A tale of two halves, Greg Vanney made three substitutions in the second half that turned the tide in a 2-2 draw for the LA Galaxy against FC Dallas on Saturday.
In the first half, similar to previous games, the Galaxy moved the ball up the pitch, but composure in the final third was distinctly lacking, with the possible exception of Victor Vázquez. So many passes to FC Dallas feet or crosses to nowhere. The final third was a sea of missed passes — and it didn’t matter location; centrally or flanks the Galaxy just couldn’t find another teammate.
In addition, Efraín Álvarez continued his profligacy in front of goal. He’s had decent chances in the last week, but couldn’t seem to get around the keeper. He finally does, and the Galaxy’s goal difference in the first half gets infinitely better.
The insertion of Grandsir, Lletget and Kljestan in the second half brought on a distinct lack of fear (Grandsir), and some creativity in passing forward (Lletget and Kljestan). This finally got the forwards some chances, with a tidal wave of pressure up the pitch. It was ALL Galaxy from about the 60th minute on, and they finally broke through. Kljestan and Grandsir in combination were particularly exciting.
Finally: how Chicharito scores goals while falling down is beyond me. Also, please stop the acting.
It’s going to be a squeaky final few games. Don’t take anything for granted.
- Samuel Grandsir - tested the keeper in the 53rd minute with a direct shot, even though finding an open Cabral would have been the better choice. Great tracking back to prevent a goal in the 60th minute. Got an assist on a fantastic cross (and neat footwork) in the 83rd minute. Man of the Match
- Jonathan Bond - parry save on a point blank shot in the 23rd minute. Saved the first shot in the 41st minute, but gave up the rebound which resulted in FC Dallas’s second goal. Bailed out Fisher with an impressive one-on-one save in the 59th minute.
- Chicharito - nonexistent in the first half. Looked absolutely uncomfortable taking the penalty, but hey, he sank it. His header off a free kick was goalbound, but ultimately cleared by Matt Hedges. Set up Dejan on what looked like a sure goal in the 77th minute but the forward skied it.
- Victor Vázquez - gorgeous cross in the 8th minute that was just missed by Williams. Sent in Álvarez in the 38th minute with a brilliantly weighted throughball but the youngster couldn’t get past the FC Dallas keeper.
- Sacha Kljestan - subbed on, and nearly got an assist immediately. Directly involved in the majority of second half pressure.
- Sebastian Lletget - looked like he had a secondary assist on an actual throughball, but nope. Scored an absolute beaut with an extended foot in the 83rd minute.
- Derrick Williams - great headed clearance in the 6th minute on what would have been a player in on goal. Stood up his man in the 22nd minute to prevent a shot on goal. Great tackle in the 72nd minute to clear a ball.
- Efraín Álvarez - should have passed to a wide open Cabral to start the game. Couldn’t finish around the keeper after Álvarez sent him through in the 38th minute.
- Dejan Joveljić - rushed and skied his shot after Chicharito set him up in the 77th minute. The forward has got to score these.
- Niko Hämäläinen - rinse and repeat: stood off his man in the 23rd minute, who got a cross in which resulted in a shot on goal. Niko takes social distancing to a new level. His last ditch slide seconds later prevented a goal.
- Kévin Cabral - should have done better on a cross In the 23rd minute that missed everyone…and resulted in a counter attack. Repeated the exact same thing in the 52nd minute - WHILE LOOKING AT THE ENTIRE LINE (and was ultimately offside, but still). Mercifully subbed in the 57th minute. How was this the same player from a few days ago?
- Oniel Fisher - no Julian Araujo, he let a player get by him in the 41st minute, a mistake that ultimately resulted in a FC Dallas goal. Good man-on-man defending in the 56th minute prevented a shot. Nearly singlehandedly let in a third FC Dallas goal in the 59th minute by absolutely whiffing on a defensive header. Araujo can’t come back fast enough.
- Jonathan Dos Santos - subbed for a more creative presence in Lletget in the second half.
- Rayan Raveloson - couldn’t get his shot on target when Álvarez set him up in the 27th minute. Too late to shut down the danger — literally jogging — on FC Dallas’s first goal.
- Nick DePuy - got lucky in the 17th minute when his wide open man Pomykal got the ball trapped under his feet in the box. His errant casual clearance resulted in FC Dallas’s first goal. Beat on the rebound on the second FC Dallas goal.
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