The fight to come back from multiple goals down was epic in Sunday’s 3-3 draw against Minnesota United, but it wasn’t enough, and it was endemic of a problem that plagued the LA Galaxy all season long: a leaky defense.
And it’s not just about the back four. Greg Vanney couldn’t figure out the right midfield rotation to stop the leaking, and the team couldn’t put together pressure as a unit — in particular in transition. This killed the Galaxy over 2021, and it killed them in a game where it mattered the most — a game with playoff implications.
The Galaxy had matters in their own hands, and they just couldn’t get the job done.
In terms of individual errors, the USMNT has to hope that this Julian Araujo shows up to the Mexico camp. He’s been solid for the vast majority of the season, but tonight he laid an out of nowhere defensive egg. To his credit, he was a man on fire for the last hour trying to make up for it.
Kévin Cabral is one of the worst finishers this team has ever seen, and with due respect to Vanney, I don’t know if that’s changing any time soon. Rayan Raveloson started on fire in 2021, then apparently missed that feeling because he was too far up midfield for the rest of the season and refused to play the position he was hired for: defensive midfielder.
Chicharito’s nose for goal is tremendous, but he has got to stay healthy over the course of a season. Jonathan dos Santos may have played his last game as a Galaxy player.
There is a ton of work to do in the offseason, as this squad still needs reinforcements, and it needs another Designated Player. Not sure why the Galaxy went and got another forward if they never played him.
It feels bad to miss the playoffs (even worse when you look at LA’s record over the last several years), but this team wasn’t playoff-caliber, as they showed at the very end. Vanney gets another season to make things right. And he better, because this franchise needs to climb back to relevancy in a hurry.
- Chicharito - bad pass in the 13th minute led to a Minnesota counter, but MNUFC squandered it with a long shot. With a bit of individual brilliance in the box, turned a volley into a shot that forced the keeper into a save. Decent hold up play to start the first half, followed up by a great finish on Araujo’s pass. Then scored another goal falling down, on a volley, in the 75th minute to tie the game. Man of the Match
- Kévin Cabral - forced the keeper into a save on a very good volleyed shot in the 32nd minute. Gave up a dangerous free kick in the 36th minute. Fantastic assist on the first goal — it was intended for Chicharito, but resulted in a goal regardless. Very involved in the attack in the second half, with not much payout. Not enough power on a shot in the 94th minute, could have been the game-winner. He needs to work on finishing every single dingle day in the offseason.
- Victor Vázquez - won the ball back to start the sequence on the Galaxy’s first goal. Other than that, nothing in the first half. No look secondary assist to start the second goal sequence.
- Sebastian Lletget - ball watching along with dos Santos on MUFC’s second goal. Loved that he continued his run to score in the first half, loved even more that he didn’t celebrate, picked up the ball, and got on with business.
- Samuel Grandsir - nothing of note.
- Niko Hämäläinen - couldn’t do much up the left to get the offense going, main attack still came from Julian’s side.
- Oniel Fisher - worked a nice one-two with Lletget in the 14th minute that almost found Chicharito. Important interception on a Reynoso shot in the 34th minute. Pulled in favor of Niko and offense in the first half.
- Sacha Kljestan - missed what would have been the game-winning goal at the end of the game.
- Efraín Álvarez - hot and cold to end the season, like he seems he always is.
- Jonathan Bond - bad goalkeeping on Minnesota’s second goal, late to the far post. Saved an olimpico in the 37th minute. Saved a long range shot in the 77th minute, but let it rebound. Held his ground on the Minnesota penalty, which might have led to the missed shot. Still…three goals let in.
- Jonathan dos Santos - ball watching on MNUFC’s second goal.
- Derrick Williams - emergency defending on a dangerous free kick in the 36th. Important foot in to deflect a shot in the 45th minute. Gave up an unfortunate penalty while turning around in the 87th minute — it was ultimately missed.
- Nick DePuy - important block to end the first half. Amazingly, the two center backs were not the major culprits in this game.
- Rayan Raveloson - giveaway overdribbling in the 28th minute nearly led to a Minnesota goal. Way too much jogging in the middle of the pitch defensively. Did weave his way through keeping the ball on the way to the Galaxy’s first goal. Shot wide after being set up by Chicharito to start the half. He just doesn’t do enough defending.
- Julian Araujo - cleaned up his trap error with a sliding block in the 4th minute after essentially providing a nice pass to the Minnesota offense. Quit on what he thought was an offside call, which resulted in a goal on a counter. Through ball to Cabral in the 32nd minute that resulted in a save. Earned a yellow card for a stomp. Great assist to Chicharito on the Galaxy’s second goal. Huge error on an own goal, accidentally scoring with an extended leg. Goal-saving tackle in the 77th minute. Sent in a cross that looked that it might provide the game winner in the 92nd minute. I hate putting him here, but two goals were on him.
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