In a hard fought game against the Timbers, the Galaxy showed signs of true progress. Bruce decided to give fans what they've been crying for, moving Gyasi Zardes to forward and playing Giovani dos Santos in a more play making role. While the results were far from perfect, there was an unmistakable element of promise and excitement from the Galaxy attack which has been missing for a long time. So how did it go? Here's 3 things we learned on Gio's return.
1. Gio is rusty
The few times Gio found the ball in dangerous space, his first touch would let him down. If it wasn't his first touch, it was the pass he made or his footwork when taking on a defender. The Mexican international showed clear signs of rust after making his first start since the home opener.
2. Gio is still locked into forward mode
Too often, Gio would feed the ball to Zardes on the break, then make the run behind, expecting a return ball. Of course, the Galaxy have lacked this type of penetrating ball all year and instead of looking for it, Gio should be the one looking to play it as the team's 10. This was probably the most frustrating element of the Galaxy attack on the night, but hopefully one that can be identified on tape and corrected in practice as Gio regains his form
3. The promise of things to come?
In the second half, Gio dropped off a little more before being subbed out and played two beautiful balls behind the defense. One to Sebastian Lletget in the box, and a beautiful chip to Ashley Cole in good crossing position. This is the playmaking role envisioned by many for Gio on this team and perhaps offers a glimpse into a potential solution to the Galaxy's final third woes. With a forward like Zardes leading the line, Gio should have plenty of space to drop into and plays these type of dangerous balls.