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LA Galaxy Player Ratings vs. LAFC

Can VAR be man of the match?

MLS: Los Angeles FC at LA Galaxy Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

In another chaotic El Tráfico, the LA Galaxy managed to snatch three points at the death due to a correct VAR offside decision on what looked to be a tying LAFC goal. The biggest hero of the game was the Video Assistant Referee. VAR overturned not one, but two LAFC goals, the last one occurring at the death.

Beyond VAR, Samuel Grandsir has had a great couple of games for the Galaxy right when they needed him most. He has been directly responsible for 4 goals in 2 games. It was the right decision by Coach Greg Vanney to move Kévin Cabral to the bench based on Samuel’s form. Samuel Grandsir to Chicharito for a goal is something you wouldn’t have expected after last year, but it’s become reality. Grandsir not only scored, but tracked back to prevent goals. It was tragic when he was subbed out for a tactical change in the 60th minute. (Why Grandsir instead of Vázquez or Álvarez is anyone’s guess.)

The Galaxy came apart at the seams following Grandsir’s exit. LAFC had 17 shots and 7 on goal, and it felt like every single one of those shots came in the final testy thirty minutes (they didn’t, Vela managed to hit the post in the first half). The Galaxy lost control of the midfield with Vanney’s subs. Hold up play went nonexistent, the midfield wasn’t good on the ball, and the Galaxy also managed to miss two golden chances.

DePuy and Coulibaly together as a centerback pairing was a sieve last year, and it took a grand total of three minutes after they were the main pairing for LAFC to score. To be fair, the rest of the team did them no favors by going into a defensive shell far too early.

Cabral needs to stay on the bench, and Grandsir deserves to keep starting.

Player Ratings

Excellent

  • Samuel Grandsir - great cross to find Chicharito at the back post in the 13th minute. Blindly passed it into the box in the 31st minute (or erroneously shot the ball) and got his second assist. Tracked back at a full sprint from his attacking box to pick the ball off Vela with a great tackle just as Carlos was about to shoot. Sent in a great ball to Chicharito on a counter in the 58th minute, but Chicharito took a few too many touches (off a full out sprint). Man of the Match
  • Chicharito - does what he does: curl off a defender, find space, and deliver the ball to the back of the net. Great headed goal in the 13th minute. Loved watching his full on sprint to try and score in the second half. Earned a yellow card from the bench!

Good

  • Séga Coulibaly - in the right place at the right time to score the Galaxy’s second goal — calmly passed it into the back of the next. Earned a yellow card in the 63rd minute for dragging down an LAFC player. His back prevented a shot in the 89th minute.
  • Derrick Williams - important headed clearance to start the game. Could have done better on a ball that trickled to him off a corner in the 6th minute. Great clearance prevented a goal in the 62nd minute. Followed this up with a diving block in the same minute. Got a yellow card for coming on too early.

Okay

  • Raheem Edwards - little behind on two plays to start the game. Not sure why he didn’t shoot in the 25th minute on a golden chance of his own dribbling creation. Involved in the buildup of the second goal. Didn’t close down a dangerous cross in the 66th minute. Dribbled through AGAIN in the 72nd minute and still didn’t shoot! Lost his man in the 79th minute resulting in a rebound goal.
  • Víctor Vázquez - helped control the midfield in the first half but continued to be a defensive liability.
  • Jonathan Bond - horrible distribution to invite pressure back on himself. Great save of a header in the 66th minute, pushed it aside. Did well on the constant pressure in the final thirty minutes preventing many dangerous rebounds. Bad distribution but good saves offset.
  • Rayan Raveloson - lazy on the ball in the 23rd minute and picked off, led to a shot that Vela hit off the post. Compounded his error by nearly keeping Vela onside on a freekick — luckily VAR didn’t give Vela the 1 millimeter difference. Did help keep the ball with a passing percentage of 93%…but his won duel percentage was 29%.
  • Kelvin Leerdam - stood off a dangerous cross in the 94th minute. Didn’t do much wrong, but wasn’t a force at defensive midfield either.
  • Julian Araujo - got a yellow card after being caught in possession. Really didn’t get up the right much. Better than previous weeks.
  • Douglas Costa - earned a dumb yellow card in the 85th minute. Needs to track back more often.
  • Dejan Joveljić - late sub.

Poor

  • Efraín Álvarez - whiffed on an open net in the 87th minute. Then earned a yellow card minutes later.
  • Kévin Cabral - slalomed through in the 73rd minute and took too many touches (like usual). Repeated it in the 87th minute.
  • Sacha Kljestan - not his usual calm self on the ball, passing percentage of 72%.
  • Nick DePuy - beat by Vela in the lead up to LAFC’s goal. Got a valuable foot in to prevent a shot in the 87th minute right on the doorstep. Important slide block in the 94th minute. Headed clearance in the 96th minute. Very thankful for VAR.

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