The Galaxy started the game flat and grew in intensity as the game wore on, but unfortunately were not able to capitalize on late game energy versus Sporting Kansas City. Having the better of chances, the Galaxy hit the goalframe three times, but were not able to maximize their opportunities. In contrast, Sporting Kansas City took advantage of lax David Bingham positioning, and moments of sloppiness from the LA defense to take two goals, and ultimately the win.
The defense has to get better along with an offense that does look like it can score goals with the players at hand. Feltscher and Cole spend time going up the pitch, but it leaves the defense exposed. To top that off, Felscher seems utterly determined to cross to the shortest man on the pitch in Boateng. Skjelvik and Steres lumber along, and get beat by balls over the top. Perry Kitchen has to get back in time rather than being a spectator, and relieve pressure by making some forward passes. David Bingham looked terrible in his positioning. The defense needs work, and it’s reflected in the ratings below.
· Ema Boateng – nice pass to Cole for what looked like a goal in the 43rd minute except for an excellent save and woodwork. Also set up what looked like a goal to Dos Santos to start the 2nd half. These made up 2 of his 3 key passes.
· Zlatan Ibrahimovic – instant danger with good movement and a SKC defense that tracked him at all times. Swerving shot that needed to be saved in the 77th minute, though most of his shots were directly at the opposing goalkeeper.
· Jonathan Dos Santos – just missed a goal after a Boateng lay off to start the 2nd half. Was everywhere in midfield, though his longer passes were somewhat suspect.
· Chris Pontius – header off the post in the 36th minute, but otherwise pretty anonymous.
· Ola Kamara – scuffed a shot after a decent pass from Dos Santos. Was shocked when I looked at the stats – he had 6 key passes!
· Sebastian Lletget - some initial moments of brightness as a sub, but faded from the game as SKC clogged up the midfield.
· Romain Alessandrini – just couldn’t get involved in the first half, likely rust. Hit the crossbar with a wonderful volley, tested the SKC goalkeeper twice, but looks like he’s coming back into game fitness. His passing game is cringe worthy in the boxscore.
· Rolf Feltscher – near miss on header off a short corner, but a bit awol in this game with low defensive actions and a tendency to backpass in the final third.
· Daniel Steres – crucial clearance in 19th minute after Cole got beat, great tackle later in the half. However, earned a yellow card on Shelton, and beat by Russell for SKC’s second goal.
· Jorgen Skjelvik – hopefully being beat over the top isn’t a repeated pattern, because it’s starting to look suspect. Looked sluggish in positioning quite often. Missed a goal in the second half by shooting straight at the goalkeeper, but he’s a centerback, so we forgive him on that one.
· Perry Kitchen – literally watched SKC score on the corner as a passenger, hope he doesn’t make ball watching a habit. He’s not as prevalent in midfield as Jonathan Dos Santos, making me think Jonathan is having to cover for more movement than he should. Wondering if Perry is still feeling out the game, because all he’s doing is shuttling the ball sideways or backwards. Not good enough to relieve pressure (and likely why Baggio Husidic had such an impact last week).
· Ashley Cole – crucial intervention in the 13th minute with a stuck out foot. Beat in the 19th minute, but luckily Steres bailed him out. Great shot that forced a great save in the 43rd minute after a nice run. Beat by Russell for SKC’s second goal, and tested by Russell multiple times in the second half. Four key passes. Think he got bitten by the offense bug after assisting Zlatan as he spent more time than usual up the pitch. Almost put him in the okay category, but I just can’t ignore the defensive miscues.
· David Bingham – lucky SKC’s header wasn’t on target in the 20th minute after he got muscled off the ball. Bad positioning on Zusi’s freekick, and on the subsequent corner that led to the first goal. Didn’t cover himself in glory on SKC’s second goal either. Woof.
Man of the Match – Ema Boateng. On another night, he’s got two assists.