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LA Galaxy's new shape is a magic goal machine

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The LA Galaxy have used the same lineup two matches in a row, both times resulting in three goals for the all whites. Not only did the lineup remain the same, but the formation as well as Bruce Arena returns again to the flat 4-4-2. Looking at the relative positions for each match, it becomes clear that formation does not dictate style of play.

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The LA Galaxy have used the same lineup two matches in a row, both times resulting in three goals for the all whites. Not only did the lineup remain the same, but the formation as well as Bruce Arena returns again to the flat 4-4-2. Looking at the relative positions for each match, it becomes clear that formation does not dictate style of play.

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Against Seattle, the Galaxy did 38% of their attacking down the right side. We can see Robbie Rogers, Landon Donovan, and Robbie Keane all involved in that progress with Gyasi Zardes the focal point of the whole attack. Juninho sits behind Marcelo Sarvas.

Four key passes came from the left side, but both assist came through the middle. Marcelo Sarvas had the hockey assist on one and the direct assist on the other, but key passes came from all over the pitch. Stefan Ishizaki managed two from the right side, but that triangle of Zardes, Sarvas, and Donovan was the key to the offense.

Against Seattle LA picked on DeAndre Yedlin, and getting him turned around opened up space in the middle. The midfield is in a Y now, with the width coming from the fullbacks. So how did things look against Portland?

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LA was again left sided against Portland, though it was much more even with only a one percent difference between the middle and the left flank. Ishizaki played much more centrally against Portland, and Zardes fell back letting Keane roam around.

Three key passes and two assists came from the left side, three of those passes coming from Landon Donovan and one each from Robbie Rogers and Stefan Ishizaki. Robbie Rogers received the ball from Robbie Keane on an overlapping run to assist Zardes, and then in the second half Donovan and Keane scored on a give and go.

The attack was more balanced between left side and middle, but a stinker from Jack Jewsbury and LA was able to get both of their run of play goals from his side. Stefan Ishizaki's position is the biggest change between the two matches. Dan Gargan is left on an island by himself, but LA controlling such a lion's share of possession made it a non-issue.

The diamond may be gone, but what they've shown the past two weeks isn't rigid by any means. Robbie Keane still gravitates toward Donovan, and Juninho is playing on a DM level. Certainly the results can't be argued with.