A slow start for Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy, but they plugged away late in the first half and outran Sigi Schmid’s Seattle Sounders late in the second half, taking advantage of Mauro Rosales’s absences to prevail in a 3-0 shutout at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.
The Galaxy have a decent cushion heading into the second leg but it could have been more for Los Angeles, who left a number on the table. Still, a big shutout victory is a big shutout victory, and with it, solid ratings of a majority of the Galaxy players. Here they are.
Josh Saunders 7
Great night for Josh Saunders, who made four key saves, four collections and a punchout. Distribution has been a lottery for LA’s No. 12, though, with a unimpressive 44 percent pass success rate. That needs to go up if LA are to close out this series next week.
Tommy Meyer 6.5
Tommy Meyer gets penalized by the View from Avalon for a speculative clearance attempt in the second half that had to be cleaned up by Saunders on the insuing corner. Otherwise, it’s not much of a dropoff from the last game, as Meyer recorded five interceptions, eight clearances and four recoveries to go with a decent 80 percent pass success rate.
Todd Dunivant 6
Like Meyer, Dunivant had an 80 percent pass success rate, but he was quiet defensively, making just two clearances and four recoveries. A more proactive effort from the Iron Man will be needed next week.
Sean Franklin 8
This was a great night for Sean Franklin, who had two assists to lead the Galaxy. Franklin also had a solid 84 percent pass success rate, two successful crosses, seven recoveries, three interceptions and three tackles won. Another of these nights will needed from Franklin next week to ensure the Galaxy get back to some more MLS Cup Final work.
Omar Gonzalez 7.5
Just another night at the office for Omar Gonzalez, who could be on his way to Europe next year after dominating the central midfield and limiting the impact of the struggling Fredy Montero. We’re talking an 84 percent pass success rate to go with nine clearancees, four tackles won, four interceptions and six recoveries.
Mike Magee 7.5
Mr. November strikes again! A goal in the 64th minute from one of the clutch players on the Galaxy team told the story for Mike Magee, as did an 86 percent pass success rate, three lay offs, three interceptions and four recoveries. Better crosses will be needed next Sunday at CenturyLink, since that what Magee is penalized for in these ratings.
David Beckham 6.5
This was a much better performance from David Beckham on Sunday. Sure, he had 10 unsuccessful crosses to go with two successful ones and he lost possession on the challenge 29 times, but Beckham had 11 recoveries, a through ball, and a decent 66 percent pass success rate. with the cushion the Galaxy have, it is important for Beckham to get on the score sheet next week. Stay tuned for the Bold Prediction of this second leg for all the details.
This wasn’t a good night for Juninho. The only positive the View from Avalon will take from this is that his pass success rate, despite the few touches he had, was an impressive 89 percent. But he really struggled to find his fitness and had to be subbed for Marcelo Sarvas.
And speaking of Sarvas…
Marcelo Sarvas 6
Sarvas had a much better game and had some chances on goal. He managed an 89 pass success rate—like Juninho but with more touches—to go with a key pass, a through ball, a lay off, a header and five recoveries. Expect Juninho and Sarvas to be rotated again next Sunday against the Sounders.
Christian Wilhelmsson 6.5
It’s not very often that a player that is really only good enough to hack it in the NASL or USL PRO can get away with hacking it in MLS, but that is the case with Christian Wilhelmsson, who earned the assist on Robbie Keane’s second goal which seemed offsides, at least in Rave Green eyes.
But aside from that, this was a much better game from Chipper, who earned an impressive 88 percent pass success rate to go with two key passes, six tackles won and eight recoveries. In spite of the numbers, Wilhelmsson must win more duels in the midfield next Sunday at CenturyLink Field.
Robbie Keane 8.5
The man of the match: who else, it’s Robbie Keane!
Keane, who has been simmed by EA Sports to win the Golden Boot this season, showed his scoring touch, earning a brace and an assist. In addition to his damage on the attack, Robbie Keane had a 76 percent pass success rate, six lay offs, four key passes and seven recoveries. Keane now has five goals in the MLS Cup Playoffs, but will there be more to come next week?
Landon Donovan 7
More of the same from Landon Donovan, who got on the score sheet with an assist. Like Keane Donovan also had a 76 percent pass success rate and also had four lay offs, a key pass and five recoveries. With the cushion, expect LD to turn things up a notch next Sunday.
Michael Stephens 5
Michael Stephens, who came in for Christian Wilhelmsson, had one shot on goal but didn’t do much to change the outcome. Garbage time, as usual.
Jose Villareal NR
Came into the game late, no rating given.