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LA Galaxy vs. RSL Player Ratings

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Kyle Beckerman’s ejection spares the Galaxy’s blushes and their putrid first half performance.

MLS: Real Salt Lake at LA Galaxy Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Thank you Kyle Beckerman for three points. The two yellows into a red might have been a quick exit for the Real Salt Lake midfielder, and slightly generous for the Galaxy, but RSL should have been a man down after Movsisyan’s studs into Diallo’s thigh in the first half. Up until that point, RSL controlled the game with one way traffic into the Galaxy defense.

The Galaxy looked terrible in the first half. The back four hadn’t met one another and it showed, the midfield couldn’t figure one another out, one DP was missing in action (and no, it wasn’t Dos Santos), and Villarreal might as well have been at the airport. Curt Onalfo looked no closer to figuring things out, though to be fair, it’s not like he had a lot of options in the team with the injuries and suspensions ruling players out.

Then RSL went down to 10 men thanks to Beckerman’s two yellow cards, giving LA a lifeline. Alessandrini looks to have figured out his corners with much more dangerous delivery, and Romney took advantage as he was left unmarked on the first goal, a spectacular volley. Then came a nice squared ball into RSL killer Boateng for the second, and winning, goal. (Whenever LA plays Real Salt Lake, Boateng should be an instant starter).

The concerns about the Galaxy still linger as the team continues to look disjointed and no closer to figuring their style of play out. But three points is three points, a win is a win, and it’s a whole lot better than starting the season with three losses in a row. So on to player ratings:

Excellent!:

  • Can’t really give this to anyone for that first 45.

Good:

  • Clément Diop - Aggressive with coming out of goal, though could have been better with his distribution. Vocal and stepped up when his backline looked adrift. Nice job using his body on corners. He doesn’t look scared back there.
  • Jermaine Jones - Great header on goal that Nick Rimando stopped with a stellar save. He was the only player willing the Galaxy forward, showing for the ball and trying to shuffle passes to the forwards.

OK:

  • Dave Romney - Scored on an absolutely stellar volley off a corner from Alessandrini. Before that he had zero communication with Boateng and sent him to chase after poor passes all night. Calling this one a draw.
  • Emmanuel Boateng - He loves Salt Lake City and scoring goals there. Nicely taken goal and solid finish, though wish he had used his speed more often to get free on the left.
  • Romain Alessandrini - How to grade him? On one hand, he had two assists. A great corner to Romney, and a nice pass across goal to Boateng. On the other hand, he is just miserable in the attack sometimes. Stop with the stepovers where you lose the ball, three handballs, countless missed passes (his Opta chart has quite a bit of red in it), and should have had the Galaxy’s third goal that he straight up fluffed. Frustrating.
  • Nathan Smith - Earned a yellow card but sent in very nice crosses from the right, one that should have been an assist for Jones but for an excellent save from Nick Rimando. In only two starts he looks like he should be starting over Garcia. That said, Chad Barrett bailed Smith out with a classic Chad Barrett non-finish after leaving him behind.

Poor:

  • Rafael Garcia - Beat repeatedly, though tracked back nicely against Saucedo in the 53rd minute preventing a dangerous play by stealing the ball off his foot. Provides nowhere near the offense of Nathan Smith.
  • Bradley Diallo - Burned on the first goal after losing Movsisyan. Welcome to the big leagues young man! It’s your first game, let’s make it upwards from here.
  • Daniel Steres - Part of a backline that was marking air for the first 45 minutes. Couldn’t lead a line that was adrift.
  • Joao Pedro - Nervy start, and it didn’t get much better over the course of the game. His passing game was seriously off with some passes straight to RSL legs, and he didn’t have the defensive actions he did last week.
  • Sebastian Lletget - Looking at his chart he was everywhere in the midfield, yet with no creativity. Anonymous sums up this game for him.
  • Jose Villarreal - Literally couldn’t tell he played. Part of that was on the midfield, part of that was on his movement.

Not Rated:

  • Jack McBean and Baggio Husidic - Late game sub.