Last night's derby ended up in an enjoyable, though troubling (at least for Galaxy faithful) game which could have been much better were it not for referee Tim Weyland and his questionable refereeing.
In the end, Weyland ended up making errors both ways, but hurt Galaxy much more by his inconsistent refereeing.
In the first half, already sitting on one yellow, Shavar Thomas took a piggy back ride from Landon Donovan and Weyland called the foul but swallowed the card.
Minutes later, Sacha Kljestan, also sitting on his first caution takes a dive, which was acknowledged and castigated by the ref, but no second yellow to speak of. Followed by a strong late tackle by Sacha which prompted a nice civil "take it easy" speech from the ref, but still no card.
In the second half, the ref becomes trigger happy with the ejections and both Gordon and Berhalter are sent off (both cards completely warranted) and the ref essentially turns into a Galaxy 8-man backline.
Sometimes I consider putting the referee's names on the previews as soon as they have been assigned. Unfortunately, that seems rather pointless as there's hardly a competent ref to be had in MLS.
Before all that though, the game was very enjoyable and fitting of a derby.
Galaxy is showing slow progress, but progress nonetheless. Greg Berhalter is good addition and showed what you would expect from an aging defender. Good positioning, good communication, and goo leadership.
Omar Gonzalez is a stone wall. Sacha simply could not handle Omar.
Todd Dunivant's return (if he's on form) should change the face of this team. Bruce is having to make a lot of shifts in unexpected places to make the back line work, but I think Todd, Greg, Omar + Franklin will give this team much needed stability. I'm also very high on De La Garza at the moment, but he needs to be more scrappy.
Midfield was muddy yesterday. Miglioranzi isn't showing much at the moment. We already knew he was going to be a downgrade from Kovalenko on ball recovery, but his passing needs to be more accurate. Tudela's doing a lot of dirty work, and I can appreciate that. He's nowhere near ready to handling that on his own, but he should learn well under Dema.
Alan Gordon is getting a lot of criticism up top, but under the current system, until Buddle gets back, he's our go-to-guy. Gordon works very hard, and helps in holding up the ball and pulling the team forward, but please, Gordo, put the ball away when you get a chance.
I still maintain that Gordon is a strong THIRD option, which means he's best off the bench when he can use his physical style of play and his hustle to outpower and outlast tired defenders. Buddle is needed to establish a rhythm and set play right before a guy like Gordon is allowed to come in.
Progress is a slow process, but progress is being made, and that makes me happy.
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