Mid-Season Analysis Thread

Discussion in 'LA Galaxy' started by TrickHog, May 28, 2024.

  1. FlapJack

    FlapJack Member+

    Mar 3, 2006
    Los Angeles
     
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  2. shurikt

    shurikt Member

    Aug 4, 2004
    Las Vegas, NV
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  3. El Futbolisimo

    El Futbolisimo Member+

    Sep 28, 1999
  4. Dawdler

    Dawdler Member+

    Apr 2, 2005
    Los Angeles,CA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  5. skydog

    skydog Member+

    Aug 1, 1999
    Durham, NC
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    I’m pretty sure Bone Groove played Coachella.
     
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  6. TrickHog

    TrickHog Moderator
    Staff Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Los Angeles, CA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I saw them open for RHCP back in the day.
     
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  7. skydog

    skydog Member+

    Aug 1, 1999
    Durham, NC
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    State of our defense at one game over the halfway point:

    We are allowing exactly 1.5 goals per game, giving up 2+ goals in 10 of our 18 games. This projects out to 51 goals allowed for the season.* In 2023, 51 GA in the WC would have ranked 9th in WC (out of 14) and 18th in MLS (out of 29) .

    Our xGA stats are worse. Our 30.3 xGA is 2nd worst in the WC; only Austin has allowed more xG (32.2). IOW, with an average shot-stopper our defense would be even more dismal.

    As everyone knows we are staying in 3rd place in WC solely because of our excellent offense. It is 2nd only to RSL in the WC and 3rd best in MLS. We have also benefited from our goals coming at the right time with several 1 goal wins.

    But living with a shaky defense means no lead is safe. It also is a risky way to try to make it through the playoffs where marking is tighter & more physical and even good offenses often struggle.

    Our biggest defensive problems now, IMO, are two-fold.
    One: We allow attackers too much space and time in the final 3rd. Our lack of pressure within 10-15 yards of our box allows our opponents to relax, get their heads up and find their targets.
    Two: Poor marking in the box. How many goals have we given up to unmarked players in the box? This happens both in the run of play (like last night) and on set pieces (also like last night).
    Other, lesser problems: McCarthy should challenge more for high balls on set pieces and his distribution could be better. And Yoshida’s age is showing with his lack of speed and physicality. Finally Aude is a “lay off and let them center the ball” ob, which puts our cb’s and gk under extra pressure. Plus he “matadors” from time to time.

    Bottom line:
    Under Vanney we’ve had only weak (2 seasons) or terrible (2 seasons) defenses. So I don’t see us having a “good” well-coached defense until he is gone. So our only chance of winning a Cup under Greg is either Kuntz finding a Jelle Van Damme level cb who can control the box and clean up for other’s mistakes or else we mske the playoffs and get on a very fortunate run.


    * For MLS Cup context in 2023 the MLS Cup Finals teams gave up 46 (CLB) and 39 (LAFC) regular season goals. In 2022 the CUP was between the best defense in MLS (Phi - 26 GA) and the second best defense in the WC (LAFC - 38 GA). However, in 2021 Portland made it to, but lost, in the Finals after having given up a healthy 51 reg season goals. Somehow they were able to clamp down during the playoffs, giving up only 1 goal in their 3-game path to the Final. So if we make the playoffs there is always a chance, even if it is a slim one.
     
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  8. JPAR

    JPAR Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    I don't understand why we give teams so much space. It's the easiest thing to fix. Allowing opponents time to pick out passes tires your central defenders because they are having to make lots of last ditch interventions. What is Vanney looking at on tape that he can't have the team start pressuring once they enter our half. It's bizarre. I think we probably let Vanney finish the year, but barring a miracle playoff run to the Cup, we need to upgrade. The question is who is out there that's better.
     
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  9. Benny Dargle

    Benny Dargle Member+

    Jul 23, 2008
    LA
    Isn't that usually because the defenders lack lateral quickness and can easily be dribbled by if you press them too high and too quickly? It seems like a containment strategy.
     
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  10. Geneva

    Geneva LA for Life

    Feb 5, 2003
    Southern Cal
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It's obviously a choice to allow the crosses to go into the box, rather than let the player beat you on the dribble. I don't like it either, and during the KC game I was particularly noting Mark Delgado playing way off the player he was guarding most of the time. One of the goals happened partly because of that.
     
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  11. skydog

    skydog Member+

    Aug 1, 1999
    Durham, NC
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    It is a containment strategy for slower, unathletic defenders (speaking from experience!). But allowing space, time and then killer crosses and dangerous passes to fly in repeatedly isn’t a recipe for success.
     
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  12. Excellency

    Excellency Member+

    LA Galaxy
    United States
    Nov 4, 2011
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Does anybody know Delgado's contract situation? I read somewhere (it's been a while) that he is on a 3 year contract expiring end of this season. I don't know if club has an option year tagged on. Anyway, his next contract will likely be his last garden variety length contract since he just turned 29. He seems to me to be worth 1.2M for 3 years or less for 4 years. I think his play will improve not having to think about his contract. Also, his pressing nous is top notch if we ever get to the point of becoming a good pressing team.
     
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  13. TrickHog

    TrickHog Moderator
    Staff Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Los Angeles, CA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    This is the last year of his guaranteed contract. There is a club option for one more year.
     
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  14. 73Bruin

    73Bruin Member+

    Galaxy
    United States
    Jul 12, 2008
    Torrance, California
    Per the MLS Roster Profile published on May 1, 2024, Delgado's contract expires at the end of the season with an option year of 2025. It does not specify whether this is a player or club option. I suspect it is a club option.

    I agree keeping him on contract for 3 more years makes sense as his work rate is still excellent.
     
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  15. Excellency

    Excellency Member+

    LA Galaxy
    United States
    Nov 4, 2011
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Maybe they should just extend current contract thru '27, raise his salary to $1m now and rip up option.

    otoh it's a good salary, otoh LA gets his prime years for a guy who has been a work horse
     
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  16. Beakmon FC

    Beakmon FC Member+

    LA Galaxy
    United States
    Jan 10, 2002
    The OC
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  17. Dawdler

    Dawdler Member+

    Apr 2, 2005
    Los Angeles,CA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
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  18. skydog

    skydog Member+

    Aug 1, 1999
    Durham, NC
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
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  19. Beakmon FC

    Beakmon FC Member+

    LA Galaxy
    United States
    Jan 10, 2002
    The OC
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I love the pettiness.
     
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  20. skydog

    skydog Member+

    Aug 1, 1999
    Durham, NC
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    #45 skydog, Jun 30, 2024
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2024
    At first glance our start to the back half of the season would suggest our defense has finally figured things out --
    Opp. Score
    NYC 2-0 win
    RSL 1-0 win
    SJE 3-0 win

    But not so fast, Nellie. Our expected goals against (xGA) during that shuout stretch were
    Opp xGA
    NYC 1.2
    RSL 1.2
    SJE 1.84
    Total xGA = 4.24!

    Our early 2nd half of season defensive results do flatter to deceive. If our opponents finished normally and our keeper played average we would still be giving up 1.41 goals per game in this stretch which translates to 48 GA for a 34 game season. That isn’t bad - especially for us! But it also isn’t great. In fact 48 GA was the exact median value for the league last season.

    So there are two obvious takeaways from this. First is that yes, our defense has improved - but only to about league average. If we want to be legitimate Cup contenders our defense still has work to do.

    Second takeaway is we need to be mentally ready for stretches when our opponents re-locate their finishing shoes. Sure, it’s great to hope for continued shutouts - but it would be foolish to expect it.

    PS - In contrast to our defense, our offense in this stretch appears to reflect something real. Our expected goals for (xGF) were
    Opp xGF
    NYC 1.9 (very good, esp on road vs toughie)
    RSL 0.9 (a bit disappointing)
    SJE 2.1 (very good for road game)
    Total xGF= 4.9
    So were expected to score ~ 5 goals during this streak (1.63 goals per game) but actually scored 6. That suggests our offense benefitted only slightly from luck and for the most part, was a fair reflection of our team’s considerable offensive skills.
     
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  21. TrickHog

    TrickHog Moderator
    Staff Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Los Angeles, CA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    So I just looked, and if we ended up with less than 49 goals given up this year, it would be our best defensive season since Bruce Arena was coach.... :eek:
     
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  22. Bilgediver

    Bilgediver Member+

    LA Galaxy
    Oct 16, 2013
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    While this is specifically after the San Jose match, because of the notable difference between Diego as the 10 and Riqui as the 10 (it wasn't a 1 for 1 swap as Riqui came on for Paintsil, not Diego, but it does matter as it replaces the 10 role), The analysis point DOES matter for our 1st half of the season as a whole.

    Matt Doyle, in the analysis of each game, has brought up what most of us have also noticed.
    https://www.mlssoccer.com/news/riqui-puig-s-galaxy-role-lafc-s-firepower-more-from-matchday-23
    and then finishes his point with this
    But that's on Greg and the team to try and get Riqui to buy into what they're trying to do. I really do think Riqui's passing (risky as it can be) is significantly better at breaking down low blocks. We just need to get him to trust any DM that gets put behind him to protect the line and still progress the ball to him.

    Of course I had to laugh at this:
    Put a fork in San Jose, they're done
     
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