That was a surreal game. Missed ref calls, Leonardo and AJ DeLaGarza back at the Stub Hub, a gorgeous counter attack goal, and a LA Galaxy backline that a mom would be hard pressed to love. When does Gio get back?
The Galaxy played some unimpressive soccer against the Dynamo and were lucky to walk away with a point. Yes, Alessandrini was offside. But Houston’s goalkeeper Tyler Deric also handled outside his box, and Leonardo (ah, the good old days) should have been carded for an elbow to Gyasi Zardes’ head in the first minute. So, I wouldn’t call the point complete robbery.
Before we’re too hard on the Galaxy for this game, they were playing with a back four that not only had never played together, but were introducing a debutant in 19 year old Hugo Arellano. So, the defense was disjointed and the midfield (in particular Zardes) dropped deep to protect them. By the end of the game there were several LAG II players on the pitch. That doesn’t give the midfield a pass though - lots of errant passes from Pedro, Garcia and even Alessandrini while trying to work the ball out of the back.
Do we get to hope for Mexico to go home early?
- Emmanuel Boateng - gave Houston some joy down the left hand side at the start of the game by playing centrally and vacating his post. Didn’t have the best final ball into the box, or in the attacking half. However, fantastic counter attack goal and run. 80 yards leaving AJ DeLaGara eating dust, then a stellar round of the keeper and a sublime finish beating two onrushing Dynamo players into the net.
- Romain Alessandrini - didn’t close down DaMarcus Beasley on Houston’s first goal, letting Beaz get his shot off. Wasn’t the most polished tonight, but it’s hard to argue with a goal and an assist. The assist was better than the goal, dug out in traffic, while stumbling, and directly into the path of a speedy Boateng. The goal was the result of a good run (and a nice linesman).
- Ashley Cole - not stupendous but somewhat solid barring one dumb decision to quickly pass to Pedro on a freekick in minute 79. He had to bail out his own mistake when the Dynamo stole the ball off Pedro’s bad touch and sent in a shot on goal that Cole cleared with a header.
- Clement Diop - should have done better to block Beasley’s line drive and instead spilled it right to Manotas. The second goal was even worse than the first with Diop not making himself large to block a chipped shot, and instead making himself small by going for a slide and leaving his goal gaping.
- Nathan Smith - he is just not ready for prime time. Repeatedly beat all game long down his side leaving Zardes pinned to him to help. Was culpable in losing Manotas for the first Dynamo goal along with Arellano.
- Hugo Arellano - welcome to the big leagues kid! Was partially responsible for losing Manotas for Houston’s first goal along with Smith, and couldn’t prevent Houston’s second, but at least he didn’t pull a Leonardo (aka, no major brain farts).
- David Romney - part of a disjointed backline, but did have the long booted ball to Alessandrini to start Boateng’s glorious counter and goal.
- Gyasi Zardes - played deeper to protect Smith, as a result, wasn’t involved in the attack. I like him better than McInerney up top.
- Joao Pedro - not a good night for the Portuguese man. He looked a step behind plays, his passing game was off (worse than usual), and his bad touch nearly gifted a goal to the Dynamo off a hurried freekick in minute 79.
- Rafael Garcia - did what he could, but was part of the headless backline and an off passing night.
- Jack McInerney - needs to get off the ground and keep playing soccer rather than whining. Lethargic with very few touches. He’s a solid finisher, but the Galaxy need someone with better hold up play.
- Jose Villarreal - yes he created chances - his header led to Lassister’s off the crossbar, but his bad pass led to Houston's second goal. We’ll see if he ends up in the doghouse.
- Ariel Lassiter - ran fast, hit the crossbar in minute 85 with a header.
- Bradford Jamieson IV - nice assist to Alessandrini. Not sure if it was a shot or an assist, but whatever, it got LA a point.