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Second-best: LAFC 0, LA Galaxy 2

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Black-and-gold put in worst performance of year against Galaxy.

MLS: LA Galaxy at Los Angeles FC Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Football Club lost their first MLS regular season game in almost a calendar year, as they were defeated 2-0 by the LA Galaxy in the teams’ latest rivalry clash Saturday at Banc of California Stadium.

LAFC last lost in the regular season on Sept. 1, 2019, and put in a performance that was sloppy, listless and lacking in characteristic quality. Put simply, LAFC deserved to lose based on the play on the day.

Carlos Vela was back in the XI, as expected, with Bradley Wright-Phillips starting on the bench. Francisco Ginella replaced the injured

LAFC got a chance in the 13th minute, with Galaxy goalkeeper David Bingham passing right at Brian Rodriguez, but LAFC’s first shot off that was blocked before Mark-Anthony Kaye’s attempt from distance sailed over the goal.

It was the Galaxy that got the first strike, as Ethan Zubak scored his first goal in MLS in the 26th minute, a header off a cross after a short corner kick routine.

At halftime, Bradley made some changes, with Jose Cifuentes replacing Dejan Jakovic and Bradley Wright-Phillips entering for Brian Rodriguez.

But it didn’t change the tone of the game overall, as the Galaxy doubled their lead in the 54th minute. Sebastian Lletget was wide open in the middle of the 18-yard box as he turned in Julian Araujo’s cross to make it 2-0.

It got worse a couple minutes later, as Vela, who was ineffective in his return to action, went down under no contact and was immediately substituted out. The best hope is that Vela tweaked something and didn’t suffer a major injury. Another player out for six months, Adrien Perez, replaced the influential Mexican.

LAFC pushed to find a first goal but they truly lacked any rhythm. Vela was off the pace while he was on the field, Diego Rossi was smothered after scoring four goals last time against the Galaxy, and Rodriguez was ineffective. Wright-Phillips struggled to get any service up top while he was on the field. Meanwhile, neither goal conceded was acceptable from an LAFC perspective, but while Lletget’s score was a momentary breakdown, the number of unmarked Galaxy players on the opening goal was a microcosm of the day for the black-and-gold. That a performance so woeful came against the Galaxy will make the result even more bitter.

LAFC are back in action Wednesday, on the road against Real Salt Lake. This loss is one that’s likely going to sting for a while, but LAFC need to get right back on the horse and try and build their form and rhythm in a hurry, and their next opportunity for a win will be in Utah midweek. We’ll see if they bounce back.

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