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    Galaxy rides momentum from victory over LAFC into showdown with Philadelphia
    • July 7, 2023

    For what might seem like the first time this season, the Galaxy can see the playoff line in the Western Conference.

    Thanks to a six-game unbeaten streak (2-0-4), the Galaxy has moved five points clear of last place and is now just six behind Vancouver, which occupies the ninth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

    “Like everything has been in the last six games, we’ve just been trying to focus on our process of getting better,” Galaxy coach Greg Vanney said. “Recognize and do the things that we think we’re doing well. Close the gap on one or two things each time we step out to be a little bit better on one or two things and just trying to show consistency in our performances.

    “The keys to take out of the last game: one is just the confidence and joy that you get from winning games – A) against LAFC and B) in that type of environment and C) right now, taking three points is so big for us that it certainly gives you a boost of positivity in your emotion and it feels like your work is paying off.”

    On Tuesday night, in front of a single-game MLS record crowd of 82,110 at the Rose Bowl, the Galaxy defeated LAFC, 2-1, for once turning in a complete 90-minute effort.

    On Saturday, the Galaxy (4-9-7, 19 points) faces another challenge as the Philadelphia Union (10-6-4, 34 points) visits Dignity Health Sports Park (7:30 p.m., Apple TV+).

    “Everyone is in a good mood,” Galaxy midfielder Mark Delgado said. “When you win, it helps everything. Everyone is in a good mood, guys are happy, vibes are good. Everyone is looking forward to Saturday against a good team.

    “It feels like we’re turning the corner. We’ve started to grind out … we’ve had some unfortunate luck that continued from the beginning of the season, but I feel like we’re playing better. Relationships have been getting better on the field and overall performances from everyone as a group and as a team has been getting well. We all feel that. We can all see it. We got a big result in front of 80,000 fans so it definitely helps.”

    This will be the first meeting between the teams since 2019. The Union, who lost to LAFC in last season’s MLS Cup final, is in fifth place in the Eastern Conference.

    Saturday’s game and a July 15 game in Vancouver are the final two league contests of the month for the Galaxy. If the club is able to pick up another result against the Union, then it would have to be considered a legitimate playoff contender.

    “To put together two wins back-to-back against two very good teams, would be … I don’t even know if I could describe what it would mean to the group,” Vanney said. “It would almost signal like OK whatever happened earlier in the season is truly really behind us.”

    The Galaxy will conclude the month with a pair of Leagues Cup matches (July 25 and 29) and will return to MLS play on Aug. 20.


    The secondary transfer window opened Wednesday. MLS teams have a month to bring in players. The Galaxy, due to the sanctions dealt by MLS from the 2019 salary cap violation, is in wait-and-see mode.

    With Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez on the season-ending injury list, the Galaxy have a roster spot open. Defender Martin Caceres is also likely to end up on the same injury list, allowing for two spots. As part of the sanctions, the Galaxy is not allowed to “register a player who requires the receipt of an International Transfer Certificate (ITC) from outside of the United States and Canada” during the window, which closes Aug. 2.

    “We will look to make the team better. We’re having discussions around the league, some more accurate than others,” Vanney said. “We’re pretty specific on what we’re trying to find to add to our group. There’s a number of solutions that we’re looking toward to continue to build the group. We have our work cut out for us, but there’s a lot of work going on to help our group continue to move forward.”


    When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

    Where: Dignity Health Sports Park

    TV/radio: AppleTV+, 1330 AM

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    ​ Orange County Register