For the most part, Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy put on a better performance on offense and defense, but in the end, set piece defending made things a bit uncomfortable for the road team in their 3-1 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium on the campus of Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, Calif.
The win gives the Galaxy a 3-2 aggregate victory in the 2012 MLS Western Conference Semifinals, and up next is either the Seattle Sounders or Real Salt Lake in the Western Conference Finals. As always, with every match comes ratings, and here are the short-and-sweet player ratings for the Los Angeles Galaxy against the San Jose Earthquakes.
Josh Saunders 6
A decent game from Josh Saunders, who was unfortunate to give up yet another goal on set pieces. Only had to make one save all match. Was poor with his passing, though.
Tommy Meyer 7
This will go down as the night Tommy Meyer finally broke on to the scene. Sixteen clearances, an assist and three recoveries turned Meyer into a sweeping machine on wednesday night.
Omar Gonzalez 7.5
Omar Gonzalez was playing like Omar Gonzalez. He and Meyer clamped down on Chris Wondolowski and Steven Lenhart, making 15 clearances, four interceptions and five recoveries. That is clutch.
Todd Dunivant 6.5
Did just enough, with six clearances, four recoveries, two blocked crosses and two interceptions. The passing needs work, though.
Sean Franklin 6.5
Like Dunivant, Sean Franklin was struggling with his passing, but defense-wise, he got the job done, making seven clearances, four interceptions and five recoveries. Also got in with an assist.
David Beckham 5
Another average game from David Beckham, who seems to only be in it for the paycheck and the presence, not so much the effort and playmaking. Set pieces were off and his only contributions to the match were eight recoveries and one yellow card.
Mike Magee 8
A sensational game from Mike Magee, who has had a track record of success against the Earthquakes with a goal and an assist. His goal in the 39th minute was goal that decided this two-legged tie.
Juninho had an 83 percent pass success rating and he also held his own on defense, making six interceptions, three clearances and five recoveries. Not impressive enoughs, but enough to get it done.
Landon Donovan 8.5
Now THIS is the Landon Donovan that Los Angeles Galaxy fans have been used to seeing for the most part. A proud footballer with a track record of making plays, creating chances, and dominating in the attacking third. One Wednesday, Donovan laid claim to a 78 percent pass success rate to go with six lay offs, five headers, two through balls, a key pass, eight recoveries and two crucial assists.
Robbie Keane 9
A brace from Robbie Keane powered the Los Angeles Galaxy to one of its biggest victories of the season. Like Donovan, Keane also had a 78 percent pass success rate and also have a lay off, a header, two key passes, a through ball and four recoveries. Keane got his finishing touch to deliver and it did.
Edson Buddle 6
Edson Buddle’s hold-up play was decent but it wasn’t an impressive night from LA’s No. 14, who had a diabolical 48 percent pass success rate, three unsuccessful flick ons, eight headers, five recoveries, three clearances and only one tackle won.
Marcelo Sarvas 5
Garbage time for Sarvas, who only served to help melt time off the clock and hold off the Earthquakes, who were pressing in the second half.
Christian Wilhelmsson 4
Worst player on the pitch for LA. I have to ask myself, and you should also ask yourself, this question: what is Christian Wilhelmsson doing playing n Major League Soccer? No finishing touch, every opportunity to finish off the Earthquakes in the second half was wasted…Chippen may be fit for playing for the New York Cosmos of the NASL or a team in USL PRO, but there is no way that Christian Wilhelmsson should be wasting his time in MLS with an effort that made David Beckham’s night glorious by comparison.