LA Galaxy – Match Report vs LAFC (08/07/2022)

LAFC emerged victorious over LA Galaxy by a score of 3-2 in the latest edition of “El Trafico.” As with most meetings between these two teams it was a very open game with lots of chances for both teams. LAFC played in a 4-3-3 that heavily relied on Carlos Vela creating chances from wide areas. The Galaxy played a 4-4-2 with Dejan Joveljic dropping deeper off of Chicharito. 

Efrain Alvarez

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Mexican
  • Age: 20
  • Date of Birth: 19/06/2002
  • Current Club: L.A Galaxy
  • Career: L.A Galaxy (Y) 
  • Position: Winger
  • Preferred Foot: Left

Alvarez played as a right-winger in this match. He showed some flashes of skill but ultimately wasn’t dangerous enough for me to recommend a move to a higher level. Alvarez is left-footed so he cut inside quite a bit to open up space for Julian Araujo to overlap. Alvarez has some decent passing skills. He played a pass that led to the Galaxy’s opening goal and did a good job of finding teammates. But he couldn’t turn this passing into very many chances that he directly created. He had some good set-piece deliveries but from open play, he was not creating very much. He had several attempts at though balls in transition situations but none of them led to anything. Alvarez has some shot selection issues. He shoots as soon as he has sight of the goal. Sometimes he would be better served to work the ball a bit closer to the goal rather than shooting from long distance. 

Alvarez showed a strong first touch but his dribbling ability left something to be desired. He wasn’t able to reliably get around players and he was pushed off the ball quite easily. He was actually holding up surprisingly well in aerial battles or other tussles for the ball but when he was in motion with the ball he wasn’t that strong. Though he was not very good at dribbling against players he was quite adept at advancing the ball by running into space with it. Alvarez was booked early in the match after a bizarre scuffle after the referee had called a foul. So keeping his cool may be a bit of an issue for him.

Rating – A2

It’s a bit of a weak A2 but at the end of the day, Alvarez is creating shots and showing some flashes of skill at a good level, aged 20. I certainly wouldn’t be signing him now if I was in charge of a bigger club but it’s possible if he cleans a few things up he could get to a higher level.  

Dejan Joveljic

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Serbian
  • Age: 22
  • Date of Birth: 7/08/1999
  • Current Club: L.A Galaxy
  • Career: Red Star Belgrade, Eintracht Frankfurt, Anderlecht, Wolfsburger 
  • Position: Striker
  • Preferred Foot: Right

Joveljic played this match as a striker but was often dropping deeper, both in and out of possession, to facilitate Chicharito leading the line. Jovelic generally did a pretty good job of holding the ball up and getting involved in the buildup. He was good at playing outlet passes and doing layoffs but his attempts to put teammates through on goal or get through the opposing defence were mostly unsuccessful. He demonstrated some decent off-the-ball movement, but he wasn’t able to evade defenders with enough consistency to be an elite goal threat.  

Joveljic is strong and mobile. His strength helps him to hold the ball up and play his deep-lying forward role for the Galaxy. He’s also quick enough that he can get in behind defences occasionally. One of his better chances of the match came when he was able to get in behind the defence on a quick break but his shot was saved by Maxime Crepeau. But he is a little bit clumsy with the ball and that can make it difficult for him to move the ball quickly. During the match, Joveljic seemed to lose his temper with his teammates. He became visibly frustrated when he did not receive the ball and on one occasion when he and another player both went for the same cross. Obviously, as someone watching on TV, I don’t know what was said but his body language was not great. 

Joveljic put in some decent defensive work but I would not say his pressing stood out as being exceptional. He runs around a fair amount and occasionally his speed causes defenders some problems but he wasn’t a pressing machine by any means

Rating – B1

He’s ok. Joveljic is certainly an above-average MLS striker but there are at least 3 or 4 strikers in MLS more deserving of a step up than him. He’s 22 so there’s still some time for him to improve but he’s already had one unsuccessful stint in a big five league so teams will probably be reluctant to take another chance on him. 

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