In their most organized performance to date this season, the LA Galaxy earned three points on the road against their dreaded rivals LAFC. Not only that, they held LAFC to a shutout, something the defense should take pride in. There was an entire team commitment to defending which we hadn’t seen in weeks, and the fullbacks were caught upfield less often, which helped the center backs. And we didn’t see 1,000 crosses to nowhere!! A complete performance, and the better team earned the “W.”
Watching Galaxy midfielders make late runs to steal the ball off LAFC forwards right at the top of the 18 was glorious. Also glorious was the Galaxy creating chances from the run of play. But most impressive was a defense that gave up few chances, meaning I could put defenders in a rating category they hadn’t seen in months!
Though one note: In 90 degree heat, LAFC’s coach Bob Bradley used all five of his subs by the time the Galaxy used one. Not sure why the Galaxy’s coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto hates subbing, but it burned him in the MLS Is Back tournament, and it will burn him again going forward. He’s got to take advantage of tactical subs and it’s something I’d like to see him doing going forward.
Schelotto’s seat just got a little less hot.
- Cristian Pavon - set up a nice play in the box in the 10th minute. Involved in the build up to the Galaxy’s second goal. Weaved through the LAFC defense (a frequent occurrence), to send a squared pass into the box that should have seen the Galaxy up 3-0. Set up Kljestan in the 86th minute. That said, sometimes could be selfish with his dribbling…but I’m quibbling.
- Julian Araujo - served in a beautiful assist on Zubak’s goal. Earned a yellow card minutes later giving up a dangerous free kick. Served in a nice ball that Pavon mishandled. Earned a second assist after spotting Lletget at the back post. Man of the Match.
- Ethan Zubak - scored his first MLS goal with an excellent header off a rehearsed corner. Nice job, young man. Should have had number two in the 61st minute off a stellar play by Pavon — instead shinned the ball to nowhere. Very few touches, but he made one of them count.
- Sebastian Lletget - great run on the left rewarded with a cross from Araujo, and a goal with a fantastic finish. Tested the keeper again in the 80th minute on a cross from Pavon. He was at his active best.
- Emiliano Insua - nice play to steal the ball from Vela to start the game. Critical clearance in the 79th minute. Stole the ball off Rossi in the 86th minute.
- Daniel Steres - blocked a decent shot in the 18th minute.
- Nick Depuy - critical block in the 56th minute. Stuffed Bradley Wright-Phillips and Rossi back to back in the 88th minute. Not so great with his distribution, but who cares right now? Steres must want to hug him every day for not being Giancarlo Gonzalez.
- Rolf Feltscher - critical header away from Wright-Phillips in the 77th minute. He was a turnover machine, but he locked down his side…for once.
- Joe Corona - the fact I have nothing to write here is a good thing.
- David Bingham - terrible ball out of the back in the 13th minute that was almost punished. Nice save on Rossi’s free kick to end the game.
- Perry Kitchen - earned a yellow card for who knows whatever reason. Gave up a dumb free kick in the 93rd minute by fouling Rossi. Many of his forward passes were misses. But…he was part of a defense that kept LAFC to zero.
- Jonathan Dos Santos - got 30 minutes in to eliminate some rust. Victory.
- Efrain Alvarez - tested the keeper in the 89th minute.
- Sacha Kljestan - sent in a beautiful cross field ball to set up Alvarez in the 89th minute.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.