The LA Galaxy started this game as a turnover machine. Greg Vanney wasn’t happy, and the Galaxy were lucky that Jonathan Bond regained his previous form, or the scoreline would not have been flattering.
That said, the first half did have a Rayan moment of magic (including a touching tribute to Jonathan Dos Santos’s late father). That moment of magic didn’t even last one minute as the Galaxy coughed up an opposing goal within seconds.
Better possession came in the second half, likely coinciding with the insertion of another defensive-minded midfielder to pair with Raveloson. The midfield began the game outnumbered with the two attacking midfielders in Vázquez and Kljestan, leaving Raveloson on an island protecting the centerbacks. Portland had time and space at midfield, a problem when you’ve got Diego Valeri. Saldaña’s insertion brought some balance and allowed Raveloson to foray forward occasionally to some decent results.
Portland had bad defending of their own. Julian Araujo was a machine, eating Portland alive down the right. But two of the four LA goals came from a player literally standing by themselves on an island, heading the ball into the net.
Delivering a spanking felt nice after getting spanked in Dallas.
- Julian Araujo - last ditch tackle to prevent a dangerous shot in the 18th minute. Important preventative header in the box in the 20th minute. Burned by speed on Portland’s first goal. Cross on a dime for an assist to Vázquez. Another lovely cross to Grandsir in the 56th minute for another assist. Portland had no idea what to do with him. Gregg Berhalter, we need this guy on the Nats. Man of the Match
- Jonathan Bond - save, 1:13 into the game. Double save in the 30th minute. Back to form. Was man of the match of the first half, then Araujo decided to burst into flames.
- Samuel Grandsir - was the only player not afflicted with turnover-itis. Loved his passion. It finally paid off with a wide-open header for a goal in the second half. Great finish for his first MLS goal.
- Rayan Raveloson - how else haven’t I scored? A bike? Sure. Unbelievable. Defensively not as sound in the first half, but outnumbered in midfield with two attacking midfielders leaving him on an island. Changed in the second half.
- Victor Vázquez - lovely pass into Cabral in the 27th minute that nearly turned into an assist. Fantastic header for a goal, standing by himself in the 6. Hope he does not have a calf injury.
- Adam Saldaña - did his job simply and gave Raveloson support. Maybe it’s when he doesn’t try to play hero ball he does better.
- Sacha Kljestan - didn’t do much, but had the guts to take the penalty kick and score with aplomb.
- Ethan Zubak - mis-hit several passes, just didn’t have accuracy. Delivered a good pass to Cabral in the 50th minute.
- Derrick Williams - part of the duo that nearly got scored on to start the game. Prevented a shot after a bad Cabral backpass. Nice tackle along with Araujo in the 18th minute. Goal line clearance in the 30th minute. Bad backpass in the 74th minute, but luckily it came to naught. Much better after a trying two weeks, this was progress.
- Cameron Dunbar/Jonathan Perez - late subs.
- Augustine Williams - should have had an assist in the 78th minute. Fantastic squared pass.
- Séga Coulibaly - so good to see him back, late sub.
- Kévin Cabral - near disaster with a bad backpass in the 9th minute. Heavy touch killed a near shot in the 27th minute. Forced the keeper into a save in the 33rd minute off a speedy run. Badly missed a shot off a good pass from Zubak in the 50th minute. Earned a penalty in the 52nd minute (after missing a shot). Delivered a lovely cross in the 60th minute that just missed everyone. Shot straight at the goalkeeper for some inexplicable reason on a sure goal in the 78th minute. Can someone work on finishing with him? PLEASE?
- Jorge Villafaña - stood off a dangerous pass to start the game, resulted in a shot on goal. Did it again in the 11th minute, lucky Portland skied their shot. Involved in Portland’s goal. Earned a yellow card in the second half for a bad challenge. He was poor against his previous team before, and continued that trend.
- Nick DePuy - caught upfield on Portland’s first goal. Bad pass in the 30th minute nearly made a second goal, but Bond bailed him out.
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