
The Galaxy have had issues closing out matches in the last few seasons, and have frequently lost games by a late goal. In their match against the Chicago Fire, they were able to not only find an equalizer, but a game winner to avoid dropping points in the standings. It is also a testament to the work that head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto has done in the offseason to work on defensive concerns so that the Galaxy were able to hold off Chicago’s attempts at a late equalizer.
Efrain Alvarez having an impact
At just 16 years-old, Efrain Alvarez made his first appearance in MLS last night, subbing in for Emil Cuello in the 60th minute of play. Alvarez has spent time in the Galaxy’s academy system and showed a lot of potential moving forward for LA. He played a hand in each of the Galaxy’s goals last night, earning an assist for the first goal and beginning the play that led to the second goal.
Midfield organization after chaos
There has been a lot of noise around the Galaxy’s midfield this offseason, especially in regard to their Designated Player situation and whether or not Giovani Dos Santos would be a part of the organization moving forward. That situation was resolved Friday after it was announced the Galaxy would buy out Dos Santos’ contract, but this didn’t give the team much time to adjust to the new system. Further, just 20 minutes into the game, midfielder Romain Alessandrini went down with a hamstring injury and needed to be substituted out. The Galaxy were able to overcome these two sizable issues in the midfield to find a way to win.