Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy thought they were going to receive a test from Wilmer Cabrera’s Chivas USA at Sunday brunchtime on the grounds of the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. Sadly (if you’re a Chivas supporter, that is), they were proven wrong. A dominating display of passing, combined with a couple of textbook player introductions to Major League Soccer, made this another SuperClasico of two ends at the Hub. The Galaxy shut out Chivas, 3-0, to earn their first victory of the season.
Here are six things we learned, followed by player ratings, for the Sunday matinee between Chivas USA and the Los Angeles Galaxy.
1. A tale of two ends
As previously mentioned in the beginning, this was a tale of two ends. On one side, you have the Los Angeles Galaxy, your typical MLS powerhouse that can play with the best in the league and the world and defeat the opponents it’s supposed to defeat (most of the time, that is). On the other side, you have Chivas USA, that team in transition that may not even end up as Chivas USA next season and may lose its collective history altogether.
Still not convinced? Just listen to the managers.
2. Robbie Keane with an unexpected touch
Robbie Keane scores all different types of goals, from the most clinical, to the obscenely absurd, as seen in the 37th minute. What looked like a handball was actually an unorthodox tap-in that Dan Kennedy failed to collect. Dan Gargan played a role in that sequence…as did this person.
3. Hej, Stefan Ishizaki!
Midfielder Stefan Ishizaki made a proper introduction to all of Major League Soccer in the 42nd minute, when Landon Donovan and Juninho teamed up to deliver a through ball to the Swede, who used his touch to solve Kennedy and make it 2-0 LA.
4. Baggio Husidic opens up scoring account
Another new face entered the fray in the 56th minute. Donovan and Keane teamed up to find Baggio Husidic, who sent a screamer past Kennedy and effectively put the game out of reach for the designated home side.
5. History was not made today
Landon Donovan could only record two assists in this contest, but they were big ones. Still, there are plenty of games to go for Donovan to score just once for goal no. 135 and leave all doubt in the dustbins of history.
6. The stats do matter in this game
If you take a look at the match stats in this one, Los Angeles dominated a few categories, including attemps on goal, shots on target, shots off target, passing accuracy, possession and the biggie: total passes (520-367). This was a clinical performance from the Galaxy and it will help them going into Saturday’s home match with the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Tommy Meyer and Oscar Sorto also returned to first team action after their stint with LA Galaxy II. It seems the experience of playing in USL Pro may become a boon to the Galaxy’s depth, but it’s early in the season, so, as the old saying goes, time will tell.
|Chivas USA||LA Galaxy|
|5||Attempts on Goal||19|
|1||Shots on Target||9|
|3||Shots off Target||5|
|13||Open Play Crosses||14|
|2||First Yellow Cards||1|
|0||Second Yellow Cards||0|
|46%||Duels Won %||53%|
|82%||Passing Accuracy %||88%|