After a high to start the season, this 3-0 loss for the LA Galaxy against the Seattle Sounders reinforced some of the concerns about the defense in the first two games. Porous is the operative word, in particular down the right flank. Julian Araujo has not had a good start to the season defensively, and the Galaxy have to sort him out in a hurry.
Derrick Williams can take a mulligan since he’s coming back from injury, and he’s learning his teammates. But he’s got to provide more at centerback, as Nick Depuy came crashing down to earth.
Offensively it was a predictable first half (did we not learn about crosses to nowhere from 2020?). I was surprised to see a conversion to the formation that didn’t seem to work the first two games, and still didn’t work. Though the Galaxy did generate some chances, the hopeful crosses into the box from the flanks didn’t generate anything as we had seen time and time again.
It was refreshing to see Greg Vanney admit he was wrong, and not wait until the 60th minute to make changes. With his half-time changes, the second half started much brighter with the switch to the 4-4-2. The Galaxy strung together some promising chances, but couldn’t convert, and that momentum evaporated after 20 minutes and Lodeiro’s insertion.
This was a nice wakeup call about the defense and a reminder that the Galaxy have work to do against the better teams in the league. LA hope that Williams and Steres figure it out in a hurry, and can we hire a defensive coach for Araujo? Sebastian Lletget being back will also be a big help in midfield, though not having a true defensive midfielder (not named Perry Kitchen) is a hole that is becoming glaringly obvious.
The good: Bond looks decent, and without him things would have been much worse.
Finally, as all sports fans know, we’re superstitious. Go back to the community kits.
- Jonathan Bond - great reaction to come off his line in the 10th minute to prevent a goal. Stopped a long distance shot from Rowe. Another great shot stopped in the 80th minute after DePuy was left in the dust. Man of the Match
- Samuel Grandsir - Tested the keeper after a beautiful run and first touch in the 27th minute. Sent in a great ball to a streaking Araujo and Chicharito that should have been rewarded. Much better game and the first signs of life that he might be decent.
- Chicharito - just missed a goal in the 52nd minute off a stellar run.
- Victor Vazquez - sent in a curling cross in the 52nd minute that looked destined for a Chicharito goal.
- Jonathan Dos Santos - he controlled the midfield, but he’s not a defensive midfielder, and it’s looking glaringly obvious the Galaxy need one.
- Efrain Alvarez - nice combinations with Araujo to start. Bad giveaway in the 10th minute led to a chance for Roldan. Beautiful ball to Grandsir led to a shot on target in the 27th minute. Yanked at the half.
- Ethan Zubak - industrious but no end result.
- Jonathan Perez - late sub.
- Oniel Fisher - beat on Seattle’s first goal down the left, and flat footed with Araujo on Seattle’s second. Yanked at the half.
- Jorge Villafana - beat down the right on Seattle’s second goal, got nutmegged. Less culpable than the others, but the defense is a unit!
- Sacha Kljestan - giveaway machine to start the second half.
- Cameron Dunbar - bad giveaway while running to nowhere in the 75th minute. DePuy bailed him out.
- Julian Araujo - played midfield to start after last week’s defensive disaster. Got caught flat footed on Seattle’s second goal. Moved to defense in the second half and still looked adrift. Broke up a long field pass in the 67th minute, and deflected a shot out in the 75th minute. Too far up on Seattle’s third.
- Derrick Williams - blocked shot in the 5th minute. Ball watching and left Ruidiaz all by himself on Seattle’s first goal. Hope he gets better and his removal was less about performance and more about his first game in months on turf.
- Daniel Steres - poked a good ball away in the 73rd minute, but part of the porous defense.
- Nick DePuy - best slide tackles ever - another great one in the 75th minute. However, stripped badly in the 80th minute leading to a Bond save. Bailed out by his friend the post after being beat by a considerably shorter Seattle player in the air. Then lost Ruidiaz on the final goal. Woof.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.