SBI MLS Team of the Week: Los Angeles Galaxy

GalaxyTOW422 (GettyImages)

By IVES GALARCEP

The Los Angeles Galaxy may have fallen short in their quest for CONCACAF Champions League glory, but after taking some time to get over that disappointment, the defending champions look every bit like a team capable of winning a third straight title.

Facing a fatigued, but still imposing Sporting Kansas City side, the Galaxy showed off the dynamic attacking soccer that was the hallmark of their most recent title run, with Landon Donovan looking like his dominating self and Robbie Keane showing the form that made him the league’s most dangerous player in the second half of 2012. The Galaxy’s impressive 2-0 victory over Sporting KC helped make them the clear choice for SBI MLS Team of the Week.

Not only did the Galaxy snap Sporting KC’s five-match shutout streak, they looked better than they have all season as they took control of a match that was wide open in the early going.

The Galaxy beat out FC Dallas and the New York Red Bulls for this week’s honors.

What did you think of the Galaxy’s performance? Which MLS team impressed you the most last week?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Featured, MLS- LA Galaxy, SBI MLS Team of the Week. Bookmark the permalink.

43 Responses to SBI MLS Team of the Week: Los Angeles Galaxy

  1. The Squad says:

    Good choice…

    Well played nationally televised game between two of MLS’ best.

    At this rate, several teams should show some quality soccer by the time mid-season rolls around.

  2. ChiTown says:

    The Galaxy needed a hand of god-esque handball to even score a goal at home against a team that played a full 90 minutes 3 days earlier, 2,500 miles away.

    I think nothing of the Galaxy’s performance against a clearly exhausted team. I take a lot from MLS seeming ability to hand teams losses with poor scheduling.

    • ChiTown says:

      Furthermore, the NYRB should have been the team of the week. While the Revolution aren’t a good attacking side, they have the best defense in the league.

      NE had allowed 2 goals in their first 5 games. That defense is for real. The Red Bulls scored 4 on them.

      • Hogatroge says:

        You can’t lose half of your weekly games and get TotW honors.

        Also, the last 2 goals on NE’s defense occurred while they were frantically chasing the game in the late hours. Doesn’t mean they didn’t happen, but the roles of NE’s defenders had transitioned at that point and NY made them pay.

        It was hardly an example of NYRB dominating the game and scoring at will… rather a nice job of counterattacking after NE’s morale was shattered.

    • Good Jeremy says:

      Eh. It was a handball yes, but off of a deflection. It was accidental and nothing like Maradona’s.

      Also, Keane should have easily scored two more. It wasn’t as close as the dominant score suggests, so even with playing a full 90 minutes 3 days earlier, 2,500 miles away, it was pretty bad. Here’s an idea: not starting the same 11!

      • ChiTown says:

        Intent has nothing to do with it. Why even point out that it was accidental? It’s still handball. That goal shouldn’t have counted.

        • malkin says:

          intent was pointed out b/c you called it “hand of god-esque”

          • ChiTown says:

            It was. He was jumping and arm extended forward in the air to knock the ball forward.

            • Gnarls says:

              Looked like a clear ball-to-hand instance to me. Definitely did not look intentional.

              • ChiTown says:

                Ball to hand?!?!?!?!

                The ball was bouncing in the air and he smacked it forward with his arm.

                How in the f*** is that ball to hand?

            • Gnarls says:

              I just re-watched the highlights to be sure. It was definitely ball-to-hand. Watch it again.

        • Chris Whyte says:

          I thought the handball rule requires “deliberate” contact with the hand. I know placement of the hand is a factor (and one that goes against Sarvas in this instance), but the rule still requires “deliberate” use of the hand. Like it or not, inent has everything to do with it.

          • ChiTown says:

            The rule–as interpreted and clarified–instructs officials to decide if there is intent, which means is the arm in an unnatural position, and is advantage gained.

            In this case his arm was out in front of him, swinging toward the ball at head height and it made contact knocking the ball forward into his path.

            Textbook.

            • Chris Whyte says:

              I was responding to your comment: “Intent has nothing to do with it. Why even point out that it was accidental?”

              Your comment was incorrect. I was pointing out that out; not debating the call in this instance.

              “Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.” — Bruce Lee

              • ChiTown says:

                Ah, I see where we got mixed up.

                My mistake in my wording, but my sentiment remains the same. FIFA clarified that “intent” is irrelevant in determining hand ball plays since a referee cannot judge intent, so they made it known that referee is to discern if the arm/hand is in an unnatural position. So intent really doesn’t matter unless you’re deciding is it a simple foul for handling or the more serious intentional handball for DGSO or along those lines.

              • Chris Whyte says:

                Are you a politician?

        • TommyOC says:

          Intent has *everything* to do with it! The infraction isn’t called “INTENTIONAL Handling of the Ball” for nothing.

        • Advocate says:

          Intent has everything to do with it. The relevant provision of Rule 12 calls for a free kick only when the player “handles the ball deliberately.” So, did the ball touch is hand or arm? Perhaps. Did that call for a free kick and consequent stoppage of play? Certainly not.

    • Brian says:

      Did the schedule play a part? Probably. But “clearly exhausted”? That’s a bit of an overstatement in my opinion.

    • TomG says:

      Conspiracy theories against the Galaxy? Is that you, El Chelis?

    • HoBo says:

      “hand of god-esque handball ” wow…….. someones not a galaxy fan, lol

    • kelso says:

      I’m not a fan of either of these teams and I feel strongly that the play should not have been called a handball. Please post a link of the video you think demonstrates this is a handball. Preferably something a regular speed.

  3. bottlcaps says:

    I think they realized that too many games were getting away from them in the last 10-15 minutes. Both Monterrey games, Dallas and Chivas were lost/tied due to lapses. in the last minutes of the game. Fix that problem (and they are a team of veterans) and you become very hard to beat.

    I am looking forward to the Homegrown rookie signing Zardis finally getting into a MLS game. Only just getting playing time in the reserve matches, he is becoming fitter daily. It wont be long. If key members of the Galaxy stay healthy, I don’t think there are many teams left to challenge them for another MLS Cup. Add a third DP during the summer and they become really, really big favorites again.

    • Good Jeremy says:

      Eh. I want to see Zardis in a game too, but across the frontline and outside mids/wingers they already have Keane, Donovan, Magee, McBean, Villereal, and Stephens. I think Villereal has been a disappointment but he has tons of potential. Everyone else on the list has shown pretty well.
      All of those guys would start on most teams. I think he would get much more playing time on loan.

      • Brian says:

        Both McBean and Villarreal are full of potential but the results aren’t there yet and that is one of the reasons the Galaxy haven’t had bigger wins. McBean isn’t yet linking up well with his teammates and Villarreal is getting muscled off the ball too easily. Watching them gain experience and confidence is fun though.

        As for Zardes, I’m anxious to see him as well but keep in mind that he’s a rookie as well.

  4. David K says:

    Three-PEAT!

  5. hardyboy says:

    ChiTown,

    Umm…did you see the Galaxy game? When they’re in form they’re the most dangerous counter in the league. And with Omar manning the D, and Juninho working out of midfield, they’re tough. Can you imagine if they get Lampard this summer?

    KC’s a real good club, no doubt, and Zusi has developed into a game changer with his work and passing. But Galaxy can turn it up to another level when they need to with their superstars.

    Red Bulls? Really? If they’re not the continued laughing stock of the league by the season’s end, it’ll be a good year for them.

    • ChiTown says:

      You didn’t say anything about the game. You just listed a bunch of platitudes that you could trot out for every team in the league.

      And none of that has to do with whether or not they deserved to be team of the week.

      • whoop-whoop says:

        It’s always easy and rather tempting to throw rocks at one premise, but is an entirely different thing to make your own selection. A team of the week is picked in the context of other teams and games in that time period. Disputing the Galaxy selection is really kind of meaningless unless you submit your own choice for others to poke holes in. Who do you think is more deserving?

        In spite of all of the things brought up, this was a fun game to watch… had the look of a match between the two top sides in MLS and LA clearly had the run of play. Don’t think anyone would be surprised if these were the 2 teams going at it in the end. You may disagree, but it is hardly an outrageous pick.

  6. Catamount says:

    Marred only by empty claims that Sarvas handling of the ball actually mattered. But for a quality free kick by Zusi KC had no answers for LA. The LA midfield dominated and the vaunted KC back line struggled. Had the Galaxy been somewhat decent in the final third the game would have been a laugher. McBean & Keane should probably have scored at least 3 goals between them.

    Not as enamored by the Galaxy performance as SBI. Poor finishing doesn’t earn Team-of-the-Week for me. Not sure how well other teams did, but they had to be better in the final third than the Galaxy were.

    • Brian says:

      Galaxy finishing is an issue because in most games this season, they have had either an 18 year old McBean or a 19 year old Villarral up top. Experience matters and those two guys are still learning on the job.

      Oh, and remember how slow Keane started last year? Same thing as this year, lots of looks, but wasn’t putting them away. Then things came together over the summer. If he does the same thing, the Galaxy will start rolling.

    • Mouf says:

      Game was even before the first goal, which was against run of play the 2nd half to that point, SKC then had to push, and got naturally exposed by a talented counter attack

      • Catamount says:

        KC had no midfield control to speak of for the entire game. They had to by-passy midfield. Can’t call that even. Could be a formation issue, or a player quality issue. Perhaps, but not likely a fatigue issue. When two LA central midfielders boss the game against three KC midfielders, that’s not even by any stretch. LA back line looked as good as the midfield. Same with KC.

  7. Gnarls says:

    I only saw the condensed version of the NY-NE game, but judging by the comprehensive win and goal contributions from four different players (five if you count Barklage’s OG), I think NY might be more deserving than LA. I say that as an LA homer.

    LA played well, but as it’s been noted, Keane and McBean blew several clear chances. They played well and beat a good team, but I still say NY should be team of the week.

    • Hogatroge says:

      NE dominated long stretches of the NY-NE game, but ultimately were undone by NYRB’s counter. The scoreline is a bit inflated, as NE’s defense (and entire team) were pushing up hard deep into the second half.

      Add that to the fact that NY lost mid-week, and they’re 1-1-0 for the week. Not really TotW material.

  8. tim says:

    TotW – Clearly the league leading, FC Dallas, moved past yet another opponent setting themselves ahead and away from the rest of the league.

  9. dan says:

    Time to come clean….. at the beginning of the season…. who had FC Dallas 6-1-1?!?!

  10. alocksley says:

    Great performance by L.A. When Keane’s finishing comes back around, they are going to be scary.

  11. limey says:

    Handball? No handball? Who cares the Galaxy played very well and won the game very comfortably. Robbie Keane alone would have had three goals on any other night. Honestly this ‘they were exhausted’ thing is nonsense. They are professional athletes, they can’t be a great team and be outclassed like that just because they played twice in a week.

  12. Just saying says:

    Cry all you want but LA is taking the third tittle in a row. Donovan still really rusty for his standards. Our midfield is still getting used to a Beckhamless midfield and we are still good. Not to mention we are still acquiring the service of a third DP in the summer and it just happens that our club has money up the ying yang so the quality will be there. There’s no question we are the team to beat, if you can.