Finally. For their first 45 minutes against the Montreat Impact, the Galaxy controlled the game in their best half of soccer in the season to date. Passing sequences were better, players found one another, and Emmanuel Boateng kept the Impact bamboozled down the left hand side.
It looked complete and other than a couple of players suddenly adding themselves to the frontline, it looked coherent. It’s a victory that the Galaxy can build upon.
Adding to all of that it was good to see Gyasi Zardes start the game. His work ethic is something the Galaxy have been sorely missing, and his speed along with Boateng’s kept the Impact pinned back.
Finally some good ratings for the night:
- Emmanuel Boateng - Man of the Match. The Impact had no answers for him in the first half. He juked down the left hand side multiple times, and should have had more than 1 assist. He had a great feed to Jermaine Jones in 11th minute that Jones fluffed. Nice individual work slaloming through the side leading to the assist on Romain’s goal. He should be a permanent starter at this point.
- Romain Alessandrini - scored a lovely placed goal, and was a defender’s toes from scoring two. Could have had a hattrick but for a slightly off target header. This summarizes his performance so far:
Galaxy has six goals this season and Alessandrini has scored three of them and assisted on two others. #LAvMTL— Kevin Baxter (@kbaxter11) April 8, 2017
^That’s a DP.
- Gyasi Zardes - was great to see him start after a very long time off. Nice work being physical to earn fouls. Great cross to Alessandrini for a header just off target in the first half. Part of the nice counter that led to Jones’ goal. Unheralded, solid work. He was a critical offensive outlet with three key passes and an assist.
- Jermaine Jones - fluffed what looked like a sure goal from Boateng in the 11th minute. Sold a red card on Donadel. First Galaxy goal in the 75th minute after a nice counter and lung busting run. Two key passes.
- Clement Diop - good recovery after last week’s debacle. Nice save in the 40th minute.
- Jelle Van Damme - critical stop at the end of the first half. Beat along with Cole and Steres against Mancosu who just missed the tying goal in the 53rd minute. Good clearance in 68th minute. Does have a tendency to leave home (aka the backline) at inopportune times, at one point he was playing at forward!
- Ashley Cole - stood off a player in minute 6 allowing a dangerous shot. Nice professional flick in the 50th minute to get Diop out of trouble. Good header to get out of danger in 76th minute. Another clearance in 79th minute. Only 4 missed passes and a key pass.
- Daniel Steres - no news is good news. 12 defensive actions, the largest among the back 4.
- Giovani Dos Santos - lovely cross in 29th minute that looked so close to being a goal barring a last minute deflection by the Montreal defense. Should have done better with another Boateng cross in the 2nd half. He’s popping up in places, but for his price tag we need him to be playing at the consistent level of Alessandrini.
- Joao Pedro - dumb tackle on Bernadello earned him a deserved yellow card. Degenerated into sloppy passing in the second half and was yanked for Baggio Husidic. Though Joao was likely replaced due to a chance of a second yellow, Baggio brought some well needed calm to the midfield at that point.
- Nathan Smith - Other than a turd of a two minutes from 40-42 where he single-handedly gave up two big chances, had an okay night. Didn’t get forward as much, but the Galaxy were predominantly using the left hand side between Zardes and Boateng.
- Baggio Husidic, Bradford Jamieson IV, Jack McBean - late subs after the Impact lost a man. Nothing much to do, though Husidic’s discipline was welcome.