This game turned into a spanking, Sunday’s 4-1 home win over Austin FC but it sure didn’t look that way 55 minutes in. The LA Galaxy started the game well, earned a penalty, squandered it, and then treaded water for a good chunk of the first half. Austin had a decent stretch from about 20 minutes to the 40th minute, but didn’t do anything too dangerous in that time period.
The second half started much the same way, and then the Galaxy had a defensive brain fart and were suddenly down a goal.
Greg Vanney inserted Dejan Joveljić in the 57th minute and the rest is history. Within 7 (!!!!) minutes the forward assisted and scored. By the end of the game, he became the first substitute in MLS history to contribute to four goals. And he had the audacity to do it with a bicycle kick assist. He is a joy to watch, and yet….Chicharito and Joveljić played together for a grand total of 12 minutes today. You’re killing us, Greg Vanney.
The Galaxy has got to give the two forward experiment a go. Not a month from now, not two months from now. NOW. This team that has had trouble scoring looks dangerous and like a complete threat when Chicharito and Dejan are on the field together. Dejan deserves the opportunity to not just be a super sub because small sample size aside, he has assisted and scored at a pace that deserves starting time.
Try different formations, but it is difficult to ignore the data of results. Greg, please tell us you’re not going to be stubborn.
Kévin Cabral also needs to be mentioned. FINALLY the forward looks like he’s making the right runs and passes. He’s playing with confidence for the first time in MONTHS, and the Galaxy are benefitting. They need him to be good to have Dejan and Chicharito paired upfront.
The defense did fine, but today was all about Dejan Joveljić. Chicharito is happy no one is bringing up his penalty kick miss.
One name that hasn’t been mentioned? Douglas Costa.
- Dejan Joveljić - the guy loves his cheeky back heels, and this time he had one for a lovely assist in the 61st minute. Great awareness. Right place, great finish for a goal when the ball bounced to him in the 64th minute. Earned a yellow card for messing with the ball in the 80th minute. What a chip for the Galaxy’s third goal; calm, cool, collected. Seconds later he had the audacity to bicycle kick his way into an assist. Speechless. Man of the Match
- Chicharito - great through ball to an onrushing Cabral to start the game, in the exact right spot. Notoriously bad at penalties, took a weak shot that was saved. Shot high in the 41st minute after Víctor sent him in. Missed a wide open header in the 57th. Peeled off his defender and didn’t miss a clear shot from the center of the box in the 61st minute for LA’s first goal. Set up Álvarez in the 63rd minute but Efraín shot just a little high.
- Kévin Cabral - earned a penalty in the 2nd minute with a nice pacey run off a quick transition. Shot on goal that tested the keeper in the 9th minute. Sent in the pass across the box that rebounded into Dejan for a goal. This Cabral needs to stick around.
- Julian Araujo - headed the ball back to Cabral for a shot on goal in the 9th minute. Sent in a cross to a wide open Chicharito in the 57th minute and the forward whiffed. Sent in the ball to Dejan that resulted in the Galaxy’s goal.
- Derrick Williams - lucky the Austin player skied his shot when Derrick headed the ball directly to him in the box. Other than that, no major mistakes.
- Nick DePuy - important interception in the 17th minute prevented a run in on goal. Right place, right time for a goal line clearance in the 18th minute. Good clearance in the 30th minute. Great step in to prevent a shot at the top of the box to end the first half. Important interception in the box in the 67th minute.
- Efraín Álvarez - actually took a shot with his right foot in the 51st minute off a counter! Unfortunately right at the keeper. Just missed a curler in the 63rd minute. Lovely through ball to Dejan on LA’s third goal for an assist. Capped off his afternoon by beautifully scoring off a spectacular assist from Joveljić.
- Samuel Grandsir - solid cross in the 32nd minute that unfortunately bounced off Chicharito’s arm. Tapped and dribbled his way through in the 49th minute but shot right at the keeper.
- Víctor Vázquez - had his pocket picked in the 18th minute leading to a shot on goal that Bond saved. Kept sending balls short to Samuel. Nice pass in transition to Chicharito in the 41st minute that the forward skied.
- Raheem Edwards - sent a nice ball across the box in the 5th minute that caused panic in the Austin defense. Gave up a dangerous free kick in the 32nd minute. Important tackle in the 52nd minute prevented a shot.
- Mark Delgado - sent a decent rolling ball into the box in the 39th minute but Grandsir and Chicharito got in each other’s way. Giveaway in the 44th minute led to a counter. Won many duels.
- Jonathan Bond - parried a shot in the 18th minute after a bad giveaway. Thankfully DePuy was the closest player.
- Chase Gasper - much better, no major mistakes.
- Daniel Aguirre - a little hesitant when approached the box.
- Kevin Leerdam - gave up a dangerous free kick at the end of the game, but the game was pretty much over at that point.
- Rayan Raveloson - missed a shot at goal in the 5th minute. Marking air on Austin’s shot in the 45th minute (literally spun in a circle). Lazy jog to close down the shot on Austin’s goal. Gave up a dangerous freekick and earned a yellow card for repeated infractions in the 77th minute.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.