Ok, so it’s not exactly a kneecap, but it’s close. Romain Alessandrini had surgery at Cedars-Sinai this week to repair his torn meniscus root in his left knee.
Doctors have described this type of injury as devastating, painful, and a cause of rapid joint deterioration. It is estimated the handsome 30-year-old Frenchman will be out until at least September.
This is a huge hit to the LA Galaxy as Alessandrini is a vital asset to the team’s offense. In Wednesday’s game, Emmanuel Boatang started in Alessandrini’s normal position. I hope he’s ready to continue filling the position.
The LA Galaxy took on the Minnesota Loons ending in a 0-0 draw.
Starting XI: David Bingham, Jorgen Skjelvik, Diego Polenta, Daniel Steres, Julian Araujo (Gian Carlo Gonzalez 79′), Joe Corona, Jonathan dos Santos, Uriel Antuna (Servando Carrasco 82′), Sebastian Lletget, Emmanuel Boatang (Chris Pontius 64′), Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Out with injury:
Romain Alessandrini- knee injury
Perry Kitchen- foot injury
Rolf Feltscher- groin injury
The LA Galaxy tried hard in a midweek game against Minnesota United FC to bring home three points but both teams were unsuccessful at obtaining a win.
The beginning of the game looked hopeful for the Galaxy but resulted in both teams inability to maintain possession and score. Julian Araujo served the ball to Zlatan in the first half but he was unable to get the header into the goal.
The first half of the game was an ongoing back and forth to both sides of the field without a completed goal-scoring play. The Galaxy was disjointed, which could be somewhat attributed to the conditions of Minnesota’s new field.
Although the Galaxy couldn’t seem to score, a few of the players had noticeably great games. Jonathan dos Santos was all over the field showing Minnesota’s players that he won’t back down.
Bingham had a great game and displayed how he’s grown as a goalie since joining the Galaxy. He was strong in the box stopping 4 goals.
Zlatan just wasn’t Zlatan. He fumbled a play and was seen apologizing after. Julian Araujo had a rough game as well, leaving the stadium on crutches. Before his injury, he was quick and played with confidence. Guillermo Barros Schelotto later said Araujo’s injury was not serious and he expected him to be back for Sunday’s game.
The LA Galaxy take on Real Salt Lake at home on Sunday, April 28.
FC Dallas took full advantage of the Los Angeles Galaxy’s mistakes Saturday, March 9, 2019.
Real chances weren’t created. The first half was a battle for possession. Emmanuel Boateng and Sebastian Lletget both had chances to score early on. Uriel Antuna almost made a goal on what was meant to be a cross in the 28′ but it hit the corner of the post.
Dallas could have scored on a wide open net in the 37′ but Jimmy Maurer missed it.
In stoppage time of the first half, Rolf Feltscher had a shot right off the crossbar and moments later Chris Pontius almost had a header.
It was the second half when the Galaxy got punished. The home team were awarded a penalty after Diego Polenta kicked a defender right in his side in the box.
The absences of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Romain Alessandrini were strongly felt.
Injuries are out of the control of the players and coach, so it’s how the team adjusts to these changes that is key.
They’re slow and it’s clear the team didn’t know what to do when they had the ball, which was dire in front of the net. Boateng bested an FCD defender and then missed a crucial shot on an open net.
The ones really let down are the fans. Traveling supporters kept their spirits up though and were the only ones heard in Toyota stadium.
The best and the only attack came from 16-year-old Efrain Alvarez, who hasn’t ceased to amaze in only his second game with the LA Galaxy. His shot came in stoppage time, right on goal. But FCD’s keeper made the save to deny the teen from scoring and maintained his clean sheet.
This match really showed the Galaxy need to develop structure and play as a team. The passion and attack were missing as well. There’s plenty of talent, but they’re utilizing their skills individually. Even Daniel Steres came through to defend until he didn’t. Feltscher did his own thing, earning himself a yellow card in the 21’ for his tackle on Michael Barrios. Joe Corona didn’t get much time on the ball. Pontius wasn’t coming through either.
Lletget had to be subbed in 59’ after taking an elbow to the face and getting a bloody nose that took him out of play. He just can’t stop getting injured. Prior to that though, he did have a fantastic curl that went just too wide.
Boateng was finally subbed in the 76’ giving homegrown LA Academy and LA Galaxy II rising player Ethan Zubak his debut.
Jonathan Dos Santos took on the role of captain, which was a good move as he’s also shown leadership skills and can step up when needed. He is integral to the midfield creating chances.
LAG problems with defense are not new. The backline hasn’t had any changes. However, General Manager te Kloese and Head Coach Schelotto have made moves to build offense and depth. Once again, this team is a work in progress. LA Galaxy II Open Tryout Diedie Traore has also just signed with LAG after acquiring an international spot from Columbus Crew SC.
Expectations need to be kept realistic, which doesn’t mean standards need to be lowered. At this point, fans are hoping just to qualify for the playoffs. Considering both teams had highs and lows this match, there’s still plenty of reasons to keep the faith as Galaxy fans.
The LA Galaxy’s next challenge is Saturday, March 16 against Minnesota United at Dignity Health Sports Park. Kickoff is set for 6pm PST.
David Bingham; Tomas Hilliard-Arce, Michael Ciani, Jorgen Skjelvik; Chris Pontius, Jonathan dos Santos, Servando Carrasco, Dave Romney; Giovani dos Santos; Ola Kamara, Zlatan Ibrahimovic (C).
Justin Vom Steeg, Daniel Steres, Sheanon Williams, Baggio Husidic, Romain Alessandrini, Ariel Lassiter, Emmanuel Boateng.
It was a 67-degree evening. The wind was 16-20 mph. The rain was incessant. I watched from my best friend’s comfortable couch as he’d recorded the match for me.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic wore the captain’s band since Ashley Cole was suspended for this match due to a red card last match.
The game itself started pretty even. The ball moved back and forth to each end of the pitch, the LA Galaxy and Philadelphia Union each with a few chances. The visiting team started the scoring when David Bingham made a save, but due to poor clearance, it redirected and penetrated the net.
By the 38th minute, possession was 50%. The Galaxy had had a few shots and corners. Ibrahimovic took a long shot and the home keeper, Andre Blake, managed to get a touch on it to keep the first half scoreless, despite giving the G’s a corner.
In the 45th minute, Romain Alessandrini came on for Tomas Hilliard-Arce and this would prove to be a game changer.
In the 47th minute, Jonathan Dos Santos intercepted a Union pass, kicked the ball to Ibrahimovic who then passed it to Ola Kamara who was on a run, scoring his 8th goal of the season, and leveling the match 1-1.
In the 74th minute, Dave Romney took an elbow to the face as he did his job defending and he started bleeding from his mouth and apparently lost a tooth for the second time in his Galaxy career. He stayed in the game, though.
The Galaxy made their second sub, Chris Pontius was taken out for Sheanon Williams in the 79th minute, which ended Pontius’ 7-game contributing streak. Still, the Galaxy were up 2-1.
David Bingham made big saves to keep the advantage.
Alessandrini took the corner in the 82nd minute, which Michael Ciani got a header on. The score was now 3-1 in favor of the Galaxy.
This was the LAG’s third win in a row since 2017, making it a seven-game unbeaten streak. They have climbed their way up to 4th place in the Western Conference. It seems the team is finally on the same page.
The LA Galaxy face LAFC tonight at 7:30pm. It’ll be a hot one.
David Bingham; David Romney, Michael Ciani, Jorgen Skjelvik; Chris Pontius, Perry Kitchen, Jonathan dos Santos; Ashley Cole; Giovani dos Santos; Ola Kamara, Romain Alessandrini
Justin Vom Steeg, Tomas Hilliard-Arce, Daniel Steres, Sheanon Williams, Baggio Husidic, Emmanuel Boateng, Ariel Lassiter.
My fellow LA Galaxy friend, Leslie Chavez, invited me to her 31st birthday party where I met several other fans and Twitter people. Some I’d met before, but they were mostly new. She chose Common Space Brewery for the setting so we could watch the match. It definitely turned into a viewing party where we could all share opinions and talk soccer, including the World Cup, other MLS teams, players, and other leagues.
New England Revolution vs the LA Galaxy at Gillette Stadium on July 14, 2018, was bad soccer except for the last few minutes. But, first things first:
The Galaxy wore black armbands in honor of Sports Psychologist, Dr. Ken Ravizza, who passed away the week before.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic didn’t make the trip. There wasn’t a point when the team would have to fly back to LA and train, get a day of rest, and then fly back to the East Coast to Philadelphia where they will play the Union on July 21st. Plus, it wouldn’t be good to wear out Ibrahimovic by having him play on that artificial turf and risk injury.
So, I thought it looked like a good starting XI with Ola Kamara and Romain Alessandrini up top. The blaring concern turned out to be the back three when it should’ve been four in the back for better defense since that’s the Galaxy’s major problem. The G’s Keeper,David Bingham, had to work extra hard with saves and his frustration was showing as a result.
NE Keeper Matt Turner stopped to save a ball, but when Antonio Delamea Mlinar slid to defend, he almost scored an own goal.
The Galaxy conceded a goal in the 28th minute after the Revs were already down a man when, due to violent conduct, Cristian Penilla, got sent off on a red card. Still, New England was able to attack.
Chris Pontius scored in the 38th minute on an assist from Ashley Cole, leveling the match, but that lasted less than 10 minutes when L.A. Caicedo scored a header in the 45th minute to make it 2-1 Revs.
Throughout the match, it seemed anytime the ball got near Kamara, it bounced off his back heel and he didn’t seem to be having a good game. We kept losing possession.
In the second half, Ashley Cole double yellowed and once he was ejected, we really thought the match was over. We were all negative, resolving that we would lose. My hope had been snuffed out like the flame of a candle, only smoke where there was once a spark.
Suddenly, Dave Romney scored a header in stoppage time, assisted by Alessandrini. It was a consolation goal and us fans would’ve been satisfied with a draw. I told everyone at the table to wait, that we still had two minutes of stoppage time to lose.
A minute later, Pontius scored again also from an assist from Alessandrini!
We erupted with celebration and the bartender even said it was a crazy match. Our level of excitement made her think it was a playoff match. The whistle blew and the Galaxy had stolen three points, the final score was 3-2.
Pontius’ positive impact the last several matches is a fantastic streak in itself: he has now seven games with a goal or an assist. In my opinion, he was the man of the match.
Hopefully, the Galaxy can continue their unbeaten streak. Next match is another away game this time against the Philadelphia Union. Kickoff is at 4pm PST.
Featured image: Chris Pontius and Romain Alessandrini celebrate the winning goal (Alessandrini’s Official Instagram)
Bench Justin Vom Steeg, Tomas Hilliard-Arce, Daniel Steres, Sheanon Williams, Baggio Husidic, Romain Alessandrini, Emmanuel Boateng
The LA Galaxy showed what they were capable of by scoring four goals for the win on Saturday night and keeping it a shutout. Finally, a win after two back to back draws. 21, 211 attended the match, including my best friend, Justin Markowitz. This was his first MLS game, but he’d been at StubHub Center several years before as the PA for a rugby match. He also played soccer for ten years, so he really could see the Galaxy’s struggle. It was real.
The usual problems in defense glared for 40 minutes. Giovani Dos Santos and Jonathan Dos Santosboth started for the first time since returning from International Duty with Mexico for the World Cup in Russia. Gio-who wears 10, but doesn’t play like it, had the worst touch on the ball and couldn’t hold it. There was too much space in the middle.
The Galaxy weren’t able to make any plays happen, especially to play as a team and keep it together. I saw Ola Kamarascore the first goal in the 42nd minute and I’m still not totally sure how Ashley Cole was able to get the ball to Kamara in front of the net.
Shortly after, though, it appeared Columbus Crew had equalized, immediately stealing Kamara’s thunder. But, I could hear fans behind me calling for VAR and saying they’d seen the ball go out of play. We waited with bated breath for the review. Finally, VAR and refereeing had worked in the Galaxy’s favor and the goal attributed to Gyasi Zardes was called back. LAG finally upped the ante on attack and tightened up the defense the last few minutes of the half.
In the second half, Zlatan Ibrahimovic was awarded a penalty, which he scored in the 57th minute. This was the first PK for the Galaxy of the season. But, the G’s have been in this situation before. They had to focus and hold onto the 2-0 lead.
After an injury break, Kamara was subbed off for Romain Alessandrini, who ended up scoring a brace to make it 4-0. David Bingham made quite a few saves to maintain a clean sheet to make it the sixth shutout of the year.
Zardes was a homegrown player for the LA Galaxy prior to his transfer to Ohio this season. He was shown plenty of love from Galaxy fans, who cheered and applauded for him. As The Briggs (Band) song, which has become the theme that is played right before kickoff every home match, says: “This is LA, our city, our home, Los Angeles….Wherever we go, this is our home.”
Starting XI: David Bingham; Dave Romney, Michael Ciani, Jorgen Skjelvik; Ashley Cole (c); Chris Pontius, Perry Kitchen, Joao Pedro, Bradford Jamieson IV, Romain Alessandrini; Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Bench: Justin Vom Steeg, Daniel Steres, Sheanon Williams, Tomas Hilliard-Arce, Baggio Husidic, Ariel Lassiter.
Most of the LA Galaxy’s regular players were out injured. The Dos Santos brothers are still away on World Cup duty in Russia, though Giovani Dos Santos was the only one who’s seen any minutes on the pitch there.
CaliClasico kicked off full throttle at Stanford. Just in the first half, five goals had been scored.
The Galaxy’s fire started when Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored not even one minute into the match.
Fifteen minutes later, the Quake’s Valeri Qazaishvili pulled one back and the game was set at 3-2 by the end of the first half.
The Galaxy almost had it, then were careless near and in the box. Another penalty was given to San Jose and Wondolowski didn’t miss that one in the 69th minute.
The match ended in a 3-3 draw. Both teams played equally poorly. They gave up too many goals and fouls.
The Galaxy’s Bradford Jamieson IV did not look as good as he did during the U.S. Open Cup debut match. He committed a foul in the box that took down SJ’s Magnus Eriksson resulting in the first penalty.
The Galaxy dropped 2 points on the road. I say that because they gave up two penalties and they had the lead and then dropped it.
It’s time to move on now as LA have two home games this week. July 4th and July 7th. Both have 7pm kick-off times.
The Los Angeles Galaxy are back! Home opener at StubHub center vs the Portland Timbers.
Sunday, March 4, 2018: 2-1 Win
Six foreign friends and I waited in anticipation in our chilly seats behind the goal in GA. They compared US soccer to their countries in Europe and South America based on the warm-ups. I wanted them to be impressed and to show them that the MLS can hang in the world of soccer.
A banner then rolled out over us right before the national anthem. The Angel City Brigade clapped rhythmically, waved their flags, and beat their drums.Familiar chants roared across the field. Despite being sick with a cold, I cheered right along. Needless to say, we were stoked before the game was even underway.
The first half was dominated by the LA Galaxy. It belonged to them.
Both goals were scored in that half. A rather messy goal that was Kamara’s debut where he literally fell into scoring as a Portland defender pushed him from behind, knocking him over the keeper, but the ball was in at the 31st minute.The crowd went wild.
Goal #2 came two minutes later when Alessandrini scored after a second attempt as the ball came off the post when he slid onto his side, got back up and kicked it in. He was quick and determined.
Alessandrini went out after he pulled up with what looked like a right hamstring strain in the 60th minute. Chris Pontius entered the game. We started to come loose at the seams.Portland had plenty of chances and often times too much space as seen in the second half, such as when Sebastián Blanco was able to score making it 2-1 by the 66th minute.
Giovani Dos Santos was subbed out in the 72nd minute and finally, Sebastian Lletget, who fans had been calling for, came in.Lletget brought speed and was fearless as he challenged two to three Portland defenders at a time to win back the ball.
In the 83rd minute of the game, Ema Boateng exited and Servando Carrasco came on for the Galaxy. Another change that altered the dynamic of the team.
There’s currently not an update on Alessandrini from coach Sigi Schmid. Wishing him well, especially since he and Boateng are key players. Once they exited the game, we had trouble keeping it together, we needed to keep calm and play through difficult maneuvers from the other team.
We needed to defend and not worry about scoring. The Dos Santos brothers made good runs for the most part. That said, Ciani has the most improvement with great attack and defense.
This LA team in the preseason gave plenty of concerns and there were plenty of times throughout this match that had me asking so many questions (most of them were calls made or not made by the ref).There’s always room for improvement. Still, The Galaxy deserved this win. They earned it in front of 25,462 fans. This kind of comeback is what I was hoping for and what this club needed.
Overall, our defense was exceptional as well as our attack. We also regained possession quickly. We looked and played the best we’ve been in a long while. This is LA. This is my team. This is the way to come back and open at home.
The fortress of StubHub Center has breached. That isn’t to say we haven’t been struggling at home all season, because it’s absolutely no secret that we have, but before this year, StubHub Center was a place teams feared showing up to.
Contrary to the norm, this season LA Galaxy only has one win at home. When asked why that is, players have been cited as saying that they feel pressured at home because of fans, and can’t perform the way they do on the road because of it.
Whether that is a valid excuse for leaving eighteen points on the table at home this season or not is very much up for discussion. Despite the woes that, lets face it, we’ve all been feeling this season until this past weekend, the Galaxy were unbeaten in ten matches which if you ask me is a pretty good record. That all changed in this weekends California Clasico at San Jose.
Last weekends lineup, while not what you would expect a starting XI for the Galaxy to look like, wasn’t that far off for what we’ve been looking at this season. The team, as a whole, experiencing an unlucky bout of injuries. Last weekend’s match in San Jose saw the Galaxy missing twelve players due to injury and international call-ups.
This injury list included the team’s current leading goal scorer, Romain Alessandrini, who has notched eight goals and seven assists this season, leading the LA Galaxy in that regard. Other veteran and regular starter injuries, Ashley Cole, Brian Rowe, and Baguio Husidic (out with a broken leg) contribute to the Galaxy’s lack of continuity in a starting XI.
While most of these absences will be short lived enough, for now, the Galaxy are left without a host of their starters, and forced into using a host of homegrown and loaned up Los Dos players to get the job done.
Young Guns Get the Start
The silver lining in the lengthy list of injuries and absences plaguing the Galaxy is the chance for younger players, many of them homegrown players, to get a chance to shine. Players like Jaime Villarreal, Jose Villarreal, Bradford Jamieson IV, and Jack McBean are finally getting the minutes they deserve, and showing up to prove their worth.
This past weekend in San Jose, Jose Villarreal notched a beautiful assist on Jelle Van Damme’s first goal for the LA Galaxy, and has contributed to the team’s recent successes in a way that leads me to believe he deserves a shot at being a regular starter, even after many of the injured players become game fit.
Jack McBean has shown in the past few weeks that he is a competent forward willing and able to finish in the final third, and this young team is eager to continue proving themselves. The issue is, we just weren’t able to pull it off this weekend.
The Clasico Loss
The California Clasico, a historic rivalry between the LA Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes is known to always be a big rivalry and riveting game, and this time, at least the ending, was no different. Let’s face it, the game was a little scrappy. San Jose faced, full strength, an LA Galaxy side full of revolving doors as players have been in and out of rotation due to injury all season (we didn’t even travel with a full eighteen players).
For the most part, this younger Galaxy side held their own. Despite this, there’s something important I think we need to talk about: Clement Diop. I’m not saying he’s a bad keeper, because he isn’t by any means. But there are very few times that a Galaxy keeper scares me coming off of his line as much as Diop does (Does anyone remember Carlo Cudicini? He’s the exception). I believe with growth, he could be a wonderful keeper, but for now, he’s had too many scary moments for my liking.
The first half saw an end of 1-0 Galaxy, and we looked as if we were in the driver’s seat, but the second half tells a different story. Goals in the 75th minute by Chris Wondolowski and 90+3 from Shea Salinas brought San Jose the win. These two goals mark San Jose’s only shots on goal during the entire match. This short handed Galaxy squad pulled out most of the stops, but just couldn’t handle finishing the job.
The Cost of Dissent
The biggest, and probably the most believable part of this match was Van Damme’s temper. It’s no secret he’s… passionate. But two yellow cards, one following a non call of a handball in the box (that could have cost the Galaxy points), and a second following the final whistle after San Jose’s second goal, leave the Galaxy without their captain for the Fourth of July clash against Real Salt Lake.
While Van Damme has apologized for these outbursts via social media, his absence will almost certainly be known against a Real Salt Lake team who has, fortunately, been struggling this season.
With only one win at home all season, the Galaxy have a large task at hand, and hopefully the post game fireworks aren’t the only ones that Galaxy fans see at StubHub Center this Independence Day.
Sunday’s match was an unexpected breath of fresh air.
With this match being the first of four consecutive away matches coming directly after a brutal loss and a couple of uneventful draws, LA Galaxy fans didn’t have the most positive outlook heading into last Sunday at Red Bull Arena.
The week leading into Sunday’s match, Galaxy players and coaches alike cited last week’s draw against Chicago Fire as a turn in the right direction. I can speak for myself and probably many other avid followers of this LA team when I say I was a little more than skeptical that a draw at home could possibly be a turn in the right direction. Thankfully, those of us that thought that were wrong.
This LA team walked into this match at Red Bull Arena more confident than I’ve seen them at even any of our home matches this season. The Galaxy got their first solid chance in the 7th minute when the ball bounced between a few players in the box, but the play ended in Romain Alessandrini drawing a foul just outside of the box, and subsequently scoring a beautiful ‘goal of the week’ worthy goal directly off of the free kick in the 8th minute.
With the Galaxy having the game in their hands for the first time in longer than I can even remember, the added confidence led to Alessandrini earning a second goal in the 9th minute. Not only are the Galaxy only the second squad this year to earn a goal against the Red Bulls on their own turf, but this looks like a complete 180 for the Galaxy we’ve been seeing all season. I think we all would have liked to be flies on the wall during training last week.
While Alessandrini was the star of the show (as he has been all season, let’s be real), some other bright moments came from Giovani dos Santos, who has been extremely quiet for most of the season, but earned the assist in the 9th minute, and had a much more inspired game than I’ve seen from him all season. He went on to score the goal from the penalty kick drawn by Alessandrini.
If the score line wasn’t enough, it was easy to see that the Galaxy has turned over a better leaf by watching the celebration after the third goal. We’re not out of the woods yet, but for once this year the future isn’t looking quite as bleak. The real test will be in how we handle the rest of this trip away from home.
While Brian Rowe only missed the clean sheet by less than a minute after Daniel Royer’s goal for the Red Bulls in stoppage time, Rowe seemed to gain a little confidence back as well, and I think we’ll be seeing him as the starter for the long haul.
It was almost as if the Red Bulls were uninspired this whole match, which is the same thing I’ve expected from the Galaxy most of this season. They sat back at home, didn’t take necessary chances, and consequently left this match defeated at home for the first time all season. But hey, I’m not complaining.
Featured image of Romain Alessandrini courtesy: @LAGalaxy