Leagues Cup: LA Galaxy again sends out second-choice lineup but falls this time

The LA Galaxy, the last remaining MLS team in the new Leagues Cup, fell to Cruz Azul, 2-1, in Wednesday's semifinals before a pro-Cruz Azul crowd of 20,135 at Dignity Health Sports Park.

Like in the win over Tijuana in the quarterfinals, Galaxy coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto rested almost all his regulars.

With the second El Trafico scheduled for Sunday at LAFC, Barros Schelotto didn't dress Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Only two starters -- Daniel Steres and Favio Alvarez -- from the 2-2 tie against Seattle on Saturday started against Cruz Azul, and Steres had exited the Seattle match after six minutes with a red card.

Rookie Emil Cuello scored the equalizer for the Galaxy late in the first half, and Nicholas DePuy, waived by Montreal last season after playing just 128 minutes, got his Galaxy start after his call-up for the Galaxy II.

The game was the Galaxy's fourth in 10 days with its derby game scheduled for Sunday.

“Over the year, maybe you can organize better the team," Barros Schelotto said afterwards, "but we need the time and feel the more important thing we have in this year is the playoff for MLS."

The Galaxy sits in third place in the Western Conference with a four-point cushion in the race to make the playoffs, but the LAFC game starts a run of three straight games on the road.

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