No one who knows a thing or two about football should have been surprised by this. Victor Vucinich’s Club de Futbol Monterrey, the defending club champions of CONCACAF, have the upper hand after the first leg of a home-and-home at the Home Depot Center, Calif. Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy paid the price for not being able to catch up to the speed and quickness of Los Rayados late in the game, and combined with dreadful finishing and a second-half injury to Juninho, Monterrey lead this 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League semifinal 2-1.
Historically, the View from Avalon has not been kind to the Galaxy after any setback. Correction: it’s not so much history as it’s the norm. Given how the Galaxy lost this game, these ratings shouldn’t surprise anybody, either. Here are the player ratings for the Los Angeles Galaxy after their 2-1 defeat to CF Monterrey in CONCACAF Champions League action.
Carlo Cudicini 4
Responsible for making a critical error in the 82nd minute in gifting a chance for Humberto Suazo that turned the match in favor of Monterrey. Cudicini did make four saves and two collections, but he needed to do a little bit more.
A.J. DeLaGarza 5.5
Gets a deduction for earning a yellow card in the second half, but does receive a bonus for scoring in the first half. Also had a 76 percent pass success rate to go with four clearances and recoveries each.
Omar Gonzalez 2
Forget about the four interceptions, the four recoveries and the six clearance. For the second straight match, Omar Gonzalez is the goat. When you get schooled by someone as accomplished as Aldo De Nigris, it’s never a good feeling. Hang your head in shame, Gonzo.
Todd Dunivant 5.5
Todd Dunivant had a relatively better game, although his 71 percent pass success rate is average at best. The Iron Man only had three interceptions but did have six clearances and four recoveries.
A much more improved performance from Leonardo. So much improved that he is the Man of the Match for the Galaxy. Not often does any player on the Galaxy earn a perfect 100 percent pass success rate, but all of Leo’s 22 passes were on the money. In addition, he had eight interceptions, six recoveries and 15 clearances. Despite the result, Leonardo bounced back in a big way on Wednesday.
Mike Magee 5.5
Magee earned a 63 percent pass success rate to go with seven recoveries, a key pass and an assist, the latter of which the View will give a bonus for.
Sean Franklin 5
Gets a deduction for missing a sitter in the first half, but otherwise had a decent outing with three interceptions, clearances and recoveries each. Franklin also had a 76 percent pass success rate.
The importance of Juninho cannot be stressed any further: three tackles won, two interceptions, two clearances and 11 recoveries. When he went down in the 61st minute, the Galaxy’s fortunes took a massive dive. If he is unable to start next week, you chalk this series up for the defending champions for Monterrey.
Marcelo Sarvas 6
10 interceptions, seven recoveries, four tackles won and an 82 percent pass success rate. However, Sarvas couldn’t mesh well with Michael Stephens, and he could only shoulder so much in the midfield late in the second half.
Robbie Keane 5
More on this in the next piece on the View from Avalon highlighting his performance.
Jose Villareal 2.5
Hopelessly outclassed, hopelessly overmatched. This was just another case of young Jose Villareal getting run over by the big experienced names and big money coming out of Monterrey.
Landon Donovan 4
Still in preseason form, as seen in his miss on goal in the second half. This could be a problem heading into the second leg, which could possibly be the last 90 minutes of CCL football for LA…at least for this edition.
Michael Stephens 3
He may not have been responsible for giving up the goals to Suazo and De Nigris, but Michael Stephens triggered a huge, costly downgrade in the midfield’s quality in the last 30 minutes of the contest.