Belated reflections on Texas frustrations: Galaxy vs FC Dallas post-game commentaryBy: NathanHJ | May 7th, 2011
This post didn’t go up on Friday like it was supposed to due to problem with Wordpress. -NHJ
I know this is Friday morning, a time for looking ahead to the next game, not looking back at the previous one, but we never got a review of the FC Dallas match up due to a combination of lame amateur blogging and really heinous back-end problems with the blogging software.
Consequently I’ve had time to ruminate on what happened in Dallas and… I’m not all that happy with it even holding the last 10 minutes aside. I don’t mind losing on the road in May. It’s a long season and 10 teams are going to make the playoffs. I’d mind losing that game in September, but unless the Galaxy absolutely collapse, they’ll get the 45 points they need to make the post-season, so I’m not so panicked at the moment.
But I am a bit frustrated. Fans the world over will tell me that seeing your team lose after dominating possession and controlling the tempo and, frankly, playing at a different level than the opposition is “just futbol.” Fair enough. But given the fact that the Galaxy have yet to really convince me that they know they can score when they need to and that they continue to struggle to integrate Juan Pablo Angel into their attack, I’m starting to worry just a tiny tiny bit about the team turning the offensive corner. I said on Twitter (I’m at @nathanhjb) that the Galaxy is paying Angel way too much to not involve him in the offense and I still believe that. But I also believe that if you can score more gols with him coming off the bench and starting people like Miguel Lopez and Paolo Cardozo, then, well, I’d like to see more of that. (And yes, I know Lopez is nursing an injury.)
The other bit of frustration was Bruce Arena’s end-game tactics. Trying to ice the last 10 minutes after an hour long delay makes some sense – get the away point and get out – but I don’t think I’ll ever really agree with a double substitution that puts both Chris Birchall and Jovan Kirovski on the field from the bench especially coming off an hour long delay. Not against FC Dallas anyway. Gritty players, yes. Speedsters and ball handlers, no.
Also, while I didn’t think David Beckham showed any signs of his royal wedding travel, I’m getting a bit tired of his “let’s switch fields with 75 yard bombs to the opposite winger” approach to sparking the attack. We were really pushing Dallas around the field and I understand wanting to open up a crowded middle, but I’m skeptical that we need to dump the ball so far forward at every chance, especially if it’s not to JPA. Just sayin’.
Finally, wow, Donovan Ricketts. Last week you win save of the week, this week you win softest gol allowed of the week. Brek Shea’s just not that good yet and you let him get luckier than a science nerd who stumbles into a swingers convention. Seriously? Feh.
But the Galaxy did dominate the game. The first choice midfield played up to its talent and Landon Donovan’s gol in the 52nd minute was why we pay him the big bucks. It was sublime.
Next up is New York Red Bulls, which also had gol scoring problems to begin the year, but they’ve been putting them in by the bucketful lately, so this really will be a gigantic test for the Galaxy. Can they crack one of the best defenses in the league at a time when the offense is tentative at best and no one seems willing to step up and carry the load? Can they stop an offense that is getting better and better with every game and features a midfield that has to be rated the best in the league (sorry Real Salt Lake)?
I’m not sure. The Galaxy can get better. Indeed they must if they want to keep pace with the teams setting the pace.
Man of the Match: Landon Donovan for his gol, which was all about making the effort.
What about you? Thoughts after all this time on the Dallas game? What about the upcoming game with NYRB? Leave your fabulous nuggets in the comments below.