El Trafico doesn’t disappoint, and this game was no exception. The momentum in this one shifted all over the place as LAFC started strong, the the LA Galaxy came back to meet them every time in a spirited 3-3 draw.
It’s tempting to want three points out of this one, but “win at home, draw on the road” is a mantra fans need to remember (even in rivalry games).
More importantly, Kévin Cabral FINALLY scored - it took the entire LAFC defense leaving him on an island, but heck, a goal is a goal! Plus, Dejan Joveljic scored his first MLS goals, and unlike Cabral, he does look to have the combination of great movement and clinical finish. Watching him around the box, he also looks like he will supply an assist or two before the year is over.
Jonathan Bond continued to be in form, and Julian Araujo grew into the game after his first minute snafu. Coulibaly continued to be the better of two center backs, and Hämäläinen still needs to shore up his defensive presence, giving up a penalty in this one. Finally, this version of Efraín Álvarez is at his creative best — absolutely love to see this!
The concerns are Jonathan dos Santos’s pace, Hämäläinen’s defense, and Cabral’s continued misses.
The Galaxy will have something to say come playoffs, though they still don’t look like a winner yet. Chicharito’s imminent return may change things for the better…way better.
Side note: I’m a little concerned with how many minutes Sebastian Lletget has been logging between national team duty, the MLS All-Star game, and league play. The guy needs to take a break at some point to avoid injury.
- Dejan Joveljić - took advantage of a bad clearance to score for his first goal in MLS. Clinical finish after Lletget sent him through in the second half. Man of the Match
- Jonathan Bond - fingertip save to start the second half. Nice reaction save in the 58th minute off a long shot. Seconds later delivered again after Rossi was threaded through. Nothing he could do on Rodriguez’s moment of brilliance. Rebound goal was left in a bad spot. He was great, but hard to rate him excellent when you let in three goals.
- Efraín Álvarez - should have shot in the 83rd minute as the ball fell to…Cabral. His through ball to Araujo for the Galaxy’s third goal was his creative best.
- Kévin Cabral - nutmegged in the 24th minute, nearly led to a LAFC goal. Shot on goal in the 52nd minute, a nice header off a cross that required a save. Late to cover defensively in the 58th minute, jogging back. Mishit a promising ball in the 83rd minute. I would have left him open too, LAFC — but he would have made me pay: standing alone, he finally got his goal in the 86th. Earned a yellow card for a misstep soon after. For Kévin, this was a victory.
- Julian Araujo - not a great start after last game, could have had a penalty called on him to start the game. Turned it around by sending in the cross leading to the Galaxy’s first goal. Important block in the 27th minute with Coulibaly. Lovely pass to Rayan in the 34th minute. Important headed clearance in the 58th minute. Beat by a moment of brilliance by Rodriguez seconds later. Lovely cutback to Cabral in the 86th minute for an assist.
- Rayan Raveloson - impressive move to get out of pressure to start the first Galaxy goal. Missed high after a great set-up from Araujo. Lucky not to be punished on a giveaway to end the first half.
- Sebastian Lletget - didn’t close down the cross that led to the LAFC penalty. Miserable defense on Rodriguez led to LAFC’s second goal. Paid it back with an assist a few minutes later.
- Victor Vázquez - nearly scored off a cheeky shot in the 7th minute.
- Séga Coulibaly - important block in the 27th minute with Araujo. Frustration yellow card on Rodriguez. Was the least problematic of the defensive line.
- Samuel Grandsir - helped with a direct approach as usual in his minutes on the pitch.
- Oniel Fisher - very involved in the attack to end the game.
- Niko Hämäläinen - caused a penalty with a tug in the first half. Served in a cross that resulted in a shot on goal in the 52nd minute. Passed through in the 58th minute, resulting in a shot on goal. Beat by a through ball in the 58th minute along with Williams, but Bond bailed them out. Defensively, not a good game for the new addition.
- Derrick Williams - important interception in the 10th minute. Good shielding defense to close down the first half. Beat by a through ball in the 58th minute. Marking air on LAFC’s third goal.
- Jonathan dos Santos - important pressure in the 19th minute off a corner to prevent a counterattack goal. Yellow card for a late tackle in the first half. Not enough of a presence from the designated player.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.