The Galaxy got off to a slow start and were never able to recover. They fall to the best in the West.
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy turned in another poor performance which led to a 3-1 loss against the Seattle Sounders. The loss was the third in a row for the Galaxy, who are now winless in four games, dropping them to 11th place in the Western Conference.
The Galaxy were sluggish and predictable in the first half as the Sounders were able to counter attack with speed and go into halftime with a two goal lead. Guillermo Barros Schelotto confirmed in the post game press conference that the team “Didn’t have the attitude we needed in the first half.”
The second half saw a better performance from the Galaxy, but they still weren’t able to match the pace and press that made Seattle look like they were in the driver’s seat for the majority of the evening.
The Galaxy have nine games left on their schedule and will need to find a way to start picking up points if they have hopes of crawling out from the bottom of the Western Conference standings. Their next opportunity will come when they travel to 12th place San Jose next weekend.
Let’s take a look at how the players fared on the night:
TOP OF THE CLASS
Sebastian Lletget was one of the keys to the Galaxy’s success as they returned to regular season play in August and while he has cooled off, he continues to consistently be one of the best options in the attack.
Lletget scored a goal in the 88th minute to bring his season total to five, making him the Galaxy’s second leading scorer behind Cristian Pavon. While goals are always welcome any way you can get them, Lletget still doesn’t seem to be on the same page with his strikers as his runs often mirror those of the forwards clogging passing lanes and leaving the Galaxy susceptible to the counter attack.
A positive spin on Lletget’s play is that he is being aggressive and forcing the issue when his teammates are unable to get clean looks. Lletget’s post game comments acknowledged that the team started the match soft and that the intensity was not right.
Even when Cristian Pavon doesn’t have a great game, he still forces other teams to make note of where he is. The Galaxy offense works best when Pavon is able to get his touches and opportunities to move forward. While the team did try to get Pavon involved by getting him the most touches of any Galaxy player, the Sounders were quick to shut down Pavon as many of the movements became predictable.
While Pavon is experiencing a bit of a dry spell, by his standards, he is still able to find a way to cut inside and get at least one clean look at a goalscoring opportunity. Pavon will need to keep his head held high and the goals will come when you have the technical skill that he does.
There won’t be many clips for the Pavon highlight reel from this match, but the work rate was still impressive, especially given how lethargic his teammates looked at times.
The Galaxy defense has allowed seven goals in their last three matches and there are major flaws being exposed, but Nick DePuy isn’t the problem.
DePuy continues to look like a veteran in his rookie season as he maintained a 100% passer rating. His calmness and confidence on the back line has been excellent for the entirety of the season and hopefully the amount of goals the team is letting in doesn’t affect his mentality.
DePuy mentioned in the post game press conference that Seattle punished the Galaxy for their mental lapses. The Sounders attack is one of the most potent in the league and hopefully DePuy can learn from going head to head against some of the league’s best attackers.
Perhaps the honeymoon period is over for Jonathan Dos Santos as he played his first 90 minutes of the season. Dos Santos playing 90 minutes could be an indication that he is now fully fit and ready to play a key role moving forward.
Schelotto vented some of his frustrations with the team in the post match comments stating that the team played the same as they did against Colorado in the previous week where the passes were moving backwards instead of moving forward.
It is possible that Schelotto was referring to Dos Santos with these comments as the Galaxy captain held a high passer rating, but the types of passes were not ones that manifested in results for the Galaxy.
Dos Santos was without Perry Kitchen starting alongside him in this match and was not able to fulfill the defensive “bulldog” role as he only recorded one tackle on the evening. Dos Santos may be tentative as he recovers from injury, but hopefully he can return to the level of play that has made him a fan favorite in recent times.
The struggles continue for Javier Hernandez as the Galaxy are still without a win when he plays. To make matters worse, he still has not scored a goal since the first match of the MLS is Back tournament. The spotlight is on Hernandez has he was the big name acquisition who was brought in to score goals and he is not meeting expectations with that metric.
Watching the game in person, you are able to see Hernandez’s work rate as he is constantly moving to try and find the opening. Anyone who is critiquing Hernandez for his lack of effort isn’t watching closely.
The other side of the coin is that if Hernandez is giving his best effort and it isn’t good enough to break through, then this could be a huge red flag for the Galaxy.
Lletget mentioned that the team is still working on getting everyone on the same page with the players coming back from injury. Reading between the lines, it is clear he is referring to Hernandez and Dos Santos as they still look out of place among the starters.
This was Hernandez’s first full game performance since the Orlando tournament so we are still in “wait and see” territory. The pressure will continue to build until he can start finding chemistry with his teammates.
All eyes have been on Julian Araujo this season as he is blossoming into a player with tons of potential. Just this week, Araujo has been mentioned by Mexican National Team coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino as someone he would like to see in upcoming national team fixtures.
With all of that being said, this was not Araujo’s best performance. Araujo reprised his role at midfield and found himself in no man’s land when he was unable to successfully contribute on offense or defense.
Araujo was returning from a one-game suspension after earning a red card from a second yellow for unsporting behavior. Additionally, Araujo was on watch for yellow card accumulation in this match. Araujo went on to earn a yellow card in the 40th minute for, you guessed it, unsporting behavior.
Araujo’s physicality and grit is a net positive for his game, but he needs to pick his moments and have more awareness of his situation when heading into these matches. This also forced Schelotto to use his first sub on Araujo who he did not want to risk having out on the field to earn another red card.
Araujo will have some time to think about how to make adjustments to his game as he will sit out the next match against San Jose.
After being subbed on in the 78th minute for Emiliano Insua, Diedie Traore didn’t play enough to warrant an accurate player grade, but he did show some promise to be a viable option at left-back when Insua needs to be rested.
Traore brings speed and a confidence to take players on as he crashes down the wing. There were some clumsy touches for Traore at first, but you can see the flashes of skill that show why he was called up to the first team last season.
This was only the second time that Traore saw minutes this season and perhaps this was an indicator from Schelotto that Traore will be part of the team’s depth in future matches.
Below you can find all player grades plus their per game average rating.