Tough playing surface, tough refereeing, and a tough crowd.
A lot of tough elements hindered Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy on Thursday night against Club Sport Herediano. However, the Galaxy were able to escape Heredia, Costa Rica with a scoreless draw and a chance to take advantage of a more friendlier crowd at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
The player ratings for the Los Angeles Galaxy are a bit subdued this time around. Here are the ratings for those who took to the pitch—er, turf against El Team.
Carlo Cudicini 6.5
Twice, Carlo Cudicini benefited from the crossbar and the inaccuracy of the Herediano players at Estadio Eladio Rosabal Cordero. He also made one save and did well to maintain his second straight shutout in all competitions for the Galaxy. However, his reliability must come into question heading into next week’s second leg.
A.J. DeLaGarza 6.5
DeLaGarza gets minus points for lousy pass accuracy (63 percent) but this has a lot to do with the playing surface. Let’s face it: it’s tough to score goals when the ball does not bounce naturally as it would on a natural surface. Still, he racked up the clearances with 14 and had to do a lot of sweeping to maintain this shutout.
Todd Dunivant 6
A 64 percent pass success rate to go with eight clearances and five headers. Todd Dunivant was keyed in tonight by the Herediano attack because of the touches he had and was forced to be a sweeper on the left side.
Omar Gonzalez 7
Omar Gonzalez was another player that nearly gave up a howler; however he gets a bonus for an impressive pass success rate (81 percent) to go with 15 clearances and three interceptions.
Sean Franklin 7
Sean Franklin would have earned a 3.5 had the penalty he conceded been converted in the 87th minute. The soccer gods overturned the decision, and it’s back up to a 7. High pass success rate. We’re talking 92 percent here. Not to mention 10 clearances, according to the Opta Chalkboard, as well as a key pass and five headers.
Michael Stephens 6
Stephens is a slight downgrade from Colin Clark, but his experience playing in these tournaments has been solid. He had a 82 percent pass success rater, to go with eight recoveries, two key passes and four tackles won.
Hector Jimenez 5.5
I was hoping to see a little bit more out of Hector Jimenez at this match but again, that playing surface took him out of his game. All he could manage was a 75 percent pass succes rate, two unsuccessful flick-ons and five recoveries. Not a lot of touches, either.
Marcelo Sarvas 6
This is the player fans of Herediano love to hate because of what he did playing for their main rival, Alajuelense. Sarvas’s knowledge of these types of surfaces allowed him to hold his own, with an 80 percent pass success rate, three tackles won and eight recoveries.
Juninho quarterbacked the Galaxy midfield and got a good rating for it. On the Opta Chalkboard, Juni earned an 86 percent pass success rate, five layoffs, five headers, four tackles won, four interceptions and 10 recoveries. Only thing missing was the deliveries but that shows you that Herediano is a much better team than a certain soccer club from Chicago.
Mike Magee 6
It wasn’t a good night for Mike Magee, who saw his best chance on goal in the 67th minute called back due to offsides. However, his pass rating was better, at 72 percent. Magee also has seven lay offs, three headers, a successful cross and a key pass. A much better performance is expected at the Home Depot Center next week.
Robbie Keane 6.5
This also was a tough night for Robbie Keane. More details on his performance in the next piece here on the View from Avalon.
Garbage time; only contributed three clearances.
Rafael Garcia 4
71 percent pass success rate on just a few touches.
Jack McBean NR
Came into the game late, no rating given.