The LA Galaxy had their customary possession to start the game, sending waves of attacks forward. Similar to the game against Nashville SC, the Galaxy had industry around the box, but no finish for 40 minutes. They pinged the ball around, but the lethal final pass wasn’t there.
Unfortunately they were undone by a bad play in the box by Douglas Costa. Literally falling over instead of defending, he gifted LAFC a goal.
The Galaxy fought their way back into this game twice. Samuel Grandsir continued his decent run of play in the last month by scoring a lovely goal right at the end of the first half. Raheem Edwards nearly squandered that tie away, but the Galaxy were able to keep it even going into the half.
Grandsir is an interesting puzzle going into 2023 — is his play towards the end of the year representative of what he could be? He’s expensive, but his workrate is decent. Whether or not to keep him on the roster will be a key decision.
All season long, Edwards has been a liability on the left, and this came to fruition once again in the final ten minutes of regulation. Slow to close a player down, he let a cross across goal come in, and it resulted in LAFC’s second goal, though Mark Delgado was inches away from clearing it out. Why was Delgado there you ask? Because Julian Araujo apparently decided he wasn’t playing soccer for a few minutes.
Dejan Joveljić once again did Dejan things, bringing the Galaxy back into a tie when the game seemed over. But as the game entered into frenetic extra time, Séga Coulibaly gave up a corner. The Galaxy’s “defending” on said corner was a travesty, with multiple LAFC players open in the box. This team hasn’t been good at set piece defending in some time, and it was no surprise that the entire team fell asleep at the worst possible moment.
It’s an ignominious exit for a team that looked better down the stretch, and this one will sting as it was to a dreaded rival. The loss should sit with the front office that needs to take a hard look at the dead weight on this roster and cut it.
Puig, Chicharito, Joveljić, and Brugman are players to build around. The Galaxy have a core in midfield. They’ll have plenty of time to think about how to surround it.
- Samuel Grandsir - following a counter, hit the crossbar in the 18th minute. Didn’t miss the second time. Ball popped out to him, and he picked out the left corner for a goal right before the end of the half.
- Dejan Joveljić - I mean…what else is there to say? Phenomenal goal to tie the game. Man of the Match
- Martín Cáceres - fantastic defending bodying off the forward in the 9th minute. Stood up Vela not once but twice in the 56th minute.
- Mark Delgado - couldn’t slide to prevent the second LAFC goal. Involved in the build-up to goal No. 2.
- Víctor Vázquez - fed Dejan for the assist (not sure he was the target, but hey, an assist is an assist). However, was a defensive liability on the field.
- Riqui Puig - needed to keep his temper, absolutely stupid to engage in a fight in the 12th minute and earn a yellow card.
- Chicharito - not much final product.
- Jonathan Bond - could do nothing on the three goals.
- Gastón Brugman - important interception at the top of the box in the 32nd minute.
- Séga Coulibaly - good emergency defending in the 40th minute. Important clearance in the 47th minute. Important block on Vela in the 75th minute. Gave up the unfortunate corner that resulted in the third LAFC goal.
- Derrick Williams - important clearance in the 87th minute. Late sub.
- Douglas Costa - nice pass to send off a counter in the 18th minute. Literally fell over on LAFC’s first goal, no “defense” — that one was on him.
- Raheem Edwards - was extremely lucky that his tackle was right at the top of the box — a free kick instead of a penalty. Ran past his man on a corner to start the half, lucky to not be punished. Let in the pass on LAFC’s second goal.
- Julian Araujo - didn’t track back on LAFC’s second goal — literally jogging back. He’s been lazy, and it was not a good year for the RB.
- Kévin Cabral - bupkus. Shouldn’t be a Galaxy player in ’23.
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