Driving into Dignity Health Sports Park felt different. Families tailgated while couples pulled up and chilled before the game. A bustling parking line welcomed me as I drove in.
The stench left behind by Klein has finally left the building – the LA Galaxy greeted their groove back.
For the first time this season, the LA Galaxy will be playing in front of their supporters. The fans that promised to love the team unconditionally admired it from a distance to start the season. The supporters demanded the front office fire, Chris Klein. Their wish became a reality.
The joy that the supporters rejoiced in the void of Twitter can be felt in the field. For a midweek game, the stands in Dignity Health Sports Park buzzed with enthusiastic cheers.
The Outlawz are back in section 120. Angel City Brigade wave their flags minutes before the beginning of the match. The Riot Squad lifts a banner that reads, “The pain of parting is nothing to the joy of meeting again.” The field is electric; the loyal fans are happy to celebrate Klein’s exit in person.
With their soul back in the field, the Galaxy announced they would finish the season without their captain, Javier Hernandez, for the foreseeable future. Chicharito suffered a season-ending torn ACL in his right knee during the club’s U.S. Open match against Real Salt Lake.
The stage is set for young Preston Judd to bask in the spotlight of the adoring supporters singing their chants.
During minute 11, Sporting Kansas City’s Alan Pulido found the back of the net to open up the scoring. Boos rained over the field. The defense left him alone in the box to header in the first of the day. Without skipping a beat, the fans returned to their unwavering devotion.
Martin Caceres opened up the scoring for the Galaxy on a free kick by Douglas Costas. The park erupted louder than any goal thus far this season.
After the goal, the Galaxy players continued to feed off of the energy. The game’s momentum swayed in the direction of the home team. Judd’s lack of playing time is evident by his second-guessing. When he gets the ball, he relies on assisting to push the attack instead of leading the attack.
The first half ended with a contested 1-1 tie, with the game’s tide favoring the LA Galaxy.
The Galaxy continued their fierce attack, reflecting the energy created by its supporters in the stands.
Riqui Puig fed the ball to Judd in the 59th minute, which led to a goal. Preston inflicted the defense with his overpowering strength. Unfortunately, the ref called a foul on the defense and forfeited the goal, keeping the score at a tight draw.
Minutes later, Puig found Judd again in the box, magnificently crossed the ball, and the future of the offense braced a header behind the net. The LA Galaxy took a deserving lead with a third of the match to be played.
The Galaxy did not settle for the one-goal lead as they created many more well-orchestrated plays, including a bangle that found the crossbar by Boyd. Riqui had his fair share, including one that found his wizardly left foot.
An unfortunate handball in the box by Daniel Aguirre leads to a last-minute penalty kick. Pulido tied the game in stoppage time.
An unfortunate score, nonetheless, a step forward for the Galaxy.
It’s a new dawn; it’s a new season; damn, it feels good to have the supporters back.