The 3252 Breakdown - Loons
Well, that game was awful. Bad on offense, bad in the midfield, and really bad on defense. Let’s break it down in the new 3252.
3 THINGS THAT WENT WELL AGAINST MINNESOTA
1.The amount of pressure that we created on Minnesota after we gave up the ball. We had 58% of the possession during the course of the game and a lot of that came from the amount of balls we stole back from the Loons once we lost the ball. This happened more in the first half and not the second, but at least it was a positive.
2.As Dustin Singer on Twitter (find him @catmandoustin) pointed out, we rested Vela today, so we don’t have to worry about him running out of gas in El Tráfico on Thursday. A few of our main starters also rested this week, both on the bench and on the field. Hopefully everyone will be good to go come 4 days from now.
3.I also liked what Alfonso Gonzalez (find him on Twitter: @agonzalezjr_) pointed out about Andre Horta. “Horta wasn’t thrown into the fire in the 2nd half causing him lose confidence.” I think that’s a really fair assessment on how this game went, because it was a dumpster fire. There is no point in throwing the new guy into an awful game just to get him minutes. Save him for Thursday and beyond.
2 THINGS THAT NEED TO BE WORKED ON
1.Once again, we need to work on our corner kicks! I tweeted out that we might as well just tell the referee to give us goal kicks instead of corner’s because we can never get a shot on goal and we build better from the back. You want to neutralize LAFC’s offense? Just give us corners! I’ve been watching soccer for a majority of my life and I can’t remember watching a team struggle so much on putting the ball on frame from an open cross.
2.Lack. Of. A. Midfield. Oh, my goodness, I don’t know how many times I have to talk about this concept, but we can’t win games if we are going to a lack of a midfield. It is never going to happen. Ever. Ever ever ever. In the games that we had Lee Nguyen in the starting line, we’ve been able to control the midfield and move the ball from right to left or vice versa quite easily. Today that was not the case, as we kept on coming into the middle of the field and Minnesota just kept on pressing down on us. It’s really easy to defend on a team that only has one way of moving the ball around the box.
3.BONUS ITEM!! This game was so bad we have a bonus item to address: defensive marking. 4 of the 5 goals the Loon’s scored came from a lack of proper marking from the LAFC defense. This is professional soccer, you can’t have players running through without someone marking them, because guess what? They are going to score 95% of the time.
5 KEY MOMENTS TO THE GAME
1.Joao Moutinho’s give away that lead to Minnesota’s first goal of the game. Simply put, it was one of the poorest giveaways Moutinho has had all year. I understand that he is a rookie and there have been plenty of games this season in which he has held his own, but today he was out of his league. The giveaway was sloppy, and he made a poor effort to get back in order to defend the goal.
2.Benny Feilhaber, goal that tied the game up at 1. There was something that I felt for a brief moment after this goal and that was hope. The Black and Gold immediately go onto the front foot, pushing Minnesota around and Benny finds the ball and places a great shot into the back of the net. I thought that we were going to be fine, being all square again. Boy, was I wrong.
3.Minnesota’s third goal right before the half. I was watching the game with my Dad, and right after Minnesota scored the second goal, I looked at him and said “Bummer, but I know we can come back from one down”. Then, 30 seconds later, Jakovic was burned so badly by Quintero that I thought about calling the burn unit in Minnesota. Bad marking, no hustle back, and a clinical finish makes Andrew (and plenty of other LAFC fans) sad. In a flash, LAFC goes from tied at 43 minutes and 57 seconds to two goals down at 45 minutes and 56 seconds (1 minute and 59 seconds). Yikes.
4.LAFC makes subs at the beginning of the second, and yet Jakovic is still on the field. I knew that Dio was going to come into the game because we needed two goals in order to split the spoils, but to keep Jakovic on the pitch after he had been picked on for the whole first half was a major oversight by Bob Bradley. Maybe there was something else going on that we all don’t know about, but I’m still perplexed by it.
5.Minnesota’s last goal. We didn’t have clear chances and Minnesota just kept on pilling on the pressure. After this last goal, I was just hoping that we didn’t lose by more, because there was still 30 long minutes ahead. The game ends (thankfully) at 5-1 tied for the most goals allowed in a game in team history. Consequently, the other game that we gave up five goals also happened on a turf field.
2 KEY PLAYERS (and for the first time, no LAFC players)
1.The Minnesota goalkeeper, Bobby Shuttleworth. If he wasn’t on his game, LA would have scored more than once. I was watching the Minnesota feed of the game, and there were multiple points in which the commentators were so excited on how he was playing, with one of them even calling it, “the game of his life”.
2.Minnesota’s forward, Juan Fernando Quintero. Every time he received the ball or was driving from the midfield, I never felt good. He is so dangerous, it’s no surprise that he is one of the top players for this Minnesota team.
In the end, this is not the end for LAFC. Is it a major bummer that we lost smashed? Yes. Is it a little bit worrying? Sure. This the ceiling collapsing on us? NO! We are still 2nd in the West, and most importantly, we have a huge game on Thursday in our fortress. So, brush this game off, have a couple drinks to forget it, and let’s get ready for our first El Tráfico at home. Bring your voices and passion, it’s time to show Carson real home field advantage! #VoteVela and Stay Golden!
YOU CAN FOLLOW ANDREW ON TWITTER AT @APDORAN. FEEL FREE TO SEND COMMENTS, SUGGESTIONS, OR IDEAS TO HIM!