It’s almost go time.
Galaxy fans have seen the highlights of Carlos Vela, Diego Rossi et al. thrashing MLS sides, but few have the full scope on what makes Bob Bradley’s efficient attacking system function. To get an idea of what Galaxy fans are in for, we spoke with one of the preeminent experts on the club: Angels on Parade’s own Alicia Rodriguez.
LAG Confidential: Do LAFC have any weaknesses the Galaxy can exploit in the attack?
Angels on Parade: They’re not perfect, LAFC are still vulnerable to speed and opponents attacking in numbers, like basically any team. They make mistakes sometimes -- Eddie Segura has been outstanding this season but he’s made two notable mistakes, although neither led to a loss. Tyler Miller looked really rusty in the last game, so if he’s not at his best that could be an issue. If I were the Galaxy, and LAFC were already leading, I’d work to get under their skin, not play dirty but try to unsettle them mentally, see if they snap in a rivalry atmosphere. They haven’t yet, but with the games from last year at the back of a few players minds, it could lead to a silly red card or penalty and then who knows what could happen.
LAG Confidential: Reading up on the Diego Rossi to Russia rumors, there’s no way the Uruguayan takes off now correct? Though you have to imagine the considerable interest in the talented striker means this very well may be his final season in LA.
Angels on Parade: You never know what the future may bring, right? I agree that it probably isn’t a sale LAFC are pushing for at this stage, since Rossi is the second-leading scorer and I think you can make a good case he hasn’t really been great much of the year, weird as it is to say. But LAFC don’t strike me as a team to let sentiment cloud their judgment, either. I imagine they have a precise amount they are willing to accept and won’t worry too much until that figure is met. Do I think Krasnodar is the team that would be able to afford that price? I don’t, but you never know what can happen. We often hear about young players we like a lot in MLS being “on the verge” of leaving for Europe any window now, but I think in Rossi’s case he will be moving on within the next couple of years.
LAG Confidential: Is Tyler Miller still the starting goalkeeper or has backup Pablo Sisniega done enough to contend for the job?
Angels on Parade: I think Sisniega was fantastic in the six games he featured while Miller was at the Gold Cup, posting a 4-2-0 record and playing without a full first-choice defense throughout. But I think it would be unfair to bench Miller. It was great he was called up to the Gold Cup, but it was not great that he never played (I didn’t expect him to play but I think it is unfortunate he was the only player on the USMNT who didn’t play at all). He was rusty in his return to action, a wild and somewhat incredible road win in Houston last week on the shortest rest possible for the squad. If he starts playing erratically all the time? Ok, maybe we re-examine, but Miller had been flawless this season. One of his issues in 2018 was that he was inconsistent, sometimes bailing out the defense by standing on his head and other times coughing up juicy rebounds for opponents to score on. He has been far more steady this season, and hasn’t made mistakes. He absolutely deserves the benefit of the doubt for one shaky game that was his first game action in over a month.
Thanks again to Angels on Parade for their valuable time.