These LA Galaxy versus Portland Timbers games are entertaining, are they not? Four goals and 9 cards (!) later, including two red cards, one team had a clinical finisher, and the other team did not. Chicharito is in stellar form right now and the Galaxy are benefitting.
16 minutes into the game it was LA 2-0. The Galaxy took advantage of every error and missed pass the Timbers made. Álvarez and Grandsir controlled the game and gave the Timbers all they could handle down the left. It was a good time for Grandsir to figure things out and do really well in transition.
The Galaxy were helped by Timbers player Pablo Bonilla laying an absolute egg in the first 45 minutes. Defensive miscues on the first two LA goals, and then a straight red card made for a Galaxy party. Thankfully his egg hatched before Mark Delgado’s. Delgado had his own foibles by being picked off not once, but twice — one of which resulted in a goal, the other resulted in a second yellow and a sending off.
The game degenerated into a card battle in the second half with Portland successfully trying to even the game at ten men, and the Galaxy willingly giving into Portland’s wiles. As the Galaxy sat back, the last twenty minutes descended into emergency defending chaos.
That said, Samuel Grandsir could have put this game away early, and even had a chance at another goal in the second half if he had brought his finishing shoes. That is the problem for the Galaxy right now. If Chicharito goes down (NO!), who else is there? No one else has proven they can finish. And Dejan Joveljić can’t get more than five in-game minutes from coach Greg Vanney.
The Mexican National Team’s inexplicable blindness to Chicharito’s scoring prowess is to the Galaxy’s (and USMNT’s!) benefit. That said, the Galaxy really need someone, anyone, to step up and score a few.
- Chicharito - poked home the Galaxy’s first goal peeling off his defender. Just missed a second a few minutes later with a header that went wide. Sent in a dangerous cross in the 24th minute that generated a save. Earned a yellow card for a foul in the 57th minute. Finished a cutback with aplomb in the 59th minute for LA’s third goal. Forced the goalkeeper into a save in the 74th minute after Álvarez led him too far wide. Man of the Match
- Derrick Williams - great effort to deliver a goal line clearance in the 27th minute. Solid clearance in the 40th minute. Good headed clearance of a corner in the 69th minute. Another clearance in the 71st minute. Stellar showing from the center back in his first start of 2022.
- Samuel Grandsir - great run up the left, and great cross assist to Chicharito in the 9th minute. Nearly had a second assist in the 13th minute off another cross. Got the job done in the 16th minute with yet another chipped cross that generated an own goal. Somehow missed scoring in the 24th minute on a sitter (turf monster? lack of concentration?). Missed AGAIN in the 63rd minute from the left. It would be easy to put him in the “good” category for these misses, but he was responsible for two out of three goals.
- Raheem Edwards - gave up a dangerous free kick at the top of the box in the 21st minute. Slalomed past the Timbers defense to pick up yet another assist in the 59th minute. He leads the league in assists.
- Efraín Álvarez - one touch pass helped set up the Galaxy’s first goal, and was involved in the second as well. Really good control of the ball in midfield — calm, cool, collected. Shot just over the bar in the 56th minute. Could have set Chicharito up better in the 74th minute but sent him too far wide in a 2 v 1 situation. 3 key passes.
- Rayan Raveloson - lazy defending (jogging) in the 28th minute resulted in a goal line clearance by Williams. Got a yellow card for a dumb challenge to end the half (though it got a red card on Portland). Good clearance of a dangerous ball in the 69th minute.
- Kévin Cabral - diving header generated a save in the 24th minute. Still late on runs when Chicharito passed to him.
- Víctor Vázquez - tactical yellow to end the game.
- Dejan Joveljić - forced adventures in goalkeeping, and a corner, to end the game. Late sub.
- Daniel Aguirre - late sub
- Nick DePuy - beat by Yimmi Chara in the 27th minute, but luckily Chara curled the ball wide. Repeated the error less than a minute later, but was bailed out by Williams. Important interception in the 33rd minute. Really good defense prevented a shot in the 38th minute. Tactical yellow to start the second half. Good interception in the 56th minute. Needed clearance on the 6 in the 80th minute. Got away with a handball to end the game.
- Jonathan Bond - nice save to paw the ball over off a floated shot in the 11th minute. Smartly came out in the 24th minute to beat an onrushing Moreno. Terrible goalkeeping on Portland’s free kick goal, positioned far too much to the right. Pushed the ball away from an onrushing Timbers player in the 70th minute. Dived to prevent a shot in the 80th minute but let a dangerous rebound go.
- Mark Delgado - a bad pass that was picked off by Portland almost resulted in an opposing goal to start the game. Soft yellow in the 50th minute as Blanco milked every possible challenge, resulted in a free kick goal. Then compounded his errors by being lazy on the ball and getting picked off in the 61st minute, resulting in a foul and getting him sent off with a second yellow. He will miss El Trafico.
- Kelvin Leerdam - beat by Chara in the 27th minute and resulted in a shot on goal (that was cleared off the line). Had some challenges against Yimmi Chara down the right. Dangerous giveaway in the 71st minute.
- Julian Araujo - missed Chicharito twice on breakaways. Gave up what looked like a penalty in the 82nd minute. His bad form continued, though Leerdam didn’t seize the moment.
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