Gyasi Zardes has promising Match Impact Rating in loss to Real Salt Lake

Andrew Fielding-USA TODAY Sports

In the LA Galaxy's loss to Real Salt Lake on March 8, Gyasi Zardes turned in the best Match Impact Rating on the Galaxy and hopefully had a match that portends well for the 2014 season.

The LA Galaxy wasted chances (27 attempts on goal!) in their 1-0 loss to Real Salt Lake on March 8. RSL keeper Nick Rimando also had an outstanding match in net in turning aside the nine Galaxy shots that were on goal. Galaxy midfielder Gyasi Zardes had the best Match Impact Rating on the night for L.A. and his game will hopefully be a sign of things to come this season.

Zardes led the Galaxy with 78 shots last season and averaged 3.23 shots per 90 minutes. Fewer than one of those shots per 90 minutes were on goal, however. In the Galaxy's 2014 opener, Zardes only took one shot and drew four fouls while committing none in 69 minutes for a MIR of 52.2.

Samuel, playing his first regular season match with the Galaxy, had a MIR of 36.2 in 77 minutes. Samuel had two of his three shots find the target and drew three fouls while committing none. The Galaxy's other forward, Robbie Keane, was snakebitten. Keane hit a post and had a penalty kick attempt saved by Rimando. Keane went the full 90 and had five shots with only two on frame. Keane committed one foul and drew three for a MIR of 30.8.

Omar Gonzalez was the only other player near a MIR of 30 or above with a 29. Gonzalez managed one shot, committed four fouls and drew three fouls in the match. Rob Friend didn't play enough minutes to qualify for a MIR but was active with two shots in 13 minutes, as well as drawing the foul which set up Robbie Keane's penalty kick.

For those questioning Keane taking penalty kicks, here's some numbers: he is now 6-of-8 (75%) during his MLS career. Landon Donovan is 28-of-33 in his career (84.8%) but is coming off an 0-for-2 2013 season from the spot while Keane was 5-for-5 last season.

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