Ahead of a weekend where the LA Galaxy are due to celebrate the greatest American player of all-time, winner of three MLS Cups with the Galaxy, the thing that the Galaxy miss most about Landon Donovan are his assists. The Galaxy had no issues attacking in waves against Real Salt Lake. They were practically camped out in RSL’s final third. However, the final key pass eluded them. Be it a great dribble, be it a final cross, be it a squared ball (and to be fair, some emergency defending from RSL and great goalkeeping) — nothing resulted in a goal.
Then RSL scored against the run of play with some lazy defending from the Galaxy defense. In scant seconds, the Galaxy were in a hole of their own making.
The second half continued much like the first, this time with RSL’s keeper David Ochoa standing on his head. Chicharito finally scored in a moment of magic, but it all came undone in the final seconds on a wonder goal by RSL’s Anderson Julio.
The Galaxy are sliding down the table, and it really doesn’t look like they have the personnel to dig themselves out. This is huge reversal from the glory of the beginning of the season. If the Galaxy can’t figure out how to get their offense working, getting into the playoffs might just evaporate over the next set of games. They’re already in danger of falling below the playoff line, and oh look — El Tráfico is this weekend.
- Chicharito - sent in a fantastic ball across in the box in the 8th minute that somehow Álvarez missed. Great curled shot in the 16th minute that forced the RSL goalkeeper into a save. Couldn’t beat Ochoa on a breakaway in the 57th minute. Under shot Grandsir on a promising counter in the 60th minute. Finally got past Ochoa in the 77th minute with a well taken shot, bodying off his man. He was everywhere. Man of the Match
- Efraín Álvarez - if he had literally just run into the ball with any part of his body in the 8th minute the Galaxy would have scored. Lovely free kick forced Ochoa into a save. Shot headed out in the 31st minute after a decent pass sequence with Araujo. Fed Chicharito with a brilliant throughball on a counter. Finally served in the assist in the 77th minute. Free header in the 86th minute, but saved (could have had more power behind it).
- Julian Araujo - lucky after he got beat by a chip over his head to start the game. Nice layoff to Álvarez in the 31st minute resulted in a shot. Countless decent crosses/squared balls from the right. Caught upfield on RSL’s shot in the 79th minute. Amazing tackle at the end of the game to recover after he lost the ball.
- Samuel Grandsir - sent in a great cross to Chicharito in the 8th minute that should have led to a goal. Nice individual movement in the 44th minute resulted in emergency defending from the RSL defense. Another shot blocked in the 64th minute.
- Jonathan Bond - nearly saved RSL’s first goal, but the spinning ball snuck over the line. Save on a shot in the 55th minute. Critical save after the Galaxy scored in the 79th minute. Nothing he could do on RSL’s winning goal except tip his cap.
- Jonathan Dos Santos/Rayan Raveloson - controlled the midfield and cycled the ball around. They weren’t the issue tonight, though neither stood out.
- Nick DePuy - earned a yellow card to start the second half. Important clearance in the box in the 59th minute. Good defense on Rubin in the 67th minute, staying with his man. Nutmegged in the 79th minute, but Bond bailed him out. Split with Sega on RSL’s winning goal.
- Dejan Joveljić - just missed on a long shot in the 80th minute. Another just miss on a corner kick header at the end of the game.
- Sacha Kjlestan - in his minutes served in some decent balls.
- Kévin Cabral/Víctor Vásquez - late subs
- Niko Hämäläinen - decent cross into the box in the 25th minute forcing Ochoa into a punch. Lucky RSL didn’t score after he was caught wrong side (again) on a shot in the 63rd minute. Block on a shot in the 72nd minute. Virtually no attack from his side of the pitch.
- Sebastian Lletget - ineffective over 64 minutes, was the first obvious substitution.
- Séga Coulibaly - couldn’t clear the header that resulted in RSL’s first goal. Split along with DePuy on RSL’s winning goal. Of the two centerbacks, looked the more fragile, and really has looked poor over several weeks. Is this his true form?
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