Samuel Grandsir has steadily improved since his arrival to the LA Galaxy. In 2021 — his first season with the club — he appeared in all 34 matches, making starts in 24 of them. He logged over 2,000 minutes, scored three goals and had five assists. In what was an overall disappointing season, he was one of the few you could point to with the hope that this team still had its best yet to come.
Samuel Grandsir is a— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) March 11, 2021
Grandsir hasn’t let the lack of starts early on this season throw him off one bit. Each time he’s come off the bench, he’s made a difference. That doesn't necessarily mean he gets on the stat sheet each time, but if you're watching carefully you’ll notice the tempo change. How the team suddenly had just that much more extra they needed. It's partly why they have been able to find those late winners where they couldn't last season.
He’s been able to maintain above a 74% accurate passing rate each time he’s featured in a match this season, and Sunday night he showed what he could do when given the starting nod. Filling in for Douglas Costa, in his first start of the season Grandsir tallied 66 minutes, finished with 74% passing accuracy, had one official assist, one unofficial assist, and almost scored a goal of his own. The first assist came at the end of some gorgeous one-touch football between Grandsir and Rayan Raveloson before the former eventually put in a perfect cross that found Chicharito at the back post for the goal.
The unofficial assist was down to the fact he put in a pass so perfect, so beautiful, so tempting, not even Portland’s defenders couldn’t fight the urge to finish the chance themselves. At first it looked as if he had found his fellow Frenchman Kevin Cabral for the goal, but upon review it was the Portland defense who wanted to take a bite from the forbidden fruit.
Throw in the near-goal on a shot that just missed its intended target, and it’s easy to see why so many are calling for Grandsir to see the Starting XI far more often than he has. Aside from the obvious trouble finishing last season, a big problem was even finding those chances. Plenty of times their attack would get stymied at the half, or just inside the opposing half of the field. While just a handful of matches, to see players like Raheem Edwards and Grandsir find ways to get the ball in dangerous positions for their finishers, is a good sign for the future.
For Grandsir, Sunday might have been the opening he needed to get a run of even more minutes on the pitch. This weekend the team host cross-town rivals LAFC, a match every single player wants to do well in. With them bringing in an unbeaten record, it would be even sweeter to hand them that first L. With Samuel Grandsir on the pitch, they’ll definitely find more than enough opportunities to do just that.
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