Traveling to Los Angeles for the second time this season, Austin FC were looking for a better result than the one the team recorded in Week 1. But that was not meant to be as the LA Galaxy beat Austin 2-0 at Dignity Health Sports Park on Saturday afternoon.
The Galay had control of the run of play in the first half, creating chances early on. In the 25th minute Jhohan Romaña fouled Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez in the box after he chased down a ball that was played through the defense. Referee Kevin Stott pointed to the spot but Hernandez was denied his seventh goal of the season as Brad Stuver made a huge save, diving to his left, to keep the match scoreless.
But it wouldn’t stay that way long as Galaxy center back Daniel Steres played a long ball over the top of the Austin defense in the 35th minute. Hector Jimenez -- starting in place of Nick Lima at right back -- tried to clear the danger but the ball ultimately ended up at the feet of Sebastian Lletget. The US international slotted his shot past Stuver and into the bottom corner to give the home side a 1-0 lead. Jimenez was injured on the play and was forced to leave the match.
Austin head coach Josh Wolff made three changes in the 60th minute after a decent start to the second half for the Verde & Black, but his squad was unable to find an equalizer. Hernandez doubled the Galaxy’s lead in the 77th minute, finishing a Julian Araujo cross.
The loss puts Austin at 2-3-0 as they continue their eight-game road trip to start the season next week against Nashville SC.
- STUVER STILL STRONG: Though Austin did not get a result on Saturday, Brad Stuver continued his strong form that he’s shown all season. The 30-year-old made a couple more saves including the huge stop on Chicharito’s penalty kick.
- GOALS: After scoring three against the Colorado Rapids in Week 2, ATXFC will be looking to resume their scoring prowess over the next week to jumpstart the attack as they get ready to face Nashville.
- DEBUTS: Aedan Stanley was the latest Austin FC player to make his MLS debut, coming on in the 70th minute for Žan Kolmanič
- Wolff on his emotions following the match: "I think we're all disappointed, we lost the game. We have expectations of what every week is going to look like and what this whole year will look like so there's going to be plenty of moments that we're on the right side of it and there's going to be plenty of moments where we don't get the result that we want. It's about evolving, it's about learning."
- Matt Besler on the team's performance: "We can take some good things out of this game but there's certainly some things we need to get better [at]. I thought on the day we created some good stuff, we were decent with the ball, made them run, we were able to find some spots on the field that we wanted to. But I think we were lacking with our final product. We want to be much more dangerous in games."
- Wolff on Kekuta Manneh's performance: "I think Kekuta is one of those individual players that's unbalancing... He brought energy and he certainly brings the ability to get after guys 1v1."