LA Galaxy’s Controversial Match Winning Free Kick

Many are complaining about the LA Galaxy and how they scored the match winning goal on a controversial free kick against amateur club, La Maquina, in the U.S. Open Cup.

After the LA Galaxy were able to get past UPSL club, La Maquina, in the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, controversy surrounded the match. Many were up in arms over the controversial free kick that Los Angeles took in extra time. The quick free kick led to the match winning goal.

The controversy surrounding the free kick was because the Galaxy had a player that was down inside the penalty area after a foul. Jose Villarreal was being attended to by players on the pitch for cramps in his legs. The referee did not stop play and LA was set to take a free kick from just outside of the box.

The Galaxy then legally took a quick free kick as most players on both team’s were focused on Villarreal. The ref did not whistle the play dead and he did not call for the medical staff to assist Jose. Los Angeles chose not to ask for the 10 yards of free space around the ball for set piece but instead Baggio Husidic took a quick free kick across the penalty box to Dave Romney.

Romney, who was not quite sure what to do at first, then placed the ball into the back of the net as the Galaxy took a 2-1 lead in extra time. The La Maquina players were understandably upset and coaches and fans were up in arms over the play. That ended up being the match winning goal but the Galaxy added two more scores from Sebastian Lletget.

Many have labeled this play by the Galaxy as “bush league”, “classless”, and a number of other negative things. To be clear, the play was legal and Los Angeles did not break any rules in scoring the match winning goal. You can take a look at the play for yourself:

This was hardly the LA Galaxy’s first team as all of their star players were out at international competitions or they did not play. This was their B team playing against a division five club but you would think that they still should’ve easily defeated La Maquina without a controversial free kick.

The whole game was very testy and crazy with players, fans, and coaches. Galaxy’s, Rafael Garcia, picked up a straight red card and was ejected in the 17th minute with a reckless challenge. One of La Maquina’s coaches was ejected from the match later in the game. And fans were fighting in the stands as well as throwing things. One La Maquina fan even went as far to run onto the field a take a selfie with a player.

It is up to you to determine if the play is dirty, cheap, or fair play. It was no doubt controversial but it was legal and within the rules of the game. If anyone should be blamed, it should be the ref for not taking control of the match. But the LA Galaxy are onto the round of 16 in the U.S. Open Cup with a 4-1 win.