Remember the days when the entire LA Galaxy attack was “cross and hope?” Yeah, me neither.
These days the attack is varied. With Vázquez on the pitch the Galaxy can build through the middle. Lletget and Álvarez add some creativity when they wander. Against the San Jose Earthquakes, it was the flanks. Cabral and Grandsir did some damage with dangerous crosses into the box (and not to heads) from the flanks that the Earthquakes could not handle. In particular, it was great to see Cabral stopping his tendency to dribble into oblivion, and instead use his speed to put promise into the 18. Yes, he missed a sitter, but he was there to miss it. In a different game he could have had three assists and a goal. That’s not just infinitely better than the last few games, it’s indicating that maybe we’re finally seeing what Vanney saw. Hope it continues.
Chicharito continued his Golden Boot scoring ways with two stellar finishes.
The Galaxy did have some luck with the goalpost bailing them out not once but three times, and Chofis leaving his shooting boots at home. That said, the defense made Wondo a non-entity. They did fall asleep at the end of the game, taking away a clean sheet.
Finally, love that Vanney played the kids when the game looked set. This was a great moment to give the veterans a break, and let the kids experiment. Cameron Dunbar was nearly a goat a few days ago, but trotted back out there and forced an own goal. Great managerial decisions from Vanney and trust of his (young) players.
There is some major optimism around this team, and it’s amazing to see.
- Chicharito - fantastic finish on LA’s first goal — he started the play, and ended it. Missed a second a few minutes later shooting off target while all by himself. Served in a decent ball to start the second half that Álvarez mishandled. Great run and fantastic finish on his second goal. Should have played in Cabral in the 69th minute when he stole the ball away (hey, he was on a hat trick!). Man of the Match
- Samuel Grandsir - what a delicious cross for an assist sent into Chicharito for the first goal. Just missed off a stunning cross from Cabral in the 30th minute.
- Kévin Cabral - fantastic cross to Grandsir in the 30th minute that almost generated an assist. Solid run close to the end of the second half that resulted in a cross that almost found Álvarez. He finally found his man in the 50th minute with a GREAT cross to Chicharito for an assist. Loved seeing the team congratulate him, he’s had a tough few weeks, and hopefully this is a turning point. Could have served in a better ball in the 67th minute when he somehow stood alone with no one within 20 feet of him. I literally don’t know how he didn’t score in the 81st minute, missing an absolute sitter.
- Jonathan Bond - solid save in the 59th minute through traffic.
- Julian Araujo - danced around the Quakes defense in the 80th minute…but chose to shoot instead of pass. In his defense, it was 3-0 at the time. Ball watching at the end of the game on the shot that hit the goalpost.
- Jorge Villafaña - Almost scored an own goal off a freekick, but his friend the goalpost bailed him out.
- Séga Coulibaly - ball watching leading to a Quakes chance in the 22nd minute. Two important clearances at the end of the game.
- Cameron Dunbar - made a miserable mistake last week, forced an own goal this week with a great run and squared ball.
- Ethan Zubak - killed what should have been a decent pass into the box in the 76th minute. Then sent in a fantastic pass that should have been an assist to Cabral.
- Efraín Álvarez - nothing much of note, continuing his trend of being so hit and miss.
- Sebastian Lletget - stepped up to Chofis too late in the box in the 49th minute, but luckily that good old goalpost came through again.
- Jonathan dos Santos - ball watching along with Coulibaly in the 22nd minute, but luckily San Jose didn’t capitalize. Started off the second goal with a stellar one touch pass to Chicharito.
- Víctor Vázquez/Sacha Kljestan - kept the ball moving in midfield to prevent any major disasters. Kljestan late to close the Quakes shot that hit the goalpost at the end of the game.
- Nick DePuy - important clearance in 8th minute after Araujo and all right side coverage caught up the pitch. Another solid clearance in the 58th minute right when a Quakes player was teeing up a shot. Got eaten alive by Chofis seconds later, but luckily Chofis couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn. Just got his foot onto a cross in the 76th minute. Got burned with Saldaña on the Earthquakes goal.
- Adam Saldaña - gotta do better on defense, kid. Responsible for the Quakes goal, and part of the shot that hit the goalpost at the end of the game.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.