The LA Galaxy played at home, yet looked like the more tired of the two teams in this match in Wednesday’s 1-1 draw. As the announcers mentioned, lots of standing around from Galaxy players. Their movement was slow, in particular in transition, with lots of slowing down to play the ball ponderously through the middle. After the international break, this was surprising to see — the dog days of summer…until the last 10 minutes.
The first half saw many a turnover from the home side, in particular from Alvarez who was yanked after 45 minutes. It also saw the centerbacks beat once again by a through ball (and some lackadaisical defending from Raveloson who has come down to earth after an electric start).
That said, Chicharito got his goal, and Samuel Grandsir was a (good) pest all night.
Ideally some of the players that look tired pick up the pace over the month of October, and Julian Araujo gets some rest as he needs it ahead of what will be a final competitive stretch. Séga Coulibaly and Derrick Williams need to return to their original form.
The defense still gives up a goal or two, even against bottom feeders, so the Galaxy not only need to score, but they need to score multiples. This point at home isn’t good enough with the other top teams in the West picking up ground. This team is still not good enough defensively to be champion, and are fading instead of peaking as the end of the season nears.
- Samuel Grandsir - sent in a lovely squared cross off a counter in the 7th minute that evaded everyone. Key pass to Chicharito in the 52nd minute. One of the few with great movement all game. Man of the Match
- Kévin Cabral - good ball to Chicharito in the 84th minute, but too much traffic to get the shot off. Active in his minutes.
- Sacha Kjlestan - pushed the pace by refusing to stand around with the ball.
- Sebastian Lletget - lost his man who nearly scored on a corner. Squared pass into the box in the 76th minute. Lovely cross to Chicharito to end the game that should have been an assist. Very good restarts and creative presence after being inserted.
- Dejan Joveljić - delivered the floated assist to Chicharito for LA’s goal. Dangerous when he got speed up the left. Good run in the 93rd minute nearly resulted in a goal.
- Chicharito - Should have crashed the box on the two lovely crosses that came his way in the first half. Nice one-two with Dos Santos in the 40th minute to set up Hämäläinen. Shot on target in the 52nd minute. Finally got his (headed) goal after coming back from injury in the 62nd minute. Missed a wide open header to end the game.
- Jonathan dos Santos - should have scored on a wide open shot in the 17th minute, the slow rolling ball begged for the back of the net. Key pass to Niko in the 40th minute. Picked off a pass to start the path to LA’s goal. Earned a yellow card for a light foul. While he hasn’t been lights out, he has been much better over the last two games, and appears to be on an upward trajectory.
- Jonathan Klinsmann - distribution a little shaky. Close clearance in the 71st minute coming off his line (and leaving the box!).
- Daniel Steres - split with Sega on Houston’s goal. Nice interception in the 28th minute, followed by a block in the 29th.
- Victor Vázquez - should have had an assist to dos Santos in the 17th minute. His weak defensive header led to Houston’s goal.
- Niko Hämäläinen - almost sent Grandsir through in the 25th minute. Sent in a lovely cross in the 27th minute that just evaded Chicharito. Once again — great in the attack, but can be a liability on defense.
- Julian Araujo - very lucky to not be scored on in the 57th minute after caught ball watching. His attacking touch hasn’t been as good over the last few games, he likely needs a rest.
- Efraín Álvarez - turnover machine in the first half. Rightfully subbed at halftime.
- Séga Coulibaly - Two clearances in the box in the 10th minute. Split with Steres on Houston’s goal. Beat in the 42nd minute but cleared. Good block in the 75th minute.
- Rayan Raveloson - bad touch led to Houston’s first goal as the ball trickled by him. Needs to be more of a defensive presence.
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