The LA Galaxy have played two matches thus far in the series still called the SuperClasico despite Honda no longer sponsoring it, and it is my honest and true journalistic opinion that they have been two of the ugliest matches I've ever seen. The Galaxy broke their three match winless streak, and Chivas have now tied a club record at seven straight loses. It was ugly.
Gyasi Zardes got the lone goal, off the only offensive strength for LA against Chivas: scoring opportunities from set pieces. 43% of their sixteen attempts came from set pieces, as Chivas gave up many free kicks around the box. Donovan took the kick, and it was right on a wide open Zardes who headed it past Dan Kennedy inside the far corner.
While Zardes will get praise for the goal, and his potential as a dangerous player certainly showed, LA were poor at finishing on Sunday and Zardes was a big offender there. The rookie took eight shots, only three of those on target, with one that mlssoccer considered a big chance flubbed. A quick look at his chalkboard shows six of his attempts came from inside the box, and a headed attempt that hit the post just after halftime could have easily been the Galaxy's second goal.
Also of note is Robbie Rogers getting his second start of the year. His play is under great scrutiny as Mike Magee has continue to play hot for Chicago. Rogers was rated a 6.5 by WhoScored.com, which would have been much higher had Rogers' first half goal counted. Robbie Keane was shielding Dan Kennedy from an offside position and the right call was made, but unfortunately that erases the try completely for Rogers. As a result his 85% pass completion rate and two key passes are overshadowed slightly by three attempts off target.
Yes that seems harsh, but shots off target are essentially wasted possession especially on shots wide or high. Zardes, while heading home the match winner secedes Man of the Match to Landon Donovan precisely because he gave up possession so often in the attacking third. Donovan picking up the assist along with four key passes show just how busy he was in distribution.
LA will have to play better to get three points in San Jose. Luckily, they get another struggling team to try and get their act together against. Time to shake off the early summer rust and get back in the swing of winning.