The LA Galaxy started Saturday’s 1-1 game against the Portland Timbers looking lethargic and like their coffee had yet to kick in. Greg Vanney said as much during his halftime interview. When Vázquez was injured right around one third of the way through the game, it gave watchers the opportunity to finally see Chicharito and Dejan Joveljić on the field together. While it wasn’t necessarily a jolt of coffee, it progressively did look better over the course of the game. The Galaxy’s hold up play improved, working the ball out of the back improved, and Dejan’s runs were better than Cabral’s.
While it took some time to get the two going, and Chicharito had one of the most miserable lack of finishing days seen, they still played better off one another than the abject first thirty minutes the Galaxy played.
This continues to be an experiment Vanney should consider, though it was rightfully pointed out by the announcing crew that LA has a span of several games in a short period of time. Rotation will be key to survival.
Derrick Williams continues to be one of the best pickups the Galaxy have made in a long time. His defensive prowess was on display again against the Timbers. In particular, his slide tackling ability is stellar. He times the slide exactly right. His instincts are razor sharp. He’s a joy to watch, regardless of who is paired with him.
Chicharito needs to shake the rust off, and go score some goals. Edwards and Araujo were quite good offensively today which was fun to watch. While it causes heartburn when they are so far up the pitch, it also results in offensive opportunity as everyone saw in this game. Both of them are back to looking like assist machines.
Not much criticism on this one due to the lengthy time off. Hoping Chicharito and Dejan look even better as the starting duo in the U.S. Open cup game (fingers crossed).
- Dejan Joveljić - flicked header somehow missed by Chicharito in the 67th minute. Great run, great headed finish in the 88th minute.
- Derrick Williams - important clearance in the 36th minute. Just missed a header off a free kick in the 62nd minute. Goal line clearance in the 63rd minute. Great tackle to prevent a shot in the 64th minute. Great positioning in the 80th minute to prevent a shot. Man of the Match
- Julian Araujo - set up Chicharito in the 38th minute for what should have been a goal. Caught upfield on Portland’s goal. Decent cross in the 77th minute just missed Raveloson. Great cross found Joveljić in the 88th minute. Misfired a shot in the 91st minute.
- Nick DePuy - soft yellow in the 37th minute for a slight kick of the ball. Slow footed to close down Portland’s goal. Important clearance from the box in the 84th minute.
- Samuel Grandsir - gorgeous cross in the 16th minute was missed by Cabral. Just missed the top right corner with a curling shot in the 51st minute. Had some dangerous crosses from the left to start the second half. Earned a yellow card for simulation.
- Raheem Edwards - beat by Chara in the 62nd minute but luckily Williams bailed him out. Stripped in the 64th minute, and once again, Williams bailed him out. But he was a force on offense down the right, in particular displaying his dribbling skills while in motion.
- Jonathan Bond - good decision to clear in front of an onrushing Timbers player in the 3rd minute. Parried a shot in the 6th minute. Another good decision to clear at the halfway line (!) in the 83rd minute.
- Efraín Álvarez - sent in a decent free kick in the 62nd minute that Williams just missed.
- Kevin Leerdam - nothing of note in this 16 minutes.
- Kévin Cabral - set up Vázquez with a cutback in the 16th minute. Just missed the subsequent cross from Grandsir (he should have finished it). Important intervention to stop a counter and end the first half.
- Mark Delgado - nice squared pass evaded everyone in the box in the 83rd minute.
- Víctor Vázquez - lovely free kick in the 11th minute tested the keeper. Shot at the keeper again in the 16th minute from the middle of the box. Forced off with an injury in the 32nd minute.
- Chicharito - whiffed on a squared pass from Araujo in the 38th minute. Whiffed again on a corner in the 67th minute, sent the ball across goal instead of in it.
- Rayan Raveloson - nearly assisted a Timbers player in the 2nd minute. Luckily defended his own error.
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