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LA Galaxy vs. Rapids Player Ratings

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Unexpected heroes (okay, one expected hero) as the Galaxy continue their road winning ways.

MLS: Los Angeles Galaxy at Colorado Rapids Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

You were expecting an Alan Gordon winner like the rest of us, right? Instead, the LA Galaxy continue to be a team that loves playing on the road, which Bruce Arena would go bug eyed over.

The Galaxy survived an absolutely miserable first five minutes where the Rapids should have scored twice with two long balls over the top (though Jose Villarreal sure looked like he had a penalty off a long ball in the first two minutes). The entire LA backline was beat by long balls with everyone stranded too far up the pitch. The Galaxy were also lucky not to fall behind over the course of the game due to the fact that Josh Gatt couldn't hit the broad side of a barn.

Jose Villarreal and Jack McBean forced a goal for the Galaxy through high press and a glorious finish by McBean on Tim Howard (who thought I'd ever type that? TWICE!). Though they then gave up a goal to Dillon Serna with some bad and lazy defending on a throw-in.

Overall there wasn't enough creativity to generate shots for LA over the first 45, but that was to be somewhat expected with a cobbled together starting XI. Jose Villarreal didn’t generate a ton of chances, and Gyasi Zardes was handcuffed to Nate Smith who once again looked like defending was a passing fancy.

That all turned around with some clever individual play by Joao Pedro, Romain Alessandrini (of course) and Bradford Jamieson IV. Each showed moments of quality by beating defenders and causing Colorado panic, leading to goals. It also helped that McBean decided to wear his finishing shoes.

Player Ratings

Excellent:

Jack McBean - what a fantastic brace! Nice finish off a mistake by the Rapids for his first goal this season, then a header forcing Howard into a save off a freekick he earned. But the capper was his glorious finish off a backheel for goal #2.

Good:

Clement Diop - came out and stood big against Gatt, and had a fantastic diving one handed save on a shot by Serna.

Bradford Jamieson IV - earned a PK with a nice swerving run immediately after he came on the pitch.

Romain Alessandrini - cheeky backheel to Jamieson forcing a penalty, and then of course the cheeky penalty on Tim Howard. Forced a save from Howard off a freekick.

Okay:

Joao Pedro - earned a yellow for a studs up challenge though it looked like no contact was made. Could have helped out Jaime Villarreal better, but his effort sticking to the ball and a nice cross earned McBean his second goal. Passing needs to be cleaner, especially towards the end of the game.

Jose Villarreal - looked like he earned a foul (PK) in first minute, then forced the Rapids error leading to McBean's first goal. Nice free kick to McBean who got a headed shot on target. Earned a foul in 54th minute for a dangerous freekick. Curler forcing Howard to a save in the 62nd minute.

Emmanuel Boateng - was one of the few creative outlets in the first hour using his speed to try and get free on the left.

Dave Romney - lost Gordon in the box after some careless defending by the Galaxy in minute 78, but overall no major gaffes and was quiet. Was still part of a backline that gave up 19 shots.

Jaime Villarreal - not enough mettle in midfield, and his passing game could have been better, but for his first major minutes in MLS, he helped earn a win.

Poor:

Ashley Cole - inexplicably fell deep leaving Serna all by himself for the Rapids first goal, though he was offered no help from the midfield with Boateng arriving late. Beat by another cross from the left in minute 52. On offense, several floated crosses straight to Tim Howard. Saved a shot with a dive in the box that led to Alessandrini's counter.

Jelle Van Damme - Gadji beat him in the first five minutes, and led the backline that gave up 19 shots. Swing and a miss on a cross in the 53rd minute, and was lucky nothing happened. Lifted his leg high (good stretching!) to prevent a header by Gordon in the box towards the end of the game. Left two Rapids players unmarked in the dying seconds, luckily the header went wide.

Nathan Smith - beat by Gatt ALL NIGHT LONG, earning a yellow card for his efforts. We should all yearn for Bradley Diallo. He also leaves Gyasi Zardes having to be stapled to him, taking away a critical midfielder and winger.

Gyasi Zardes - we expect him to score, but I'm not sure what he's supposed to do when he's in front of a player that is getting regularly beat. Part of the duo that got beat by Serna early, forcing the great save by Diop. Drove a yellow on Da Fonte. Had a headed shot on goal without enough power, and was off target to close the first half. Sadly for him, if the PK wasn't called I think he actually would have scored.