Yes, Nigel de Jong deserved a red card. And yes, he will be suspended for several games - he should be. That should cause LA fans to panic. An already thin midfield needs him to pace the game and protect the defense. With him deservedly sitting, the next few games are going to make LA fans sweat.
Not only that, but Giovani dos Santos continues to look lost and listless, and like a potential bust. It was his first game back from injury tonight so we can't prognosticate failure, but once again he didn't look to be in the game, and rapidly faded in his 60 minutes. LA needs more from this DP, and they need it in a hurry. Never has the number on his back felt so weighty. Let's see if he can live up to it in the next month as the team needs a spark of any sort to reclaim any momentum.
The player that did have a bright night was Lletget. He looks fit, energetic, and full of ideas. Contrary to Dos Santos, even when Sebastian is over dribbling he looks for his teammates and challenges opponents with the ball, thereby keeping the pace of the game up rather than killing it and allowing the defense to regroup. But what stood out the most tonight was his work ethic. He willed the team forward for all 95 minutes. Decent game from him.
Player ratings on a frustrating night:
- Zardes - 6.5 Didn't have the best passing night so not a great rating, but his movement and athleticism caused Portland problems. He ran at players drawing panic and defenders. He helped cause the Borchers own goal with a well placed run. 1 key pass. He looks confident and dangerous, and LA needs that going forward.
- Magee - 5 Oy. Magic Mike got into great positions, but just couldn't deliver the final product - his final third passing map is a sea of red except for 2 key passes off of corners. Should have had a goal into a gaping net, and shanked it. (Side note: Magee gets a 10 for his handling of the FS1 post-game interview after being put on the spot by Stuart Holden ripping his teammate. Magee handled it with grace and professionalism, saying the right thing about the tackle, but also pointing out that his teammate is a consummate professional and well-liked.)
- Husidic - 6.5 2 key passes is a great night for him (he also only had 6 misplaced passes). Other than that, really wasn't the problem. He's never going to be a creative genius, and that's not why he plays.
- Lletget - 7.5 Best Galaxy player of the night. In the 80th minute working extremely hard to keep the ball and set up chances, PLUS, coming back to defend. His great pass led to the Borchers own goal. Three key passes and the creative engine of the evening.
- Dos Santos - 4 Just not good enough. Coming back from injury he needs some time to work back into the squad, but he's too expensive to be doing so little. He looks lost, he holds onto the ball too long, and he just hasn't done much to impact the attack. Of his balls into the final 18, the majority are misses. LA can't afford this.
- De Jong - 5 While he did have his industry and normal good play tonight, he should have had a red card for the tackle on Nagbe, and should have been off the field. The MLS disciplinary committee will likely sit him for 3-4 games. For that, he gets docked major points from what was a decent showing. LA should have been down to 10 men, and likely should have lost.
- Cole - 6 No major issues on the evening, though his crosses into the box could have been more explosive.
- Van Damme - 7 Sixteen defensive actions on the night, he was everywhere shoving himself into every play. He's rough and tumble, but it works. Did have a couple of missed tackles in bad spots.
- Steres - 6 Really didn't think about him all evening. Quiet and untroubled.
- Rowe - 5.5 Could potentially quibble he could have had a bit better positioning on Portland's goal. Still looks pretty solid for someone who wasn't supposed to play at the beginning of this year.
- Garcia - 5 Burned on Portland's goal, but with AJ injured, really shouldn't have been playing anyway. He's not a RB. It showed.
- Jamieson IV - 6.5 Brought energy to the side, and made some dangerous runs. If he continues to play like this, we should never see Boateng.
- Rogers - not rated Out early with an injury.
- Gordon - not rated Late sub (and should have been on earlier).