With the length of Derrick Williams’ suspension looming large over the LA Galaxy, they were forced to do some shuffling in the back. Luckily Steres and DePuy were able to do just enough, with some additional help from the fullbacks. But mostly, Jonathan Bond has been the MVP of the team’s first 7 games. Yes, even over a certain Chicharito.
The Galaxy started with no defensive midfielder - evident immediately when no one tracked a late run through midfield for a shot on goal. It was also glaringly evident for the nail biting final fifteen minutes of the game, even though Adam Saldaña had been subbed in.
Even with no DM, the Galaxy controlled the play on balance, until about the 80th minute, where the San Jose Earthquakes ran rampant, and the Galaxy are extremely lucky they didn’t exit with a loss.
All of this was due to Jonathan Bond continuing his stellar play. San Jose had an xG of 2.2, higher than the Galaxy’s 1.5, and yet they walked out with a loss. Bond’s double save towards the end of the game was a glittering highlight. I have no idea who scouted him, but they should get a raise. Tomorrow.
Add to that Grandsir’s first lucky goal, and the Galaxy have to be happy with these three points.
Their offense still needs some work: Cabral and Alvarez need to work on their finishing, and I wish Grandsir had more speed. Dos Santos being out with an injury isn’t good either. Dunbar seems to have some upside, which is a great sign.
The Galaxy are second in the league on PPG. If you aren’t happy about that, I need to have words with you.
- Jonathan Bond - save to start the first half on a late run from Chofís. Great save on Wondo in the 64th minute. Another leg save in the 79th minute. Double save in the 82nd minute - one on a long distance shot, and the other right in his face while lying down. Whoever scouted him deserves ALL THE RAISES. 12 out of San Jose’s 18 shots were on target. Man of the Match
- Julian Araujo - sent in a delicious cross that should have been rewarded in the 18th minute (back post run anyone?). Earned his customary yellow card for a dumb tackle to start the second half, but he’s been so good defensively, I can’t get myself to care. Great last ditch tackle in the 56th minute. Just missed a goal off a header in the 75th minute. Excellent defending on Salinas in the 80th minute.
- Cameron Dunbar - nice speed from midfield to challenge the SJ defense. Good interplay with Alvarez in the 15th minute. Fed Alvarez again (between two defenders, no less) in the 51st minute. I want to see more of this young man.
- Jorge Villafana - served in a nice cross in the 75th minute that Araujo just missed. No other major mistakes, did his defensive job.
- Samuel Grandsir - his physicality helped, staying on his feet and forcing an own goal. Served up Cabral seconds later, though Cabral missed. A goal for twenty minutes is nothing bad.
- Kevin Cabral - sent a nice ball into the box in the 9th minute. Left two players with broken ankles in the 20th minute with an individual moment of brilliance crashing on goal - his resulting shot was cleared off the line. Please no harebrained backheels straight to the opposing team resulting in a shot on goal. Disappeared in the second half…until a misplaced shot while wide open.
- Chicharito - made a defender draw a yellow card. Couldn’t connect on a header to start the second half.
- Efrain Alvarez - shot just wide in the 15th minute after a lovely touch to set up a shot. Missed chipping the keeper after some bad distribution in the first half. Shot wide after a great ball from Dunbar in the 51st minute. He was in the right place, but the finish was missing.
- Jonathan dos Santos - shot on target headed out. Good sliding tackle off a San Jose freekick. Earned a yellow card after a poor DePuy pass. Came out injured, a big blow for the Galaxy.
- Daniel Steres - hit the crossbar with a header off a corner kick, but the emergency defending in the final 15 paid out.
- Nick DePuy - missed his runner in the 79th minute, Bond bailed him out like usual. That said, the game ended 1-0 Galaxy.
- Adam Saldaña - the kid had dancing shoes on to avoid defenders, but not much defense. I don’t get him (so far).
- Victor Vasquez - inventive in midfield, but he doesn’t play defense, which didn’t help the Galaxy in the final ten minutes.
- Ethan Zubak - late sub.
- Sacha Kljestan - looked slow though he connected on a couple of counters. His passes were just not quite on target, including in the box. Earned a yellow card toward the end of the game.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.