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May 31, 2024 1:53 pm

Surging Galaxy out to solve road woes vs. Fire

Riqui Puig

Perhaps consecutive home victories and a current six-match unbeaten streak will provide momentum for the Los Angeles Galaxy to establish some needed road success.

Meanwhile, wins at any locale remain hard to come by for the Chicago Fire.

The Galaxy are out to end a four-match winless streak when they go on the road Saturday night against the victory-starved Fire.

Los Angeles (7-2-7, 28 points) enters as the second-best team in the Western Conference, while amid a 2-0-4 overall stretch.

After totaling six goals in their previous six matches, the Galaxy broke out Wednesday. Dejan Joveljic ran his team-leading goal total to nine with a brace and Riqui Puig scored his fifth of the season during a 3-1 home victory over FC Dallas.

After the match, Puig promised some good news this week and it came in the form of Friday’s official announcement of the midfielder’s contract extension through 2027.

“We (earned) six points at home in the first two games this week, which was our target, of course,” said Los Angeles coach Greg Vanney, who’s expected to tinker with his lineup amid a demanding run of matches.

“Now, (a) quick turnaround. … The group’s target was nine points this week, so there’s a lot to play for.”

The Galaxy’s current 0-1-3 road rut dates to a 3-1 victory at Vancouver on April 13. They are 4-0-4 in their last eight games at Chicago, dating back to 2009.

The Fire (2-8-6, 12 points) ended a four-match losing streak with back-to-back 1-1 draws at D.C. United last Saturday and Orlando City at home Wednesday. However, Chicago is 0-5-4 since a 2-1 home victory over the Houston Dynamo on April 6.

“(I’m) still frustrated,” said Chicago’s Hugo Cuypers, whose team-leading fourth goal was a 70th-minute equalizer against Orlando City on Wednesday. “I think from the past two games we should have had six points.

“The results are still not great, but the mentality is right. … We must keep that standard going forward so we can get those three points like we deserve.”

Puig scored during the Galaxy’s 3-0 home win over Chicago last season.

–Field Level Media

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