Barcelona quality: Riqui Puig’s first LA Galaxy assist sets up Chicharito

Riqui Puig cele 2

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Riqui Puig cele 2

Riqui Puig’s quality was on full display in his first LA Galaxy start, notching the game-winning assist (his first in MLS) during a 2-1 road victory Sunday over the New England Revolution.

The FC Barcelona product, who debuted last weekend after his deadline-day arrival from the LaLiga giants, hit a 40-yard through ball on the turf that sent Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez on a breakaway.

Mexico’s all-time leading scorer did the rest from there, curling his 15th-minute effort past goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic at Gillette Stadium.

“The addition of Riqui, you know, he’s talented, he gave me an amazing assist,” Chicharito said postgame.

WATCH: Dynamic duo! Riqui Puig, Chicharito combine for LA Galaxy golazo

LA hope those moments can be replicated, as the 23-year-old Spaniard joined in early August after stops and starts of becoming an established first-team regular for Barca. He arrives through the 2025 MLS season on a Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) deal, though the Spanish side announced they hold a buyback option and 50% on any future sale.

Puig, whose acquisition didn’t require a transfer fee, went the full 90 minutes at New England and notched a team-high nine possessions won alongside three successful dribbles. Consider it a strong building block for the midfielder, who’s arguably among the most talented players in MLS.

“He’s shifty, he’s quick, he gets on the other side of his guy,” said Galaxy head coach Greg Vanney. “And he just kept working defensively through the entire game. His first 90 minutes, not easy, in New England, after a long trip, on turf. Welcome to MLS, Riqui. That was a tough one, but he was excellent. Just brought class with the whole game.”

LA’s road victory moved them to seventh place in the Western Conference standings, occupying the last Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs spot. They hold anywhere from one to three games in hand on those above them, creating a path toward climbing the table.

The Galaxy return to action Wednesday (7:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+) when visiting a resurgent Toronto FC, who are led by Italian superstars Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Bernardeschi. The Week 28 match at BMO Field is shaping up to be a cracking affair.

“We leave happy with three points,” Puig said via a translator. “I’m looking forward to getting another three points in Toronto.”

WATCH: Chicharito leads LA Galaxy to crucial road win vs. New England Revolution

Barcelona quality: Riqui Puig’s first LA Galaxy assist sets up Chicharito

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