There are losses that drive you nuts. Bad calls, bad decisions, individual stupid errors. Then there are losses that still make you feel like the team made progress. This one was the latter. The first time the LA Galaxy played the Seattle Sounders they lost 3-0, and were basically spanked. The Sounders were the best team in the league, and LA didn’t even make them work for it. This time around, the Galaxy generated some lively attacks, and were it not for a crossbar (and to be fair, Bond), this game might have ended a bit differently.
The Galaxy’s movement from back to front is just way better. It’s less plodding, the players are better connected, and there are better players on the pitch for the passing game. This isn’t, “cross to a head and hope” that was played for ages. That said, this team is highly dependent on the final finish, and yesterday, they didn’t have it. Lletget was too far back from goal (covering for an injured dos Santos), and Cabral practically had a sign hanging off of him that said, “still not connecting.”
The upcoming addition of defensive midfielder Rayan Raveloson, should he perform, is an important one as it frees other players to be involved in the Galaxy attack. This team looks so close to having an identity, and we are watching their spirit phoenix up from the grave. They fought hard, and Seattle very much had to work for it.
Finally, Séga Coulibaly looks to be a find. He was composed, seemed to be there for the reset every time, his positioning was stellar, and he’s physical. Fans should be salivating at the thought of him and Williams together.
This one the Galaxy takes on the chin, learns and moves on. Not too shabby against the best team in the league — let’s recognize there’s more work to do as a yardstick.
- Jonathan Bond - great save in the 27th minute after Yeimar was left standing by himself to shoot. Another massive save at the death. Nothing he could do on either goal.
- Séga Coulibaly - had some communication issues with his goalkeeper and surprise inserted center back partner. Loved watching him sprint back to his position after corner kicks, and how vocal he was to what seemed like everyone. Even though he was part of the trio to let in Seattle’s second goal, I liked what he had to offer. He was smartly positioned and calm at all times. I’d like to see him with Williams. (That said, shades of Jelle Van Damme with his runs into the attacking third!). For his first game with a new partner, giving him the benefit of the doubt: Man of the Match
- Julian Araujo - Tremendous run with individual brilliance, served in a beauty of a cross to Chicharito in the 43rd minute. In general was very good cutting passes out and taking balls off of Seattle feet. Was part of the trio that let in Seattle’s second goal, and was almost burned at the end of the game when he was exhausted. It would be a crime if he is not seen at RB for the USMNT at the Gold Cup.
- Jorge Villafaña - served in a squared ball that just missed Chicharito in the 12th minute. Nice shot saved by Cleveland in the 85th minute. Was involved in the attack consistently.
- Chicharito - just missed scoring with a slide in the 12th minute. Earned a penalty with some body pinball in the first half (not sure why he let Sacha take the PK - that was weird). Squared pass that just missed Cabral in the 36th minute. Hit the crossbar in the 43rd minute.
- Víctor Vázquez - part of the lovely build-up on the Galaxy’s first chance at goal. Let in the pass that led to Seattle’s second goal — can’t step off those passes. Served in Villafaña for what looked like a sure goal (it was saved).
- Sacha Kjlestan - scored the PK in the first half to give the Galaxy the lead. Skied what should have been a shot on goal in the 53rd minute.
- Sebastian Lletget - sent in a lovely ball to Chicharito on a counter. Guarding nobody on Seattle’s second goal. I just don’t like how deep he had to play.
- Efraín Álvarez - played in the ball leading to the Galaxy penalty. But hesitated elsewhere and still needs to be more direct.
- Daniel Steres - injured shortly into the start of the match.
- Nick DePuy - lucky to not earn a card on a bad tackle in the first half. That said, took care of business after that, and in general wasn’t culpable on the Galaxy goals.
- Samuel Grandsir - within seconds tested the keeper - he was offside, but it was good to see a shot taken.
- Cameron Dunbar - late sub.
- Ethan Zubak - late sub.
- Kévin Cabral - I don’t like his ball hog tendencies. His passing game just needs to be flat out better. “Not on the same page as his teammates” is the slogan that’s practically stapled to his jersey.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.