Galaxy plays St. Louis City to a draw amid MLS playoff push

It was a two-season story for the Galaxy.

In the first 12 weeks of the MLS schedule, the team won just twice in 14 games, finishing in last place in the Western Conference. But since then, it has been one of the league’s hottest teams, losing just one of its next 12 regular-season games.

Still, the Galaxy have only gained one place in the standings since May, so they still have a lot of work to do if they hope to make the playoffs. They got off to a good start this Sunday, rallying from an early two-goal deficit to draw 2-2 with conference leader St. Louis in front of 19,554 spectators on a warm afternoon at Dignity Health Sports Park.

The goals were scored by Riqui Puig with a penalty in the 51st minute and second-half substitute Billy Sharp, who scored against an undermanned defense seven minutes before the end of regular time. The result gave the Galaxy (7-10-9) four points and four spots out of the ninth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference with eight games remaining. However, the team has remained unbeaten since returning from the month-long League Cup break.

Injuries have decimated Greg Vanney’s team, which has lost six starters for much of this season. Defenseman Lucas Calegari, who ranks second on the team with 22 starts, was the latest sidelined after suffering a knee injury earlier this month. He could be the fourth player to have his season end prematurely due to injury. And St. Louis needed less than four minutes to exploit the makeshift defensive line the Galaxy had left and took the lead on Samuel Adeniran’s seventh goal of the season. The Galaxy argued for an offside decision but didn’t get it.

That was a bad omen for the Galaxy: St. Louis (15-10-3), which leads the Western Conference, is second in the Supporters’ Shield standings and has the best goal difference in the league after 28 games in its first MLS season League. It has only lost once this season after scoring first. That streak continued Sunday, but only just.

In the 25th minute, the Galaxy even had their first chance to pull the trigger when defender Mauricio Cuevas fended off a long cross to the top of the six-yard box for Dejan Joveljic, but his header went straight to St. Louis keeper Roman Bürki. St. Louis responded by doubling its lead three minutes later when João Klauss fired a shot through the legs of Galaxy goalkeeper Jonathan Bond. St. Louis beat Bond again before the break, but this time Adeniran was clearly offside before firing the move into the side netting from a tight angle in the 37th minute.

The Galaxy halved the deficit when Puig converted a penalty after a handball on Adenrian. Nine minutes later, the ever-present Adenrian received his second yellow card of the game for a reckless attack on Puig, sending Puig to the pitch and Adenrian to the locker room, leaving St. Louis to finish the game with 10 players.

It took the Galaxy 23 minutes to exploit the man advantage when second-half substitute Diego Fagúndez sent a free kick to the far post for Sharp, who headed the ball for his second goal in four games.

Emma Bowman

Emma Bowman is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Emma Bowman joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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