Definitely not a pretty game, but the Galaxy still came away with the win in the first edition of the 2016 Cali Classico. After a few weeks of struggling to get his passing game together, Gyasi Zardes' hard work paid off with a brace on the night. The Galaxy did get lazy in the closing minutes of the game, pressing high and aiding San Jose with their lone goal of the night.
Hard to judge the players on a night when the ref was extremely erratic with yellow cards raining over the course of the game. Player ratings:
- Rowe - 7 Commanded his box well, didn't have to make any major saves, and was hung out to dry on the San Jose goal. Not really challenged over the course of the 90 minutes except for a span of 20 seconds in the second half.
- Cole - 7.5 Another decent outing. 85%+ passing accuracy, was a threat up the left, and had two key passes. I was skeptical when he joined, and he's been proving me very wrong.
- Steres - 7 Quiet night, but that's okay for a defender. 10 defensive actions. Only 4 misplaced passes on the night. Has been thrust into the limelight as a starting defender, and seems to be handling it quite well.
- Van Damme - 7.5 Involved in the first two goals with an assist and a fantastic long ball. He is physical and aggressive (I thought I was scared when Omar roamed the pitch past the halfway line, Jelle makes Omar look like he stayed home and hugged his blankie). Earned a yellow card for his troubles and did lose the tackle on the San Jose goal; not sure why he was so high up the pitch when the Galaxy were a man up and winning by two. Had a nice 7 interceptions on the night and did hustle back after he lost the aforementioned tackle.
- Rogers - 7 Had a decent defensive game tonight with 14 defensive actions. Unfortunately, he also lost 4 tackles, 3 in dangerous areas. Was a constant threat up the right, and his passing game improved versus the first two games. Still needs to work on the penetrating final pass.
- de Jong - 6.5 Controlled the middle of the pitch, roamed everywhere, solid passing game. Wasn't as pinpoint with his penetrating passes as in previous weeks, and needs to learn how to stay silent after a poor decision from the ref as yellow cards for dissent seem to be happening at a good clip this year. Also let Wondolowski waltz through the midfield untracked on the lone San Jose goal. Still weep for what could have been with him and Juninho working the midfield together.
- Lletget - 6.5 Worked really really hard tonight trying to set the team up. Extremely crafty in tight spaces. Does have a tendency to hog the ball rather than look for his teammates - which is shown in his unsuccessful dribbles stat far outweighing successful dribbles. 1 key pass.
- Zardes - 8 Much better game than in previous weeks with two goals and an improved passing percentage and sequences. He scored his first goal off a freekick he earned, and his second goal came from a great run. He could have had a third goal but he shanked his shot with his left foot. Also had 1 key pass.
- Keane - 7 Not the sharpest game for Keane in terms of movement and passing, but he did earn a PK and score near the end, plus had 1 key pass.
- Magee - 7.5 Involved in both opening scoring sequences with a nice cross into the box on the first goal, and a decent run on the second (not giving him credit for the deflected pass, but it was great effort!). 3 key passes and thus LA's lead chance generator.
- Husidic - 6.5 His sheer hustle is a big improvement over Gerrard, and he covers more ground. Yes, he's not the flashiest player in the world, but you know what you get with Baggio. Steady play, but not the most creative in the whole wide world, especially with the final pass. That's what we got tonight. But he did his job.
- Boateng - 6 Seemed more disciplined in his short time on the pitch, and did earn a corner.
- Gordon - not rated Late sub.
- Gerrard - not rated Injured
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).