Greg Vanney not only sent out a defensive lineup with two defensive oriented midfielders, he actually had three! As a result, chances were hard to come by for the LA Galaxy, with Delgado and Leerdam both playing deep, leaving the midfield a bit open.
The Galaxy were happy the Chicago Fire didn’t take advantage of this defensive posture barring a couple of chances, and LA escaped with the hard-earned road point. That’s a fine result, even though it stopped an attack that looked pretty decent in recent weeks. The build-up still looks good as the Galaxy are making a concerted effort to build out of the back.
Zero shots on goal from either side (to be fair, Bond did have two standout plays), and assist leader Raheem Edwards didn’t even make it past the halfway line in the passing map! LA’s expected goals was a mere 0.4. Woof.
This was not an offensive clinic, but the Galaxy defense got the clean sheet. The center backs had no major gaffs, and while the Fire did have a couple of chances (thanks Bond for smothering the first one), there wasn’t a true feeling of doom. The Fire’s xG? 0.6.
One other note: it sure looks like Cabral has been benched in favor of Grandsir. Right decision, though hope the lack of playing time doesn’t lead to even more rust.
- Jonathan Bond - Great save timing his tackle and grab off of #11’s foot in the 63rd minute. Important headed clearance in the 92nd minute to prevent a shot from an onrushing Fire player. Man of the Match
- Julian Araujo - good pass to Chicharito at the top of the box in the 14th minute, but the forward scuffed the shot. Important header to prevent a shot off a cross in the 30th minute. Sent in a nice ball to Chicharito in the 60th minute but it bounced up on the forward. Led the team with three key passes. This performance is a long time coming. Has he snapped out of his funk?
- Raheem Edwards - great defensive header in the center of the box in the 41st minute. Recovered pretty well down the right defensively.
- Derrick Williams - earned a light yellow in the first half. Good clearance out of the box in the 65th minute. Led his troops.
- Séga Coulibaly - beat by a through ball and the Galaxy’s high line in the 63rd minute. Yellow card for a tactical foul in the 75th minute. That said, had several clearances and didn’t have his usual glaring mistake.
- Efraín Álvarez - nice movement in the 55th minute just missed Chicharito. What little danger there was to start the half originated from him.
- Chicharito - nothing major of note.
- Douglas Costa - nice backheel to Araujo in the 14th minute set up a dangerous chance. Almost scored but offside.
- Samuel Grandsir - gorgeous over the top ball to end the first half.
- Rayan Raveloson - his non-challenge led to the Fire’s decent chance in the 63rd minute. 8 duels with a winning percentage of 17%.
- Kelvin Leerdam - Sent Chicharito in over the top in the 58th minute but the forward took too many touches. Critical foot in as the last man prevented a shot in the 96th minute. Not quite sure if he was playing defensive midfielder or right back as he tended to play towards the right leaving Delgado to clean up the middle.
- Mark Delgado - tracked back on occasionally sloppy play.
- Sacha Kljestan - sent in a dangerous corner for the Galaxy’s last chance, but then had a bad giveaway that led to a 1-v-1. Luckily Leerdam bailed him out.
- Kévin Cabral - nothing of note in his 20 minutes.
- No one really that bad this week. Amazing!
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