Billy Sharp joked Wednesday that he scored three goals in a combined seven yards away from goal.
Since he’s arrived, Sharp’s goal-scoring abilities have been no laughing matter.
Sharp, who scored 266 goals in his career throughout the English leagues, has carried over that talent in his short time in Major League Soccer, scoring six goals in his first six games with the Galaxy, including three goals in Wednesday’s 4-3 win over Minnesota United FC.
Sharp earned MLS Player of the Matchday honors for his hat-trick performance.
“I’m 37 but I still got a lot of life left in me and a lot of goals,” he said following the win. “I probably should have had four or five, but to get the three was huge.”
Sharp’s arrival finally gives the Galaxy a proven finisher that has been missing since Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez went down with his injury. Despite arriving just last month, Sharp is in a three-way tie for team lead in goals with Tyler Boyd and Riqui Puig with six.
If Sharp scores within the first 31 minutes of Sunday’s road game against Austin FC (6:30 p.m., FS1, Apple TV+), he would become the fastest in MLS history to score seven goals.
He’s played only 245 minutes so far.
From his first game, when he scored after coming on as a late sub, Sharp knew his role.
“I want to come here and score goals and I want to make a difference,” he said.
Sharp was one of six players the Galaxy brought in during the summer. It might not have been the splashy move usually associated with the Summer Transfer Window, but since the Galaxy was dealing with a ban during that time, the moves had to be smart and impactful.
Sharp signed for the rest of 2023 with a club option for 2024.
“An experienced striker who scored a ton of goals,” Vanney said of Sharp. “One thing that I had heard about him and read about him as we were going through this process is the type of leadership that he brings to a locker room and to a team.
“For us, it was a who we felt could be as plug-and-play as you could possibly get from outside of the league because of his experiences, because of the nature and the challenges of the different levels that he has played at and also because of the humility that he brings to a team and to a locker room.”
Wednesday’s comeback win helped the Galaxy stay in the playoff chase. Heading into this weekend, although still in 13th place in the Western Conference, the Galaxy is just five points behind the ninth playoff spot. At one point during Wednesday’s game, the live standings had the Galaxy nine points off the mark, which likely could have ended any playoff chances.
“The character was huge, to come back and to get the three points was huge as we build momentum to go to Austin on the weekend,” Sharp said.
Galaxy at Austin FC
When: 6:30 p.m. Sunday
Where: Q2 Stadium, Austin, Texas
How to watch: FS1, Apple TV (free)
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