The LA Galaxy entered Thursday’s game needing a win by three goals. Coach Schelotto did some work to help that: he benched Giancarlo Gonzalez (long, and I mean long overdue), and started another forward in Ethan Zubak. I was still dismayed by a few things: Perry Kitchen started the game, the Galaxy apparently still intend on crossing into oblivion (in the pouring rain), and Schelotto doesn’t believe in substitutes.
There was some decent soccer played in spurts, but overall the Galaxy still looked lacking of tactics, and like they need a new head coach. Yeah, I went there. I haven’t been impressed with Schelotto’s decisions this tournament, but more than that, his strategies. That is, if there are some, because I haven’t seen evidence of them yet.
The biggest learning that the Galaxy should take away from this game is that Nick DePuy should be starting and Gonzalez should be parked somewhere far, far away from the pitch.
Schelotto’s seat should be hot. DePuy may give him some life, but the front office should be looking far deeper than that. The Galaxy didn’t make the “playoffs,” and that should mean crisis mode for the front office.
· Julian Araujo – good defensive tracking back in the 14th minute defusing a potential strike. Whiffed in indecision on a great ball from Zubak in the 24th minute (to be fair, solid goalkeeper positioning on this one). Header on target in the 35th minute with a great leap, but saved. Made some bad decisions, but was a bright spot in the attack, giving Houston some moments of panic.
· Cristian Pavon – tested the keeper in the 11th minute. Forced the keeper into a save off of Lletget’s earned free kick. Scored a cheeky penalty to earn a draw. Should have had an assist to end the game.
· Sebastian Lletget – earned promising foul at the top of the box. Whiffed shot at very end of the game. But it was a better night for him, he helped drive the offense – with four key passes to show it.
· Ethan Zubak – served in a great ball in the 24th minute to Araujo that should have been met with something more promising. Decent shot in the 37th minute that went just wide. Shot on target to start the first half, but right at the keeper. WHY OH WHY DID YOU NOT CONTNUE YOUR RUN AT THE END OF THE GAME? WHY??????? Took away three points, but he was clearly exhausted. Three key passes.
· Nick DePuy – great defending in the 74th minute to poke the ball away. Decent passing, key pass, and 15 defensive actions. Where has this guy been?
· Diedie Traore – earned a soft penalty at the end of the game. Yes it was soft, but Houston had a handball seconds before.
· David Bingham – save on a point blank header in the 5th minute. Terrible positioning on Houston’s free kick goal. Save on another point blank shot to end the first half. Another save on a rolling free kick in the 85th. Would have had him in the good category, but I just can’t excuse the positioning on the free kick.
· Daniel Steres – along with his new partner in crime, acquitted himself decently in the center of the pitch.
· Rolf Feltscher – Not so accurate on offense tonight, but hey – he didn’t give up a goal!
· Joe Corona – gave up foul leading to Houston’s goal. Did his best to cover ground.
· Emiliano Insua – similar to Feltscher, not accurate into the box. Then again, why the Galaxy insisted on a million and three crosses is anyone’s guess. 34 crosses to Houston’s 12.
· Efrain Alvarez – late sub.
· Perry Kitchen – started the game out as I expect, letting his man waltz into the box and take a shot on target. Built on this with a series of unnecessary fouls in the middle. Heat map has him more forward than usual with some gaping homes in the back, as usual. The Galaxy need another defensive midfielder, yesterday.
· Emil Cuello – the first sub inserted to try and provide a spark. 14 passes, five off target. Majority of the forward passes were misses. Still unimpressed.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.