CARSON, Calif. – Sunday night unquestionably was a memorable one for the LA Galaxy in their 7-2 thrashing of overwhelmed Sporting Kansas City at Dignity Health Sports Park.
The club not only scored the most goals in a game since an 8-1 rout of FC Dallas in 1998, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s hat trick gave him 26 goals on the season. That broke the club’s previous single-season goals mark of 24 set by Carlos Ruiz in 2002. Sebastian Lletget also got into the act with two goals for the first multi-goal game of his Galaxy career.
Even Joe Corona – yes, Joe Corona – scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal on an unmarked header in the 48th minute that broke a 1-1 tie. It was his first goal since he joined the Galaxy in early March.
“I’m very happy with my first goal for the Galaxy,” he said. “Hopefully there’s more to come.”
Corona never has been regarded as an offensive threat, but he did score 11 goals in 195 career appearances with his former club, Liga MX side Club Tijuana. He came to the Galaxy with the hopes of combining with Jonathan dos Santos to shore up the five-time MLS Cup champions’ midfield and he has done just that in 27 appearances, including 23 starts.
It’s not that Corona was running out of patience to get his first goal with his new club, but he did admit it had been in the back of his mind for a while.
“Of course it was something I wanted,” he said. “I really wanted to score. I’m happy it was today. It was such an important game.
“I’m more happy that we won, that was the main objective.”
Corona said complementary scoring, aside from Ibrahimovic’s usual exploits, will be crucial to the Galaxy’s playoff chance should they qualify for the postseason.
“That’s going to be very important,” he said. “We know if we get more in the (penalty) box, midfielders or wide wingers, I think everyone is going to get more goals. That way we just don’t rely on Ibra.”
But he also said counting on the Swedish standout to work his magic isn’t necessarily such a bad thing.
“I think he brings a lot of confidence to the rest of the team,” Corona said of Ibrahimovic. “I think today the chemistry was very important. In the middle, we had a lot of chemistry with Jonah and I and Seba (Sebastian Lletget). I think that made the game a little quicker going to the front and up top (Cristian) Pavon, Ibra and Uriel (Antuna) had a good night.“It was perfect for us.”