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LA Galaxy: Alessandrini Put In A MOTM Performance vs Columbus

On July 7, 2018, the LA Galaxy played at StubHub Center against DC United. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was officially the man of the match, arguably, it should have been Romain Alessandrini. Many of the other Galaxy players, such as Ola Kamara, have been cast in the Lion’s shadow.

Kamara arrived in January of this year to play for the LA Galaxy. He came from Norway and his last club was Columbus Crew. He’s one of the top goal scorers in the MLS over the last two years and he personally said he wanted to be scoring goals for the Galaxy when I interviewed him at the jersey launch party.

LA Galaxy forward Chris Pontius | Photo by Lisa Norro-Broome for LA Soccer Nation

But, then, Coach Sigi Schmid played him as a midfielder when Ibrahimovic joined the team, which just isn’t a position for him to shine like he deserves, be comfortable, or score. Straight up, it’s just better for the Galaxy to use formations that allow Kamara and Ibrahimovic to be up top and both play as strikers.

Definitely egos and power struggles amongst teammates is a concern. Ibrahimovic and Alessandrini don’t hide when they’re frustrated. On the 4th of July match, it looked like Ibrahimovic might strangle a teammate. He walked off the pitch alone and visibly angry at the end of the match, which resulted in a 2-2 draw against DC United.


LA Galaxy forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic | Photo by Lisa Norro-Broome for LA Soccer Nation

On July 7th, Ibrahimovic played phenomenally, of course. But, his skills really showed when he did a nutmeg on Lalas Abubakar and then a trivela cross. This was after Ibrahimovic drew a penalty when he was fouled by Abubukar, which he scored in the 57th minute.

Kamara was taken out of the game in the 60th minute after an injury break as a precaution. He’s been dealing with a calf strain. Alessandrini replaced him. Alessandrini scored in the 67th minute. Then, less than 5 minutes later, Ibrahimovic was subbed off for new-hire Sheanon Williams.

Chris Pontius & Romain Alessandrini celebrating LA Galaxy goal | Photo by Lisa Norro-Broome for LA Soccer Nation

Usually, Alessandrini is in the starting line up and Ibrahimovic has been playing full 90 minutes, but this switch off works to balance out their personalities and powers. Another good move was taking Giovani Dos Santos out of the equation for Emmanuel Boateng.

The Galaxy still struggle in holding the ball and on defense, especially in a midfield full of holes, but they pulled off a 4-0 win against Columbus Crew, which currently hold 4th place in the Eastern Conference to the Galaxy’s 8th place in the West. The Galaxy really needed this win after two back-to-back draws against two teams that are the lowest on the MLS table. The winning needs to continue if LAG is to make it for the playoffs.

Alessandrini should have been man of the match because despite doing Zlatan things, Ibrahimovic often stands and just watches, then gives half effort. Meanwhile, Alessandrini non-stop attacks, makes plays, goes for goal, and defends. He’s all over showing his number 7, which is a difficult position to play and a game changer.

Starting XI

David Bingham; Dave Romney, Michael Ciani, Jorgen Skjelvik; Chris Pontius, Jonathan dos Santos, Perry Kitchen, Ashley Cole; Giovani dos Santos; Ola Kamara, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Justin Vom Steeg, Tomas Hilliard-Arce, Daniel Steres, Sheanon Williams, Baggio Husidic, Romain Alessandrini, Emmanuel Boateng

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