Carson, CA. – These have not been the best of times for the LA Galaxy’s Romain Alessandrini, but his season-long frustrations could be over.
The Frenchman had two goals in Saturday’s 4-0 romp over the visiting Columbus Crew in front of a StubHub Center crowd of 21,211 for his first multi-goal game since scoring twice in a 3-0 victory over Minnesota United last Oct. 15.
That last year’s leading scorer with 13 goals and 12 assists had his fourth and fifth goals of the season Saturday may have been borderline surprising, considering he had scored just once in his previous five games. An even bigger eye-opener was he came off the bench in the 60th minute in place of an ailing Ola Kamara, who continued to suffer from a strained left calf.
Alessandrini, who had played in 13 games – all starts – this season and missed three games in March with a hamstring injury, needed just seven minutes to get his first goal and added his second score deep into stoppage time to help the five-time MLS Cup champions complete the rout.
To say he had a little jump in his step was putting it mildly.
“He was highly motivated,” Galaxy head coach Sigi Schmid admitted. “He certainly gave us a really, really good spark off the bench.”
Alessandrini said he was told at training Friday he would not start, and he understandably was not thrilled with Schmid’s reasoning for the move.
“He felt I was a little bit tired, that’s why he put me on the bench,” he said. “Obviously I wasn’t happy. I want to play (start) every game, I want to be on the field. But I respect the choice and tonight when I came on I gave everything for the team.
“It was easy for me because we were winning 2-0 and I just needed to come back and defend and use the chances I got. Tonight I scored two goals and I’m very happy.”
Schmid said he was as pleased with Alessandrini’s work in helping craft the shutout, the team’s sixth this season and first since a 3-0 victory over Real Salt Lake on June 9, as he was with his goals.
“He also contributed when he came in, not only just on the goals but his discipline about helping us out as well defensively,” Schmid said. “I was probably equally as pleased by that as I was by his offensive display.”
Alessandrini was particularly pleased with the team’s collective effort. The Galaxy had squandered a pair of two-goal leads in its previous two matches, both draws, but they alleviated any concerns of a repeat scenario with a three-goal second half.
“It’s very important because we play in front of our fans, and we needed these three points,” he said. “We lost points the last two games against San Jose and D.C. (United, in 3-3 and 2-2 ties, respectively), and if you want to come back to the top and get in the playoffs we need every game, three points.
“Tonight is good for the confidence. The most important thing is we don’t concede goals. I think the defense got a lot of confidence for the next few games.”