Welcome to the 2017 MLS Season! We all missed the LA Galaxy, and they sure are a different squad this year. The broadcast crew started with talking about a “New LA Galaxy,” and with many changes in the starting XI, they weren’t kidding. The midfield is essentially brand new, and several players are adjusting to MLS.
In light of all of those changes, and the fact that it was game #1, it was expected that the Galaxy wouldn’t look cohesive. That expectation proved true, as players had a hard time connecting, missed passes were the norm, the offense didn’t click, and the defense was undone multiple times resulting in a loss. Two shots on target reminds us of the 2016 LA Galaxy, and we all know how that turned out.
Not many good scores, will be looking for better against Portland:
Jelle Van Damme (C): Man of the Match with several nice tackles and a straight up mugging of Urruti in minute 77. Cleared a sure goal off the line in the 33rd minute. Backed off on Acosta’s well-taken goal, but did have a fantastic cross at the end of the game that should have been an assist to Lassiter. Most defensive actions among the back 4. One note: he has some pretty bad boot ball with red long passes all over the field. Ideally this gets better or goes away.
Brian Rowe: Didn’t look like he took much time off as he was challenged from the start, and made a nice defensive play in minute 4 after Colman beat the Galaxy backline. However, he was caught flatfooted on two very well finished goals.
Jack McBean: Nice bodying off of defenders, used his physicality well. Had some good combinations with Dos Santos for a pleasant surprise. Had a shot cleared off the line following a great ball from Boateng. Looks more promising than he has in a long time.
Giovani Dos Santos: Nice combination one-two with McBean in the 35th minute for a shot headed towards goal resulting in emergency defense from Dallas. After an awful PK in the playoffs against the Rapids, looked good scoring the first goal for LA on a penalty kick. Nice shot on goal in the 61st minute that required a decent save from Seitz. Still needs to power the game forward, expectations are rightfully high. Three key passes.
Sebastian Lletget: Lots of industry, but no end result. Inexplicably moved to RB for the last 20 minutes removing his creativity from the center of the pitch.
Jermaine Jones: Had some nice passing sequences with some telling through balls and looked like the more creative midfielder versus Alessandrini. Struggled to work with Pedro (Michael Bradley says hello). Cringe worthy tackle in the 17th minute earned him a yellow. Did clang off the Dallas post in the 63rd minute with a header. Not tidy with the ball with 12 missed passes, the most among the midfield. Then again, had 4 key passes, the highest on the team. You can’t say he doesn’t try.
Romain Alessandrini: Not good enough from the new DP, and not creative enough. Frankly disappointing, struggled to find the game and tried to force many passes into waiting FC Dallas shins. He and Pedro together have a total of 18 missed passes. Needs to stop falling over expecting calls - welcome to MLS.
Daniel Steres: Majorly bad day at the office and was involved in both Dallas goals. Beat by Colman in minute 4 and it didn’t let up from there. A crummy touch gifting the ball back to FCD led to the first Dallas goal. And was beat by Acosta on the second. Three tackles lost in the final 18 - no bueno.
Dave Romney: Dallas repeatedly attacked down the flanks (with a nice hole in the middle of their Opta heat map), Grana’s speed giving Romney a nightmare. Earned a (generous) PK in minute 52. Missed a shot in the dying moments.
Rafael Garcia: Never got forward, was busy defending, and was lucky that Barrios didn’t score in the 51st minute after wiggling around him. Why did we get rid of AJ again?
João Pedro: Earned himself a yellow card in the 41st minute after a late tackle. Had some hustle moments (he had the most defensive actions on the team) and covered a lot of ground, but looked lost on how to work with the rest of the midfield.
Emmanuel Boateng: Immediately beat his defender after subbing on, and put in a great cross, for a shot on goal cleared off the line. Used his speed well, and likely should have started to help challenge Dallas’ flanks.
Ari Lassiter: Missed a straight up header that should have been the tying goal in the final minutes of the game. Did have a speedy shot on goal that was deflected by the Dallas defense in the dying seconds. But as a forward, he’s paid to finish his shots.
Jose Villarreal: An appearance after a long stay at the Bruce Arena dog house, earned FC Dallas a yellow card, but not much other impact.