“You start to see all the capabilities of the group when the game gets going a little faster for us and there's a little more space,” head coach Greg Vanney said.
The Galaxy are now looking to ride the momentum of that Open Cup win when they face Austin FC at home Sunday (6 pm ET | UniMás, TUDN, Twitter).
“The challenge is maintain that mindset, that motivation, that drive, that hunger in every single match we’re going to play, even if it's on the road or it's here because that's the standard of LA Galaxy,” striker Javier ‘Chicharito' Hernandez said. "The titles and everything this organization has is not only the outcome, but how they achieved that. And the how is something similar to the other game. Consistency’s the main word, consistency’s the main objective and a challenge we're going to face.”
Vanney touted the play of Chicharito and wingers Kevin Cabral and Samuel Grandsir against LAFC. Cabral and Grandsir dictated the pace on both flanks and Chicharito was especially dangerous with the space the wingers created.
“[Cabral] and Sam on both sides just gave us a different level of acceleration and speed,” Vanney said. “These guys covered so much ground at high speed. It just puts the opposition’s defenders on notice, which creates space between our lines, which does a lot of things for us.”
Cabral broke a goalless draw in the 51st minute, a big goal for the Young Designated Player who has struggled with finishing his chances. Six minutes later, Chicharito doubled the advantage.
“I think Javier, when the space opens up and Javier has some space to move and create separation, that’s when we see Javi at his best too," Vanney said. "On the goal that Kevin scores, the movement that Javier makes to get himself free is as impressive as the goal Kevin ends up scoring on the same play.”
Vanney said Cabral's goal was big because it “reinforces the quality he has as a player,” while saying the 22-year-old has emotionally dealt with the pressures of being a Galaxy DP and has improved his defensive work rate and running off the ball.
“I think Kevin had a great night and Sam had maybe his best performance ever with the Galaxy just in sheer playing every single play the way he did,” Vanney said. “That takes us to a different speed as a team, which is I think important in our league. We were very dangerous on the counterattack, which I haven’t seen for a little while.”
Now, after the emotion of a derby win, the Galaxy encounter a stiff test in Austin FC, who they beat 1-0 at Q2 Stadium on May 8.
“I said this last time, both teams have a similar vision of how they want to play,” Vanney said. "So it’ll be about who can protect themselves against a good attack and who can create the better opportunities and ultimately execute.”