LA Galaxy at New York Red Bulls: Three Takeaways

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May 14, 2017 - Captain Jelle Van Damme #37 of the LA Galaxy points to teammate Romain Alessandrini #7 after he scored the goal during the MLS match between LA Galaxy vs New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena on May 14, 2017 in Harrison, NJ. The LA Galaxy won the match with the score of 3 to 1. (Getty Images/Corbis Sports/Ira L. Black)

Editorial (May 17, 2017) – Head Coach Curt Onalfo might have been right when he said the LA Galaxy became a team against the Chicago Fire. And that would be the team we would watch going forward. LA got a huge 3-1 win on Sunday at New York Red Bulls. It was the Galaxy’s first win in the Eastern Time Zone in years.

LA Galaxy at New York Red Bulls: Three Takeaways

The Galaxy won the match by punching the Red Bulls in the mouth early. The team got two quick goals in the first half from Romain Alessandrini. Captain Jelle Van Damme started after a tough game last week and was sensational.

Jelle Van Damme Showed Up Big Time:

There were doubts going into this game whether Van Damme would start at center back. There were doubts whether he’d be the captain going forward. But the Belgian had his best game of the year, no contest. He didn’t roam out of position as much. He was stout against Bradley Wright Phillips and Sacha Kljestian.

The entire back line looked better than last week, save for a late red card to Bradley Diallo. If this is how the defense can play going forward, Onalfo clearly has their respect and they’ll be in good shape.

Offensively This Is Alessandrini’s Team:

Alessandrini has six goals and four assists in 10 games since coming to the Galaxy. Only Landon Donovan and Sebastian Lletget have as many goals in their first 10 games with the club. With Giovani dos Santos still without a goal from the run of play this year, this is the Frenchman’s team.

He’s stepped up in games when the rest of the team was struggling. He’s taken over set piece duties for the most part, with a goal against New York and an assist on both corner kick goals from last week. He’s been worth every penny so far as Designated Player. Not bad for the first DP in Galaxy history you had to Google to figure out who he was.

The Team Was Better Without Jermaine Jones:

In the last 135 minutes of play, the Galaxy have outscored their opponents 5-1. If there was one fewer minute of stoppage time on Sunday, it’d be 5-0. All of this has come without Jermaine Jones on the field. As I’ve written previously, Jones isn’t a No. 10. When the Galaxy have played without him, everyone is in their natural roles. Joao Pedro looks better. Giovani dos Santos is more involved in the attack. Emmanuel Boateng is on the field and dangerous.

By skill and experience, is Jones one of the best eleven players on this Galaxy roster? Yes. Absolutely. But with some young defenders and Pedro off to a slow start this year, he doesn’t fit into the team tactically. When you have the other 10 players super organized (Ex: Colorado Rapids) or a central teammate who can deal with your unorthodox freelancing (Ex: Michael Bradley), it can work.

But the Galaxy have neither of those. With Jones, they’ve struggled. Since he’s been injured, they’ve played well. We’ll have to see what happens once he gets healthy.

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