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LA - Dallas aftermath

A few thoughts the day after an incompetent ref spoiled a Landon Donovan hat trick.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Is Carlo Cudicini on his way to the bench? “He’s playing for his job” quipped Taylor Twellman during the beginning of the telecast. Unfortunately, the 39-year old goalkeeper failed to impress once again.

The LA defense just hasn’t looked right this year. Defensive lapses and indecisive goalkeeping have cost the Galaxy points time and time again, and yesterday’s match was just the latest setback. You can hardly blame the team’s defensive struggles squarely on Cudicini, but he hasn’t done much to establish himself in the position or inspire confidence from his teammates. As the season has gone by, it’s become more difficult to ignore his struggles, in particular, a habit of not coming off his line and failing to win the ball in the air, leaving the Galaxy defense especially vulnerable during set pieces.

Last night was a recurrence of the same problems. On the first goal, Cudicini is unable to get to a cross inside the six, and flat footed and caught out of position, can’t make a play on the ball other than a desperate lunge. Cudicini was also culpable of ball watching on the second goal, staying rooted to his line before backing a few feet away from Michel's in swinging cross, when a more proactive goalkeeper would have gotten to the ball first or at least made it more difficult on Blas Perez. (Against a team as proficient in the air as FC Dallas, it is any wonder they scored 3 goals off set pieces?)

Even Landon, normally the consummate professional, couldn’t manage to hide his disgust in a hasty postgame interview.

“When you have a backline and goalkeeper like that, it’s unacceptable”

Don’t let the fact that he called out the players by position fool you, that was a not-so-subtle dig at Cudicini.

For Jaime Penedo, it appears his opportunity is coming sooner rather than later.

Sean Franklin is not a midfielder. When on his game, Sean Franklin is one of the top pure defenders in the league. That being said, it was frustrating to watch Franklin operate in the right midfield, who like you would expect provided fine defensive cover but offensively provided next to nothing. Negative play going forward, poor crossing, even dribbling out of bounds on occasion, Franklin was woeful at times.

Which isn’t necessarily Franklin’s fault. He looked like someone playing out of position.

Where was Robbie Rogers? Apparently, Rogers was left off the game day roster due to a coaches’ decision. After a few decent performances in the International Champions Cup, his omission is a bit of a question mark.