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LA Galaxy pleasantly surprised to find Rayan Raveloson can score

An unexpected treat so far from the newcomer.

MLS: LA Galaxy at Real Salt Lake Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

LA Galaxy newcomer Rayan Raveloson had scored 10 goals at first team club level in France for second-division sides Tours and Troyes.

He now has three goals in his first four games with the Galaxy.

The Malagasy international, a defensive midfielder who deputized in central defense for one of those games, has been money the last three games, as he’s scored in each match and has largely kept LA afloat with leading scorer Chicharito sidelined by injury.

Given his position and his previous scoring rate as a professional, did the Galaxy know he would be this adept at scoring?

Head coach Greg Vanney admitted in talking to reporters on Friday that it was a surprise.

“So I knew he was very capable in the air,” Vanney said. “I knew he was an excellent jumper and his timing is proven to be phenomenal in terms of being patient and reading where the player is going to go, where the ball is going to go, and attacking it. Obviously his heading technique is proven to be good. It wasn’t one of the strengths or one of the things we really thought we were getting when we were getting Rayan because he was just not often in that position with his previous team. So it’s been a pleasant surprise.”

Raveloson had the vital equalizer in the final quarter-hour of the Galaxy’s 2-2 road draw on Wednesday against Real Salt Lake. His goal, along with Victor Vazquez’s in the first half, helped salvage a point from a game where it looked like LA would limp to their first consecutive losses of the campaign.

But Raveloson’s ability to score was, according to Vanney, something the player himself seemed to call as soon as he arrived at the club.

“It’s a quick story, I don’t know if I shared this with you guys but the first game that he arrived he’d only been here for a short period of time and we were doing our set piece preparation for the game,” Vanney began. “And we held him just outside of the blocks in a little bit more defensive position, and he says, ‘Okay, I will do this for this game but next game, I’m in there,’ and so he’s proceeded to score three goals in three games by being in there so he informed us quickly that he was capable of doing it and he’s answered that call. So yeah it’s it’s been a pleasant thing. We will run our plays and we’ll use different guys but obviously for sure he’s a capable target. The play we ran the other day when the goalkeeper made a save was specifically set up for him and that spot in it the guys executed and Sasha [Kljestan] put the ball right where it needed to be, which gave us an opportunity. The keeper makes a great save but it’s another weapon that we are happy to have, it wasn’t something that we necessarily knew specifically that we were getting.”

With Chicharito set to miss Saturday’s game at FC Dallas, perhaps Raveloson can make it four goals in four games. Stay tuned.

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