LA Galaxy starting XI: Rowe; Diallo, Steres, Van Damme, Cole; João Pedro, Husidic; Alessandrini, Jones, Boateng; dos Santos
The boys in blue took their winless streak to Los Angeles hoping to end it against the other last place team in Major League Soccer, the Galaxy. If you stayed up to watch the game, your dedication was rewarded with a sloppy match that didn’t provide a lot of drama.
With Ilsinho unavailable for this match due to illness, Union head coach Jim Curtin gave Fafa Picualt his first MLS start. Keegan Rosenberry’s benching turned into more than a one-game event, as Raymon Gaddis started at right back for the second match in a row.
The struggling Galaxy changed it up from their typical 4-4-2 formation, going with a Union-like 4-2-3-1. Baggio Husidic took on a defensive midfielder role and ailing striker Gyasi Zardes was the odd man out.
The match was mostly uneventful. The game’s most exciting moment occurred in the 21st minute when Joao Pedro’s shot from distance hit the right post, then rolled along the goal line to hit the left post, finally bouncing away from the goal where Andre Blake wrapped it up.
With the match still scoreless after 65 minutes, Curtin decided to go for the draw when he brought in Derrick Jones for Roland Alberg. In the 78th minute, Curtin tried to inject a little extra firepower by sending Jay Simpson in for Picault. They didn’t go to a two-striker formation however, with C.J. Sapong dropping back into Picault’s place.
Another substitution of note happened also happened in the 78th minute when Galaxy head coach Curt Onalfo replaced Emmanuel Boateng with former Union player Jack McInerney. Boateng had been the Galaxy’s most dangerous player up to that point, getting some shots on goal that forced Blake to make some nice saves. Fortunately for the U, the player formerly known as “Union Jack” was unable to match Boateng’s output.
Curtin’s last sub was a time-wasting move in stoppage time when he switched out Chris Pontius for Fabian Herbers.
Offensively, the Union couldn’t get much going, though Haris Medunjanin had a couple of nice shots from distance that forced Galaxy goalkeeper Brian Rowe into action.
Defensively, they were lucky to keep the clean sheet, as the Galaxy, and Boateng in particular, managed to find spaces and get shots off. As usual, Blake was awesome (helped by some bad finishing by LA), and he deserves full credit for the shutout.
Normally a road point would be a good result (and that was certainly Curtin’s thinking as he managed the game), but the Union need wins. They are too far in the hole to settle for single points on the road. They did take a step toward getting out of the cellar at least, as Montreal’s 2-1 loss against Vancouver brought the Union within 3 points of the next-to-last Impact.
Mike is a South Jersey native and resident who has been a Philadelphia Union fan ever since the team was just a twinkle in the eyes of the Sons Of Ben. He is also a lifelong fan of the Phillies and an Eagles season ticket holder since 1985.