By Tyler Trent
The LA Galaxy starting XI against DC United (Photo courtesy of LA Galaxy)
What We Have Seen So Far
The Los Angeles Galaxy currently leads the league in the race for the wooden spoon as they sit in dead last with nine points in 13 matches and a -13 goal difference. The Galaxy has been poor on the pitch; however, they have even more significant off-the-field issues with protests against Galaxy President Chris Klein.
However, the Galaxy have earned three wins in their last five matches, including surprising wins against Seattle Sounders and LAFC in the US Open Cup. However, the wins over the Sounders and LAFC were over a heavily rotated squad for each opponent. The Galaxy midfield has tried to carry the team throughout the season, with players such as Riqui Puig, Marky Delgado, and Gastón Brugman doing everything they can to help their team.
However, the Galaxy’s defense and offense have struggled heavily throughout the season. The only team with fewer goals scored than the Galaxy’s ten is Sporting Kansas City, with nine. Only two teams have allowed more goals this season: Atlanta United with 24 and Charlotte FC with 25.
Out: Sega Coulibaly, Douglas Costa, Chris Mavinga
*This injury report was pulled from MLSsoccer.com (updated 5/19/23)
Players to Watch
Riqui Puig – Puig is one of the best creative players in MLS. He is a player capable of creating magic without a moment’s notice. If the LA Galaxy can pull out a result against the Crown, it’s a safe bet Puig will be involved in some capacity. If you negate Puig’s influence, you significantly raise your chances of taking three points in California.
Gastón Brugman – A perfect midfield partner for Puig, Brugman has proven himself as one of the best defensive midfielders in the league. Negating Brugman’s impact in the match and keeping the midfield battle even will be one of the most important aspects of getting a result out west.
Dejan Joveljić – While Chicharito has been preferred recently as the starter since he returned from injury, Joveljić could prove a bigger problem for Charlotte FC. It’s been proven that Charlotte FC has struggled with strikers of a similar profile to the Serbian, and second-half struggles have been a problem for the Crown recently.
LA Galaxy’s Starting XI
In their most recent match against DC United, the Galaxy started with the lineup below. However, after a 3-0 blowout, some changes could come in the lineup.
LA Galaxy’s starting lineup against DC United (Graphic from MLSsoccer.com)
Tyler Boyd provided the most attacking outlet for the Galaxy in their previous match but didn't receive many passes. The previously mentioned midfield trio was heavily connected with Brugman passing forward to Puig and Delgado.
LA Galaxy's passing network from last week's game against DC United (Graphic from MLSsoccer.com)
LA Galaxy's zones of control* for the 2023 season (Graphic from theanalyst.com)
Outlook for 2023
LA Galaxy is in for a rough season, but with Chicharito back from injury and a few results going their way in the last month, there could be some hope. Charlotte FC will look for all three points in this one, but the Galaxy won't be a pushover. If the Galaxy can improve their defensive efforts, they could pull themselves out of last in the league on the backs of their midfield play.
*For the zones of control, blue symbolizes areas on the field where LA Galaxy has had at least 55% of total touches. Red represents areas where their opponents have had at least 55% of total touches.