LA Galaxy winter signing Samuel has made an instant impact scoring the lone goal for the club this season which happened to be the deciding goal in the first half of the series with Club Tijuana. A bit of an unknown on loan from his Brazilian side, the young forward has already mixed in well with what the Galaxy are trying to do.
Converting the Galaxy's big chance has gone well to earning Samuel favor amongst fans, but despite not scoring against Real Salt Lake he had a solid performance there too. He carried a 94% pass percentage, didn't loose the ball in the final third, and found space on the attacking end. He doesn't have to pass often as a target forward (only made seven last night), but he's not costing the Galaxy possession while on the attack and that spin he's got to get around a marker is just glorious (not to mention the rainbow).
"He has done well, he really has," said Bruce Arena. "He has adjusted well, and is very opportunistic around the goal, we've seen it in the preseason, and tonight a similar type of goal. He's got a good nose for the goal and he is just going to get better as he begins to understand our team and our league a little bit better."
It's a different skill set than Robbie Keane or Landon Donovan bring to the table. Samuel isn't looking to create for others, he's simply trying to score goals. That attitude can quickly lose a player favor if they aren't putting the ball in the back of the net (Edson Buddle is a classic example of the love/hate relationship with a target forward) but thus far Samuel has shown that he's willing to work back to the midfield, to show the hustle when the ball isn't making it to the final third easily.
I'm not going to GIF the goal, cause it really needs the sound to sell the moment. It was a late arriving crowd with LA's famous traffic and the kickoff a half hour earlier than normal. Tijuana's fans got there early, and Samuel's goal just deflated them.