When Steven Gerrard signed with LA, a lot of people thought LA would have to adjust the formation to him as the conventional wisdom out of England was that Gerrard no longer had the legs to be an effective "box-to-box" midfielder.
In his final days with Liverpool, Gerrard was being used as more of a regista than an 8, but Bruce Arena made it clear this would not be his role with the Galaxy.
"We're not bringing him here to be a defensive midfielder. He needs to be a little bit closer to goal... He'll work hand in hand with Juninho. ... They'll share responsibilities."
Although international absences lead him to begin his Galaxy career as a central attacking midfielder in a 4-2-3-1 (a formation which partially failed against San Jose until he moved to forward, and failed completely against RSL and Houston) with the return of Alan Gordon and Gyasi Zardes from the Gold Cup, Bruce finally got to put Gerrard in the position he brought him in to play.
Against Colorado, Steven Gerrard was a true number 8, quashing the myth of his failing legs as he ran box to box at altitude, putting in work on both sides of the ball.
If you look at his pass map, you'll see he got the job done, both in terms of ball circulation from within the Galaxy's own half, and getting into the final third and making things happen.
Gerrard's pass usage of 12.5% on the night, was the highest of any Galaxy midfielder, as was his 83% completion rate. In terms of goal threat in the final third, Gerrard managed two shots and an assist. Both totals were the most of any midfielder.
But Gerrard's offensive skill has never been in question. It's his ability to get back and defend that people claim he has lost. In this area, Gerrard also excelled on the night.
The green triangles above are tackles. Gerrard had two which was the most of any Galaxy midfielder on the night. The blue triangle is an interception. This gave him a total of 3 defensive actions (defining actions as tackles, interceptions and blocks) which is exactly as many as Juninho and Sebastian Lletget had, and one more than Gyasi Zardes.
Overall, his heat map looks exactly like the heat maps of Marcelo Sarvas last year.
To recap, Steven Gerrard lead Galaxy midfielders on the night in shots, tackles, passes, pass completion, assists and tied for the most defensive actions. To top it all off, this complete box to box performance took place at an altitude where athletes struggle to find air in the second half.
While it may be true that Steven Gerrard doesn't have the legs to go box-to-box at a premier league pace, he certainly seems to have the stamina to do it at the MLS level.