The LA Galaxy trotted out a lineup last night heavy on the youngun's and were rewarded with a 4-0 victory. Two teenage forwards accounted for half the scoring, while a 2012 Superdraft pick scored the opener. So which Galaxy youngster had the best performance last night?
By Match Impact Rating it was Jose Villarreal with 107.4 narrowly edging out Jack McBean with 100.3. In some ways, Villarreal's impact is more pronounced because he didn't make it past the forth-sixth minute. In the stats he looks more like a super halftime sub than someone who was in the starting lineup.
Which isn't to discredit what he did do. Villarreal took Jack McBean's flick on header from the midway line, dribbled it past the goalkeeper with a defender hanging on him, and got just enough on the ball to roll it into the net as he was falling down, taking a boot to the back of the head for his troubles.
Still, McBean's performance over a whole match is more impressive to me despite the lower MIR. McBean had the assist on Villarreal's goal, but also contributed a goal of his own in the 80'. He corralled a Michael Stephens cross, and though his first attempt was blocked, he stayed with the ball to take a second shot to put the Galaxy up 3-0. McBean also won two fouls in the offensive half.
The rest of the kids show up with solid performances, though nowhere near the level the two teenage forwards had. Michael Stephens comes in at 55.5. He had the Galaxy's fourth goal less than two minutes after McBean's goal. Had he gotten the assist on McBean's goal his score would have been considerably higher.
Tommy Meyer came in right behind at 54.75. Since MIR is an offense only stat, that's based almost purely on his opening headed goal. Kenny Walker registered at 49.25, winning two fouls.
Edson Buddle made his first comeback appearance after surgery last night, playing 19 mins. It's going to be a long road back to playing form however, as Buddle lost the ball three times and committed three fouls in those minutes. Hopefully that can just be chalked up to rust, but that rust will need to be shaken before he looks like he belongs.
Remember, Match Impact Rating is given to us by Patrick Johnson, so give him some love on Twitter.