Galaxy still searching for first win of 2023 after draw with Vancouver

LA Galaxy forward Raheem Edwards, left, and Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Pedro Vite vie for the ball.
Galaxy forward Raheem Edwards, left, and Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Pedro Vite vie for the ball during the second half of an MLS soccer match in Carson, Saturday, March 18, 2023. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
(Ringo H.W. Chiu / Associated Press)

The Galaxy lost two goals to video reviews and its starting goalkeeper to an injury Saturday, settling for a frustrating 1-1 draw with the Vancouver Whitecaps that left the team winless three games into a season for the first time since 2009.

The Whitecaps’ goal came in the 14th minute when defender Tristan Blackmon drove a bullet of a header past Galaxy keeper Jonathan Bond off a Julian Gressel free kick. The goal stood after a short review.

LAFC struggles to take advantage of scoring chances, but get four saves from John McCarthy in a scoreless draw with the Seattle Sounders.

March 18, 2023

The Galaxy (0-1-2) matched that in first-half stoppage time when Vancouver keeper Yohei Takaoka failed to corral a bending left-foot chip from Raheem Edwards, instead pushing it to the feet of Galaxy defender Kelvin Leerdam, who nudged the ball into the net for his first goal since September 2020.


In between Bond, who has missed just three regular-season games in his two-plus seasons with the Galaxy, went to the sidelines after injuring his left shoulder when he was run into by Edwards and Vancouver forward Cristian Dajome. Bond’s arm was in a sling after the game.

The Galaxy, who outshot, outpassed and outpossessed the Whitecaps (0-2-2), lost two apparent goals to video reviews, one in the first half on an offside call and the other late in the second half to a handball that was borderline at best.

Before the game, a group of 300 fans gathered outside the stadium’s main gate to protest the rehiring of Chris Klein, the team’s president. Klein, the Galaxy’s chief executive since 2013, signed a multiyear extension this winter despite the fact the team has had a losing record since 2016 and has gone eight seasons since its last appearance in an MLS Cup final, the longest drought in franchise history.

Members of the team’s four main supporters groups have pledged not to attend a game until changes are made in the front office and Saturday’s announced crowd of 23,112 was the smallest for a Galaxy home opener not impacted by COVID-19 since 2013. However, many season-ticket holders who boycotted the game were included in the attendance anyway since the MLS uses tickets distributed rather than a turnstile count in its crowd figures.