WELCOME BACK LA GALAXY SOCCER!!!!!
Man, that felt like that break was FOREVER, didn’t it? Happy the year of the wooden spoon is over, and let’s not repeat that shall we?
The LA Galaxy had stretches in this game against the Timbers where the offense clicked and looked delightful. Ola Kamara provided runs that the Galaxy have been missing, and there was a joy in the team that hasn’t been there in ages. Plus, the Galaxy could have scored something like 5 goals, which is amazing remembering the dire stretches last year where it looked like goal scoring would require an act of God. However, the defense still looked dicey at times with players out of position, abject lunges for the ball leaving gaping holes, and losses of physical duels.
It was an adventure to end the game with LA lucky to close the game out, and Jair Marrufo had some fun reffing this game, but hey, three points is three points. Plus a home win to start the season.
The horrible news is Romain Alessandrini with a pulled hamstring. Huge loss for the Galaxy, and here’s to hoping he gets well asap. This is not going to help LA’s start, and the Galaxy will need Sebastian Lletget to be able to play 90 minutes sooner rather than later.
Too early to rate anyone here just yet. Little bit of rust, little bit of dust.
- Emmanuel Boateng - Repeatedly annihilated Powell down the left. When Cole went down in minute 16, tracked back 30 yards to make a wonderful defensive play. Beat Powell down the right in the 32nd minute only to have Portland clear the pass at the last minute. Fantastic pass to Kamara after a lung busting run to set up goal number two. Missed what looked like goal three at the start of the second half, and again in the 73rd minute when the ball dribbled to him and he scored a field goal.
- Jonathan Dos Santos - Lucky after a terrible one touch pass in the defensive third led to a shot on goal from Portland. But delivered the lovely cross field pass straight to Feltscher’s head to set up Kamara’s goal and was a force in the second half all over the pitch (until the last 10 minutes).
- Romain Alessandrini - Nice defensive play in third minute, lovely cross that Kamara should have tested the keeper on. Horrible tackle on Farfan earned him a yellow card. Was in the middle of yelling at him for taking an extra touch when he scored off his own rebound. Great switch to Boateng for what looked like could have been goal number 3. Ended up with 2 key passes and 1 goal.
- Ola Kamara - Missed a great cross from Romain at the start of the game. GREAT runs to test the Portland back line, but the LA midfield just couldn’t find him at times (with Giovani the main culprit). Finally broke through in the 32nd minute off a looping header from Feltscher for LA’s first goal. Great promise for the future, and had 3 key passes and a goal. Not too shabby for his first start.
- Ashley Cole - Didn’t do much wrong, his side wasn’t the issue.
- Sebastian Lletget - Served up a delightful cross to Boateng in his first minute of the game and came up just short of scoring twice. Literally did more in three minutes than Giovani Dos Santos in 70.
- Jorgen Skjelvic - Solid defensive play on a Portland corner to start the game. Weak play in the 27th minute against Adi where he whiffed on the ball, but was thankfully bailed out by Ciani (something I thought I’d never type after 2017). Also a bad proponent of boot ball to nowhere (like Omar initial seasons bad).
- Rolf Feltscher - Looping header assist to Kamara for first LA goal, which creeps him into the OK category as otherwise he didn’t have a good night. Got drawn inside and beat for Portland’s first goal. Not good one on one.
- Michael Ciani - Muscles Adi off the ball after a miscue by Skjelvic in the 27th minute. Took an extra touch (defender’s touch) on a ball in the box but looked like he earned a penalty kick. Pulled a Jermaine Jones by diving forward and was out of position on Portland’s first goal. Earned a yellow card on a tactical foul towards the end of the game. Most defensive actions of the LA backline, and a major improvement over last season.
- David Bingham - Aware save after a TERRIBLE pass from Jonathan Dos Santos in the first half. Unfortunate leg placement on Portland’s first goal. Great save on a line drive Timbers free kick in the 85th minute.
- Perry Kitchen - Mo major errors, but had some struggles cleaning up Portland’s action and shuttling passes forward. Not very many defensive actions either. Suspect he’s playing a bit of catch up.
- Chris Pontius - lumbered around and looked infinitely less nimble than Alessandrini.
- Giovani Dos Santos - Fewest touches of any player in the first half. Lots of passes that just fell short. Whiffed on a stationary ball that literally fell to him after a counter. Murdered his own counters with lousy first touches. Mercifully subbed by Lletget (good for Sigi Schmid who had the cojones to remove Gio).
MOTM: Yes, Ema Boateng could have scored at least two, but he was the start of everything good the Galaxy had against the Timbers. He needs to stay calm and keep his shots down, but his ability to be a pest for almost the full 90 was a delight to watch.