This one felt like a trap game, and it also had environmental factors going for it. The San Jose Earthquakes had been drubbed by the Seattle Sounders earlier in the week, and the LA Galaxy were flying high having won four in a row. Then there was the added layer of unhealthy air quality due to the California wildfires, which can’t be fun for anyone playing in it. Knowing all of that, a point on the road shouldn’t feel terrible, but the way it was achieved, in a snoozefest of a game, feels like a downer.
We may want to give the team a mulligan on this one, but they looked like the “MLS Is Back” LA Galaxy, opposed to the “Take LAFC to the cleaners” LA Galaxy.
Many Galaxy players tried to be too cute in the first half, and shoot on sight. Somewhere in row Z there are a bunch of soccer balls. The team lacked composure in the final 18 throughout the game. That is when they got there; Pavon for instance was mystifyingly absent from the final 18.
This continued in the second half, though the insertion of Chicharito and Jonathan dos Santos did bring some sustained pressure for about ten minutes. Mostly because dos Santos kept the ball and pulled the team forward compared to Corona and Kitchen in the first half.
That pressure waned, the Galaxy regressed to the play of their opponents, and there were 2 shots on target for both teams over 90 minutes. Zzzzzzzz.
But hey, a clean sheet! The Galaxy haven’t lost since DePuy became a regular. The entire defense gets a star this time around.
- Did I mention this was a snoozefest?
- Efrain Alvarez - Hit the post after San Jose decided to give him a year and an acre to shoot. Didn’t show the same decisiveness in the second half when he was through on goal, scuffed his shot. 2 key passes. Man of the Match
- Daniel Steres - Earned a yellow on a tactical foul in the 17th minute. 14 defensive actions.
- Nick DePuy - Critical intervention in the 20th minute. Good clearance to start the second half. 14 defensive actions.
- Emiliano Insua - got back quickly and smartly on a San Jose counter in the second half.
- Julian Araujo - really good tackle in the 29th minute…twice. Then decided to be out to lunch in the 34th minute on a corner kick. Let his man wander, then didn’t mark a man on the follow-up. That said, overall nice defending from him on the night, and his 15 defensive actions show it.
- David Bingham - Bad punch, made a meal of a free kick in the first half. Luckily saved the subsequent shot.
- Chicharito - was brighter than Zubak in his time on the field, as he should be. Smarter and more promising runs.
- Jonathan dos Santos - had the same amount of passes as Kitchen in a shorter amount of time, needs more minutes.
- Sacha Kljestan - late sub
- Cristian Pavon - also played defense. But it was a rare off night for the star, and he never really appeared in the final 18 except to take some field goals. [I know, it’s weird to see him in this category for me, too. He’s due one.]
- Sebastian Lletget - Tested the keeper off a corner kick in the second half. But his passing map is a sea of red. Could be a little bit of a hangover.
- Ethan Zubak - not a good game, killed several promising attacks by not continuing his run, or turning over the ball.
- Perry Kitchen - lucky his lack of closing down his man was ruled offside in the second half. He had a disappointing amount of touches in midfield.
- Joe Corona - midfield passing a sea of red, not good and likely why he was subbed.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.