U.S. OPEN CUP
Chicharito’s LA Galaxy dump LAFC out of US Open Cup
Against the odds, the Galaxy defeated a depleted Black & Gold team missing many regular starters in the Round of 16 of the 2023 US Open Cup.
Tuesday night’s US Open Cup ‘El Tráfico’ clash is not a game that will be long remembered in the short history of the Los Angeles rivalry matches as the LA Galaxy advanced against a depleted LAFC side who rested the bulk of their regular first team players.
Greg Vanney’s side had more on the line given their predicament in the league with LAFC resting many key players ahead of their 2023 Concacaf Champions League final against Mexican side Club Leon.
Keys to LAFC’s US Open Cup elimination
Absence of LAFC starters
Steve Cherundolo decided to rest the likes of Carlos Vela, Denis Bouanga, Ilie Sánchez, Jesús Murillo, José Cifuentes, Ryan Hollingshead and Diego Palacios conscious of the busy forthcoming schedule that includes both CCL final games before a packed month of forthcoming MLS fixtures in June. The Black & Gold coach opted to give starts to younger talents such as Kwadwo Opoku, Stipe Buik and Mateusz Bogusz.
Tyler Boyd opens the scoring
Boyd put the Galaxy ahead with a beautifully executed left-footed shot shortly after the break and made an immediate impact having being brought on by Galaxy boss Vanney at the interval.
Puig makes amends
The former FC Barcelona player redeemed his earlier penalty miss by doubling the Galaxy’s lead in the 52nd minute. The 23-year-old scored an excellent goal after picking up the ball in midfield and following a mazy run through the LAFC defence, toe poked the ball home past Jakupovic.
LAFC’s focus elsewhere
The Black & Gold showed that their 100% current focus is the Concacaf Champions League final against Club León of Liga MX. The first leg of the two game final will take place at the Nou Camp on Wednesday (31 May) with the return game scheduled for BMO Field the following Sunday as the LA side look to emulate Seattle Sounders 2022 heroics and keep the flag flying for MLS in the region’s main domestic club competition.