Carlo Cudicini is officially under the spotlight. After the 39 year old goalkeeper was singled out for criticism by Bruce Arena for giving Tim Cahill the easiest of finishes, you have to feel he's under a bit of pressure.
The problem? While Cudicini is still undoubtedly a quality goalkeeper, he can play too passive at times, which forces his teammates to win more aerial battles and 1 on 1s than necessary. Sometimes Carlo has been reluctant to come off his line, and more troubling, has failed to collect the ball in the air, a habit that lately is causing LA to leak goals. The Amobi Okugo header the Galaxy gave up against Philadelphia earlier in the week was the exact same play as the goal on Sunday: A set piece situation where a ball lands inside the six yard box uncontested.
Some of Cudicini's struggles so far are understandable. At 6'1", Carlo isn't the tallest keeper, and even the most decorated players can take time to adjust to the league. He's just not playing reactive enough. Perhaps his cavalier style stems from a career of playing at elite clubs, where goalkeepers aren't necessarily required to have a commanding presence. Regardless, he needs to adjust.
Juninho is king. Lost in all the hype of the Galaxy's lineup of stars and promising young talent is the invaluable Brazilian. Before injuring his right shin at the hands of old Juninho, the Galaxy were dominating the midfield battle and camped out inside New York's final third. Similar to what happened against Monterrey in Concacaf Champions League play, when Juninho went down, so did the midfield.
On a team that isn't reliant on pace or athleticism, his tenacious play and soccer IQ are absolutely crucial to the Galaxy's ability to keep possession. (Juninho and Osvaldo Alonso are easily the two most indispensable defensive midfielders in the league) Hopefully the injury isn't too serious.
Hector Jimenez must improve. I was going to make this bit about Gyazi Zardes, but even Thomas Rongen can tell the rookie forward has massive talent.
No need for over analyzing here. His first touch simply isn't cutting it at this level right now.