All of a sudden, Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy are hitting their stride and returning to form. Applying pressure after scoring first is something that LA will need to do in order to win against opponents like Schellas Hyndman’s FC Dallas. On Sunday, the Galaxy shut out Dallas, 2-0 and put it all together.
Lessons are to be learned from every game, and here are six things we learned from Sunday night’s performance at StubHub Center.
1. Panama didn’t need Blas Perez on Sunday against Mexico
This is an important thing we have to take from this contest: FC Dallas needed Blas Perez more than the Panamanian national team, who upset Mexico, 2-1, up the road at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. However, Perez just wasn’t up to snuff, as the back line suffocated him and the Dallas attack.
2. Gyasi Zardes still is a work in progress
You probably know this by now, but Gyasi Zardes still hasn’t found his rhythm yet. This is a player that seems to play more like Eddie Johnson when he is on an off game. We’ve yet to really see Zardes become the machine he is capable off but it’s going to take time.
3. Los Angeles win the stat battle
It wasn’t just the scoreline that won the day for the Los Angeles Galaxy. The statistics also told a lot about how complete this game was for Los Angeles. If they can make this a habit, they are back in business.
|LA Galaxy||FC Dallas|
|23||Attempts on Goal||6|
|6||Shots on Target||2|
|8||Shots off Target||2|
|21||Open Play Crosses||10|
|1||First Yellow Cards||2|
|0||Second Yellow Cards||0|
|55%||Duels Won %||44%|
|81%||Passing Accuracy %||79%|
4. Marcelo Sarvas strikes again
In the 65th minute, LA drew up a textbook sequence. Omar Gonzalez, who was being celebrated with a bobblehead in his honor, sent a pass to Robbie Keane, who sent a through ball that could have gone to Zardes but instead found Marcelo Sarvas. The goal is Sarvas’s third of the season.
“A great, great goal,” Arena told reporters. “You know we’ve gotten more out of Marcelo and [Juninho] over the last three games getting into the attack.
“[Marcelo and Juninho] played well tonight against an outstanding group in the middle of the field with Jacobson, and Michel, and Ferreira. They are good, and our guys held up well so it was a real good effort there.”
5. Hector Jimenez breaks through
This was a breakthrough performance for midfielder Hector Jimenez, who was left on an island all alone in the 80th minute to take his third of the season. Jimenez has been solid the last several games in the midfield and will need to do so as July continues.
“Marcelo’s been great in the last few games and totally deserves that goal,” said Keane to the press. “He’s been doing well. Full credit to him, he’s been one of our best performers in the last month or so. Hector as well, since he’s come in since Landon [Donovan]’s left he’s done very well.”
6. Carlo Cudicini can still pitch a shutout after all
While Raul Fernandez gets kudos for making a bevy of saves, it’s the shutouts that make the keeper. And in spite of all the bad stick he has been receiving the past several weeks, justified at that, Carlo Cudicini can still shut out an opponent on any given night.
Cudicini only had to make two saves, but the impact was significant enough to ensure all three points for the Galaxy.
“Every game we play we are creating a lot of chances,” Sarvas concluded. “This is good because the team has some idea and is playing well. I think we have to be more accurate in the box and make it hard on the defenders every time. If we just score 10 percent of the chances we are creating we could win every game.”