After making solid line up decisions for the last several weeks, whether due to injury or in-game tactics, Bruce Arena was forced to play the line up that has absolutely killed the Galaxy this season: Keane, Dos Santos and Gerrard in the game. The result was as expected. Midfield overrun, no offense to speak of, and shuttling Lletget out wide taking away his presence centrally. The Galaxy had five key passes TOTAL and one of them was from Daniel Steres. *Daniel Steres*
And then came the penalties. Woeful is the word I'd use to describe them, with again some questionable choices as to who LA sent out and in which order.
The Galaxy ended their season with a whimper, and there are major decisions to be made during the offseason. Ideally Gerrard does not return. Keane is a question mark. Does Landon Donovan come back to play another season? Cole is aging and should be replaced.
The major constants are going to be Jelle Van Damme, Gyasi Zardes and Giovani Dos Santos who will be mainstays next season. Sebastian Lletget should be getting a raise and also remaining. Robbie Rogers isn't going anywhere either. Rowe will stay, and there are bigger problems than goalkeeper.
LA are in for some major changes. And for the last time in 2016, player ratings:
Jelle Van Damme - He ended the season as decently as he started it. He is all over the backfield, and you gotta love him for his energy, love of the game, and his love of the Galaxy. Defensive actions all over the defensive third. Yes, he had a questionnable foul on Badji, but he wasn't responsible for any goals. Should be a good bet for MLS Defender of the Year.
Sebastian Lletget - He deserves a shot in January at USMNT camp. He should also be starting in the center. The Galaxy should also be giving him a raise and keeping him around. Over 120 minutes he was stellar with the ball, and was essential to the Galaxy keeping the ball. He disappeared when he was moved out wide, which is as expected.
Daniel Steres - Did his job, and looks better and better with Van Damme each week. Should be the starting CB with Jelle in 2017.
Alan Gordon: Held the ball up, was physical, earned fouls, and had a key pass. LA needs a younger version of him in 2017.
Everybody else - Dos Santos didn't have any creativity, and the vast majority of his passes are backwards or sideways. Same goes for Landon Donovan who was quiet and then pulled with an apparent injury. Mike Magee wasn't accurate enough and killed some chances with bad decisions. Rogers was okay defensively, but his crosses were once again lacking. Cole was beat a few times by Le Toux, then served in a miserable PK. Husidic looked lethargic in altitude and was behind the play. And Keane may have ended his time as a Galaxy player on an apparent groin injury.
Arena and the Galaxy FO have some major work to do in the offseason. Who would you keep and who would you ask to move on? More to come.