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LA Galaxy Player Ratings vs. Real Salt Lake

Dejan Joveljić needs to be in the starting lineup.

MLS: LA Galaxy at Real Salt Lake Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

The first half was an exercise in avoiding falling asleep with 1 shot on goal TOTAL and some pretty abject passing in the box from both the LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake in Saturday’s 1-0 result in favor of RSL. The expected goal stat literally hovered around 0 for both sides in the first 35 minutes. Zzzzzzzzzzz…….

No one on the Galaxy appeared to want to run at anyone (Grandsir, wherefore art thou? And when did Julian lose this skill?), and RSL couldn’t pass or shoot in the attacking third to save their lives.

I literally forgot Chicharito was playing.

Then Jonathan Bond flapped at a corner with a miserable piece of goalkeeping, and RSL was up 1-0. Greg Vanney finally decided his muddy midfield needed some pizzazz and he made attacking oriented subs in Kljestan, Grandsir and Joveljić . Thus the Galaxy actually decided to play some soccer after the 60th minute.

This resulted in a one-sided game in favor of the Galaxy for the last 30 minutes and some actual attacking prowess mostly through the directness of the three subs. Unfortunately there apparently was a foul on Dejan’s goal (there wasn’t handball, that looked like chest), and others shot direct at MacMath.

Even with the dubious VAR call, the Galaxy paid for starting this game with a general malaise, and a goalkeeper error doomed them. Not a good look, and a loss that they deserved.

However, Dejan Joveljić is feeling it. He played with aplomb, and appears to have good rapport with Chicharito. After his second finish in two games, what does Vanney have to lose by giving him more time when Cabral can’t hit the broad side of a barn? Heck, I would consider replacing Costa because at least Cabral has some speed. Costa is looking more and more like a bust with many minutes and not enough end result.

One last request: STOP WITH THE SHORT CORNERS. It probably deserves an analysis in itself how many the Galaxy have decided to take, and how many corners they’ve subsequently squandered. The Galaxy are dangerous on set pieces with some decent height in the box. And they have Chicharito. Why are they resorting to this on what feels like 80% of corners?!!?!?

Player Ratings

Good

  • Raheem Edwards - sent in a lovely pass across the box in the 65th minute that Álvarez should have done more with. Sent in the cross that Dejan misplayed. He’s been a fantastic pick up. Man of the Match
  • Mark Delgado - stuck with his man on a dangerous breakaway in the 19th minute and prevented the pass.
  • Dejan Joveljić - nice backheel set up Grandsir in the 77th minute. Great lob and finish on his disallowed goal. 3 key passes in his 30 minutes.

Okay

  • Derrick Williams - nice defense on his RSL player prevented a shot in the 36th minute as he deflected the shot. Might have committed a foul on Dejan’s goal?
  • Eriq Zavaleta - late to cover on a pass in the 36th minute, lucky for him Chang inexplicably decided not to shoot. Critical clearance in the 56th minute at the top of the box. Set up Costa for a shot in the 57th minute but the midfielder couldn’t get power on it.
  • Efraín Álvarez - shot right at the keeper 1-v-1 in the 65th minute (oh if he only had a right foot). Sent in a decent cross in the 68th minute, but Rayan missed it. 1 key pass = meh.
  • Julian Araujo - I can’t remember the last time he went at a defender in the final third. Much better defense though!
  • Kévin Cabral - good run in the 39th minute on a through ball, but well defended.
  • Sacha Kljestan - helped create some inventiveness in midfield.
  • Samuel Grandsir - nice late run set up a shot in the 77th minute, but MacMath was up to the challenge.
  • Nick DePuy - late sub moving Rayan up the field.

Poor

  • Douglas Costa - too much dribbling, not enough passing. Not enough production for a DP. The Galaxy got better after he was subbed.
  • Chicharito - he played?
  • Jonathan Bond - diving stop in the 40th minute. Followed up his great palm over the bar on Wood’s shot in the 49th minute with an absolute horror show of a flap, letting in a goal. That one is on him. Save on a corner in the 58th minute.
  • Rayan Raveloson - bad midfield pass in the 32nd minute resulted in a dangerous chance that RSL squandered. Stood off Wood with zero defense letting in a shot in the 48th minute, which led to the corner that generated RSL’s goal. He didn’t exactly cover himself in defensive glory on the goal either, basically letting the attacking player through. Did it again in the 56th minute, falling out of a duel. Mishit a header wide in the 68th minute.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.