The LA Galaxy were able to come from behind to snatch a point from the Vancouver Whitecaps, the match finishing 2-2 at BC Palace last night. Jose Villarreal was able to score the equalizer; the eighteen year old's first MLS goal. It's was a match on tired legs, where the Galaxy were able to hold on long enough to let their subs make a huge impact on the match.
"I think you can say we stole a point here," said manager Bruce Arena. "We took a lot of risks in the second half to get a goal...trailing the last ten minutes we really opened ourselves up. We were fortunate not to concede a goal, but a great finish by Villarreal."
The Galaxy got the biggest impact from subs Juninho and Jose Villarreal. In thirty three minutes, Juninho won a free kick near the penalty area, and had the assist on Villarreal's equalizer. Juninho started the play behind the halfway line, laying it off to the right wing then making a run forward. Juninho was able to keep a long pass in with one touch getting the ball to Villarreal with space.
Jose Villarreal controlled the ball and allowed his defender to overrun him. He did a full change of direction, and with only a glance at the goal Villarreal let loose a left footed rocket into the far corner. Joe Cannon never had a chance. Not a bad way to get his first MLS goal. With only 19 minutes on the pitch, that equalizer was good for a match impact rating of 165.92. With the assist on that play, Juninho finished with 109.1.
LA Galaxy captain Landon Donovan had a significant impact on the match, with the lay off assist on David Beckham's goal. He also had a shot attempt from a David Beckham cross saved, while also winning two free kicks just outside the penalty area. Donovan finished with a match impact rating of 59.5.
"We had a real poor first half," said Landon Donovan. "I'm not sure we created a chance the whole half...we finally got the breakthrough goal and from there it was one way traffic. We all believed we'd get the second goal."
Robbie Keane can be a polarizing figure, and that's understandable. With a brace in his last match Keane had the highest match impact rating for the Galaxy, and then last night he barely made a peep; a MIR of 8.75. He did win a foul near the penalty area, but the striker did not have a shot in the match let alone one on target. Luckily, the Galaxy got some help from their super sub.
The Galaxy also got a good night from David Beckham, who finished with an MIR of 62.75. His goal from outside the penalty area certainly had much to do with that, though only one of his crosses last night led to a shot attempt on goal. In the first half, Vancouver had a defender within a yard of Beckham at all times, making it difficult to have a greater impact on the match.
Marcelo Sarvas won a couple of free kicks around the halfway line but didn't factor much into the match, finishing with a MIR of 39.5. Michael Stephens and Hector Jimenez had awful nights, finishing with negative MIRs: -.39 and -.32 respectively. Between the two of them possession was lost 17 times, and neither of them had much time on the ball.
One final takeaway from the match, is that Galaxy accuracy has significantly improved from the beginning of the season. With two goals on eight shot attempts last night, the Galaxy finished with a scoring chance percentage of 25%, in line with recent SC% of 35.7% and 21.4%. The first third of the season the Galaxy were converting 8.8% of chances, which shows the Galaxy are calmer now; thinking about their chances instead of just pulling the trigger.
All stats thanks to Patrick S. Johnston (Yahoo! and SB Nation) and Opta Sport.