Last night the LA Galaxy limped into the 2016 MLS Cup playoffs after an uninspiring defeat vs. FC Dallas, thanks to a Rapids victory over the Timbers. The performance wasn’t that bad, but the result was certainly disappointing.
Bruce made two tactical substitutions in Texas with mixed results: One worked (Replacing Daniel Steres with AJ DeLaGarza), while the other was a head-scratcher. (Moving Lletget out of the central midfield and dispatching a rusty Steven Gerrard in his place)
How did the players perform?
Brian Rowe: Five saves for Reliable Rowe. As one of our readers proclaimed, give that man a raise!
Raul Mendiola: Quietly effective on both sides of the ball, Mendiola was one of the few Galaxy players up to the speed of play, beating Atiba Harris and drawing fouls on multiple occasions.
AJ DeLaGarza: It was back to old times for AJ, who settled into the center back position like he’d never left. Cutting out danger and using his soccer intellect to maximum effect, DeLaGarza helped lead a Galaxy back line deliver a strong performance vs. a potent FCD attack.
Robbie Rogers: A complete effort from the right fullback, who has struggled recently but did well to prevent FCD from creating too many clear cut chances. Had a crucial clearance in the second half to keep the match close.
Ashley Cole: FC Dallas has a way of making older players look old, and even the normally brilliant defender looked a bit off his game, but the English muffin adjusted well and locked-down the left flank.
Jelle Van Damme: Strong defensively but sloppy in possession. Guilty of spraying too many long balls. Unusually absent in attack.
Jeff Larentowicz: Worked his tail off, but when you’re partnered with a 36-year-old against a team as quick and pacy as FC Dallas, you’re going to be in for a rough night.
Sebastian Lletget: Did a serviceable job on the wing, but let’s face it: Lletget is much more effective in the center of midfield.
Giovani dos Santos: Another quiet outing, though at least with Dos Santos you have the confidence he can produce with enough touches on the ball.
Robbie Keane: You want to give King Keano the benefit of the doubt for not getting on the ball enough, but when he does his dexterity in the attack leaves something to be desired. Also responsible for losing Walter Zimmerman on FCD’s game-winning goal.
Captain -- and I'm using that term loosely -- declines to speak again after an #LAGalaxy loss. Second time in a week.— Kevin Baxter (@kbaxter11) October 2, 2016
Steven Gerrard: If anything, you have to give Gerrard credit for his commitment. His demeanor on the field was that of someone who knew they had to deliver. And yet, Gerrard’s lack of match fitness made that an impossible task.
Landon Donovan: Still rusty.
Alan Gordon and Emmanuel Boateng: N/A