Headless chicken no more! Emmanuel Boateng had a break out performance against Real Salt Lake, earning him MLS player of the week honors. He was man of the match with a goal and two assists, but more importantly, his effectiveness in the box improved tremendously with solid final pass delivery. He also ate poor Tony Beltran alive with pace and guile. This is the player that we hoped we were getting.
The rest of the team did pretty well with Gerrard pulling a solid 60 minutes (and tiring rapidly after that) even with a missed penalty, Dos Santos and Magee also getting on the scoreboard, and Gyasi Zardes with a beauty of an individual goal. If the finishing was even better the scoreline would have been even more lopsided in the Galaxy's direction. Lots of chances created in this one as LA overloaded a high RSL backline that couldn't seem to adjust.
The three players that could have had better nights: Steres with a PK conceded, AJ burned down the right, and Rowe with bad distribution that was ultimately punished.
- Rowe - 5.5 His mistake on a bad back pass helped lead to the first RSL goal along with AJ getting beat. Had a couple of other dicey moments. Not his best game, but still didn't have much to do.
- DeLaGarza - 5 Beat for RSL goal number one, and was picked on down the right. That said, delivered the great cross to earn the missed PK and only had 1 misplaced pass all night.
- Van Damme - 7 Fifteen defensive actions and a pretty decent night. Wish his distribution was better at times, but he's a defender first.
- Steres - 5 Conceded a PK late in the game. Once again, similar to the red card he could have earned against Houston, needs to keep his head late in games and not make bad decisions.
- Cole - 7.5 Delivered a lovely ball into Boateng leading to the great cross on LA goal #2. Should have been fed by Zardes for a shot on goal in the second half, then did get a great ball by Zardes that could have been a goal, but muffed it. Thirteen defensive actions, but getting more involved in the attack with each passing week.
- Gerrard - 7.5 Really solid first half similar to his game against the Dynamo. Fulcrum in the middle keeping things moving and providing an outlet. However, in the second half his passing game degenerated with a bunch of misplaced passes. Thinking he's a 60 minutes and out player. Did have a last minute showy individual goal beating several RSL players.
- Husidic - 7 Great ball into Gyasi for LA goal #1 and an assist. Has an understanding with Gerrard. Tidy, unexciting, but does his job well by playing simple and knowing when to get out of Gerrard's way.
- Magee 7.5 - SOG blocked, but made up for it with a lovely goal off of Boateng's cross.
- Dos Santos - 8 Earned a PK with solid movement, hit the post, two key passes, and scored one of the cheekiest goals you'll see in MLS. Fantastic chip to beat Rimando. He's not a creator, but he's a great poacher. Course, that's Keane's job and will be an issue when Keane gets back. How do you play Gio, Keane and Zardes together? Someone has to be the creative outlet. Regardless, Gio has had a great two weeks.
- Zardes - 8 Great individual effort on the goal he scored beating three RSL defenders and Rimando, and add to that an (accidental) assist and 1 key pass. That earns him a slightly better score than Magee.
- Boateng - 8.5 Two assists and a goal. He got better in a hurry. Notably his crosses were infinitely better than in previous weeks, in particular the one to Magee a cracking joy. Hope this becomes the norm rather than the anomaly. His defensive play also seemed less aimless - with thirteen defensive actions it was his best defensive game yet. Whatever Bruce is doing in training, it looked great on the pitch this past week.
- Larentowicz - 6 Did his job, kept things simple. Nice to see he could be a Husidic replacement.
- Rogers - not rated Game over at this point.
- Jamieson IV - not rated Game over at this point.