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LA Galaxy vs. Santos Laguna: Player Ratings

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Steven Gerrard, AJ DeLaGarza, and Nigel De Jong were the standout players against Santos Laguna in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League, while Giovani Dos Santos needs to do more.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Galaxy played a hard fought draw where the defense and central midfield stood tall; while the offense looked disjointed due to lack of rhythm, Dos Santos not playing well, and Robbie Keane fading late.  The Galaxy did play well for a team competing in their first meaningful game and had some chances.  Their shots on goal number matched Santos Laguna's, and they were in more dangerous areas.  Galaxy fans should be excited that the team shows promise for the regular season, though probably not enough promise for Santos Laguna next week.

Individual player ratings are determined using a 10 point scale where 6 is the starting point - similar to the standard set by whoscored (https://www.whoscored.com/Explanations).

  • Kennedy - 6.5 Commanded his box on several plays taking the ball out of the air and using his body to shove players aside.  Played more physical than previous goalkeepers Penedo and Ricketts, and had 3 saves on 4 shots on goal (with Dos Santos bailing him out on the last).  Wasn't challenged too much on the saves and still looks like he's finding his footing.
  • Rogers - 5 Was tidy with the ball at the half, but as he tired made errors with a few misplaced passes from the back right corner that went to the opposing team.  Santos Laguna did attack his side compared to Cole's with some success.  Also needs to work on his crossing into the box as 4 promising attacks disintegrated on misplayed crosses.  Did have 1 key pass.
  • Cole - 6.5 A pleasant surprise. Santos Laguna abandoned attacking down his side. Tidy on the ball with a cheeky effort at goal.  Several recoveries, interceptions and tackles won.
  • Van Damme - 6.5 A tale of two sides that offset one another, Van Damme was a physical beast commanding the backline, especially in the air, but also relied heavily on boot ball rather than retaining possession (over 15 missed passes from the back).  Had 4 clearances and 5 critical interceptions near the box, including a diving header to clear a decent cross.  Earned a yellow card, but had the best shot on goal denied only by an excellent save from Santos Laguna's goalkeeper.
  • DeLaGarza - 7.5 With only 5 misplaced passes all game, DeLaGarza was solid on the ball.  Not only that, he had 7 recoveries, 6 interceptions and 2 critical clearances in the box.  Quietly the best defender on the night.
  • de Jong - 7.5 His passing map looks like Juninho's.  That's meant in the best way possible.  All over the pitch, fantastic use of slide tackles, nice balance with Gerrard in the middle.  He made the Galaxy go, and we should be excited to see him in Mexico next week.
  • Gerrard7 Distinctly better than how he ended 2015 with better movement and passing all over the pitch until he faded with 20-30 minutes to go.  Sublime cross to Keane that Robbie should have finished in the first half.  4 key passes represented the bulk of the Galaxy's offense.  Did take points off for the (soft) yellow card.
  • Zardes - 5.5 His night can be summed up as "okay."  Decent work rate like usual, earned a few fouls, 1 key pass, defensive pressure to help Rogers, but not enough on offense.
  • Boateng - 5 He's fast, he takes on defenders, had a decent shot on goal after Keane threaded him through, but he needs to stay on his feet and get back on defense without looking like a headless chicken.
  • Keane - 5 Nice threading of Boateng through on goal in the first half but faded badly in the second.  Too far from goal - most of his play is in the middle third - and not threatening enough.  Did earn a few fouls.
  • Dos Santos - 4 Where attacks went to die.  Kept waiting for the creativity to show up, and it just didn't.  Not much movement on the pitch (most of his play occurs in the right middle third), low work rate, and to top it off earned a yellow card.
  • Lletget - 5 Can tell he's working his way back from injury because he looked slow and never really got in the game, though he did earn a couple of freekicks through fouls.
  • Magee - not rated, late sub.