Landon Donovan dropped $0.4 in MLS Fantasy during his hiatus, but hopefully you were savvy enough to pick him up before this week as his 16 point performance is going to bounce that fantasy price right back up. A goal and an assist make up half that total, and great offensive play took him to the next level.
Donovan led the team with three completed crosses, and three big chances created for four bonus offensive points. His first successful cross was a chip to Jack McBean which the youngster hit over the bar while at the edge of the six yard box (big chance no. 1). Then there was his assist to Marcelo Sarvas which went through the legs of Aurelein Collin for LA's first goal.
Robbie Keane had the less prestigious honor of most big chances fluffed. Donovan hit Keane with a beautiful chip with the outside of his right foot that Keane dribbled into the box but ultimately couldn't get the angle he wanted for the shot (big chance no. 2). I believe the third big chance created, and Keane's second big chance fluff, came on a Donovan 62' cross into the six yard box. The opta data shows Donovan's cross as successful, and then no events for a solid twenty seconds.
Marcelo Sarvas was another fantasy standout, with fifteen recoveries. Two of those recoveries led to goals, so his play in the midfield defensively was as key as Donovan's distribution to the Galaxy winning 2-0 and controlling the flow of the game for much of the ninety minutes.
Paulo Nagamura was penalized for an error leading to a goal, slipping as Robbie Keane broke away with Marcelo Sarvas' pass off a recovery. The Kansas City player were slipping a lot on the Home Depot Center pitch, even after halftime when players would have a chance to change cleats to adjust to the surface.
Jimmy Nielsen had three saves to Carlo Cudicini's two, Aurelien Collin had eleven crosses, blocks, and interceptions as did Omar Gonzalez; A.J. DeLaGarza had ten. Defensively it was a fairly even match, the Galaxy capitalizing on mistakes that led to counters betraying an otherwise balanced match. That's the power of a fast break, it can make the best defenses look foolish.
If you haven't already, it's time to pick up Donovan while he's still affordable. I'm not saying a midfield of Zusi and Donovan is a guarantee for success forever, but it's pretty dang solid.