After a testy twenty minutes to start the game which was all Sporting KC, the LA Galaxy finally decided to provide midfield pressure (and stopped the panicked bootball to no one) and grew into the game. But once again unforced defensive errors did them in, not once, but twice in a 2-0 loss on Wednesday.
Greg Vanney just can’t seem to stop the defense from being porous. That’s partially on the players. Niko Hämäläinen can’t close down a man to save his life, and Séga Coulibaly constantly looks like a defensive error waiting to happen. Combine defensive errors with an attack that just can’t deliver the final ball, and that’s a recipe for a loss. And that’s what happened against Sporting Kansas City.
The offense was never able to get going. There was a ton of hero ball —dribbling into defenders and generating a turnover, and static passing in the final third. Jonathan dos Santos was busy covering for Rayan Raveloson who hasn’t actually played defense in midfield for weeks.
Set pieces continue to be a huge problem for the Galaxy — who can’t seem to clear a ball, nor attach any defenders to the opposing team. Something Vanney needs to work on in a hurry. Especially when the Galaxy give up 10+ corners to the opposing team!
Regardless, this team doesn’t look like playoff caliber, and they may not even make it. The last two games are going to be stressful.
- Nobody. A big old goose egg. No man of the match.
- Samuel Grandsir - nice pass to Lletget in the 16th minute to force a corner. Industrious, but no end result.
- Dejan Joveljić - tested the keeper in the 30th minute after a lovely pass from Vázquez. Didn’t do much else.
- Kévin Cabral - it’s like he has a magnet for the opposing goalkeeper. Hit him in the 90th minute (with a decent falling down shot, to be fair). At the same time, put in some decent passes into the six where there was a giant Chicharito sized hole.
- Sebastian Lletget - quiet in his minutes on the pitch.
- Jonathan dos Santos - was an important linchpin intercepting passes where Rayan didn’t. Constantly covering space in midfield where Rayan should have been.
- Derrick Williams - important clearance in the 71st minute.
- Julian Araujo - good clearance on the spot in the 11th minute. Quiet offensively.
- Victor Vázquez - nice cross into Raveloson in the 17th minute that was just missed. Sent in Dejan in the 30th minute with a lovely pass. His lazy play and mishandling led to Sporting’s first goal. He’s sometimes brilliant offensively, but plays ZERO defense.
- Sacha Kljestan - not enough time to provide a spark.
- Ethan Zubak/Efraín Álvarez - late subs.
- Niko Hämäläinen - his poor clearance led to Kansas City hitting the post in the second minute of the game. His umpteenth inability to shut down an opposing player led to Sporting KC’s first goal in the 40th minute. He has repeated this mistake countless times in the last few weeks. He did it again in the 57th minute and was lucky when Russell rushed his shot. Wish Villafaña was healthy.
- Oniel Fisher - pulled a Niko in the 82nd minute, and Russell took advantage with a golazo. SHUT THE OPPOSING PLAYER DOWN, folks.
- Rayan Raveloson - jogging behind the play on far too many occasions.
- Jonathan Bond - in no man’s land in the 4th minute trying to clear a ball over the top, he cleared it directly into the Kansas City player and the ball rebounded towards the net. Luckily Séga was able to clear. Flailed clearing a corner in the 12th minute. Beat near post on SKC’s first goal.
- Séga Coulibaly - beat by a long ball in the 4th minute, continued running to clear a rebound that was goal destined. Mishandled the ball on the way to Sporting KC’s first goal. Important poke away of the ball near the goal line in the 60th minute. Constantly looked like he was on skates.
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