Robin Fraser has done a wonderful job with the Colorado Rapids, who look like a team reborn. That team gave the LA Galaxy fits for the first 25 minutes on Saturday in a 1-1 draw, constantly challenging the backline as the Galaxy could not consistently move the ball up the pitch. This was partially a result of Colorado’s pressure, but it was also the Galaxy’s painfully slow ball movement. Lots of standing around and watching the center backs pass amongst themselves.
LA settled into the game after this period, passing up the middle with greater impact (the flanks really never got going), and generating a few golden chances that should have been put away. They paid for their profligacy in the second half as the Rapids scored.
Chicharito looked rusty, but he still had a nose for goal — and some stellar through balls, which bodes well should he stay healthy.
Of note were the Galaxy’s substitutions. For the first time in what felt like forever the Galaxy had great attacking options off the bench. Depth is critical, and this team finally has it.
The depth showed itself minutes after the substitutions when Grandsir tied the game with some bad goalkeeping assistance from Colorado.
A point on the road in the heat and altitude versus a top team? Take it. Great game from LA though there were no true standouts this time around.
- Samuel Grandsir - he finally got his goal, with a fantastic first touch via route 1 soccer.
- Daniel Steres - solid block on a surely goal bound shot in the 3rd minute. Another important intervention in the 7th minute. Cleaned up quite a few crosses into the box. Asleep along with Coulibaly for the Rapids goal…but made up for it when he sent in the long ball assist on Grandsir’s goal. He was very solid defensively. Man of the Match
- Jonathan Bond - save in the 9th minute after a dos Santos header went awry.
- Julian Araujo - excellent defense getting back on a break to start the game. Got beat in the 76th minute, luckily the resulting shot was off target. Not his usual offensive game, but he was busy.
- Kévin Cabral - promising one-two with Chicharito in the 26th minute. Hit the keeper on a shot off a counter in the 33rd minute.
- Sebastian Lletget - just missed while standing wide open on a header in the 29th minute. He’s returning from international duty, we’ll forgive him this one.
- Victor Vázquez - sent in a beautiful cross that a (to be fair) rusty Chicharito wasted in the 11th minute. Still a defensive liability.
- Séga Coulibaly - nearly had his pocket picked by Barrios in the 13th minute. Asleep along with Steres on the Rapids first goal.
- Jorge Villafaña - should have had an assist in the 29th minute but Lletget headed wide. Earned a yellow card towards the end of the game for a tactical foul.
- Chicharito - missed a wide open header off a Vázquez cross in the 11th minute. Sent Cabral in on goal with a lovely through ball in the 33rd minute.
- Jonathan dos Santos - unfortunately headed a ball directly to a Rapids player in the 9th minute for a shot on goal. Set up the Lletget miss that should have been a goal in the 29th minute. Abandoned a tackle on a shot that hit the crossbar right before the half. Made up for it with two back to back interceptions in the 44th minute.
- Derrick Williams - stuck in foot prevented a shot in the 20th minute. Earned a yellow card in the 36th minute for a tactical foul after being caught upfield. Let in the cross that led to the Rapids goal.
- Efraín Álvarez/Dejan Joveljić/Sacha Kljestan/Ethan Zubak - subs that didn’t really produce much.
- No one played truly bad in this one, which helped the Galaxy get a hard earned point.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.