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Gabriel Pec’s first MLS goal gives Galaxy win over Sounders

Mar 30, 2024; Carson, California, USA; LA Galaxy midfielder Gaston Brugman (5) battles for the ball against Seattle Sounders FC forward Jordan Morris (13) during the first half at Dignity Health Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Alex Gallardo-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Alex Gallardo-USA TODAY Sports

Gabriel Pec scored his first MLS goal in the very early stages, and the LA Galaxy made it stand up for a 1-0 victory over the visiting Seattle Sounders in soggy conditions on Saturday night.

Joseph Paintsil set up Pec’s goal with his second assist to continue his bright start in MLS with the Galaxy (3-0-3, 12 points), which finally won at home for the first time this season despite their unbeaten start.

John McCarthy made three saves to preserve the Galaxy’s first clean sheet after they had conceded nine goals in their first five matches.

Attacking midfielder Albert Rusnak made his first start for Seattle (0-3-2, 2 points) after beginning the year injured and then playing two matches as a substitute.

But the result did not improve as the Sounders were held scoreless for the second time and lost their third straight on the road.

Pec, the 23-year-old from Brazil, has started the season more slowly than the more experience Ghanaian Paintsil after both were acquired this winter to be LA’s starting wingers.

But he required only four minutes to make his first goal contribution on Saturday in his second start.

The Galaxy started brightly even before Gabriel Pec’s early goal, with Paintsil striking the post with a chance in just the second minute.

And Paintsil was involved when Pec gave the Galaxy the lead two minutes later, playing a slick give-and-go with Riqui Puig to get into the right side of the penalty area, then laying the ball off into Pec’s shooting lane.

Pec struck a low effort that squeezed between goalkeeper Stefan Frei and the near post, perhaps helped on its way by the slick conditions.

Seattle grew into the game in the second half. McCarthy had to push away Danny Musovski’s 65th minute header after the substitute striker reached Cristian Roldan’s cross.

In the 90th minute, Jordan Morris played his own give-and-go with Dylan Teves that resulted in an excellent chance, only to send the first-time shot wide of the right post.

–Field Level Media

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