Via Last Word On Soccer, by Matt Pollard
Editorial (May 29, 2017) – After a tumultuous start to the 2017 MLS season, the LA Galaxy have turned it around. They are undefeated in their last five games and have won three consecutive road games. Their offensive stars have turned it on as Giovani dos Santos and Romain Alessandrini have linked up fabulously together.
Giovani Dos Santos And Romain Alessadrini Are Becoming A Dynamic Duo
Alessandrini came to the Galaxy in the off-season without much fanfare. He’s probably the first Galaxy designated player in history we all had to google to find out about him. He quickly acclimated to the league, scoring at a Landon Donovan pace. He has become emotionally invested in the club and led them offensively.
Dos Santos started the year off slowly after an injury. It all started clicking for him after he scored a goal against the Chicago Fire to rescue a point. It’s been all smiles for the Galaxy ever since and it’s been all smiles for Dos Santos and Alessandrini.
Breaking Down The Game Tape
They’ve set each other up and now they’re really building some chemistry from the run of play. We start in a game in New York. The Galaxy get the ball moving up field quickly. The play comes to Dos Santos out wide. He surveys his options and waits for numbers to arrive. Alessandrini recognizes the space in the box between the backline and the midfield. He runs straight for it. Dos Santos puts the ball on the platter and Alessandrini scores.
We move onto a very similar play in Minnesota. Dos Santos gets the ball out wide to Alessandrini then makes a run into the box. Alessandrini threads a perfect ball through the Minnesota defense into space into the box. Dos Santos reads the trajectory of the ball. He goes to where it’s going and finished it perfectly with the outside of his foot.
“They’re starting to really combine well and we want that to continue,” said head coach Curt Onaflo. Once again, they got the ball moving into space. The player off the ball found space in the defense. His teammate got it to him. The finish was excellent.
Finally, in the Cali Clasico this weekend: Dos Santos and Alessandrini linked up again on a quick transition play. The Quakes had numbers forward in the attack when Alessandrini got the ball moving at midfield. The two players turned on the jets. Dos Santos made a beeline for the far post. Alessandrini sent to only where the forward could get it. He headed it home to seal the three points.
This Combination Looks Familiar
These goals show us a few things. Both guys are familiar with the other’s movement. They’re anticipating the run before it happens. Exploit the holes in the defense. Good service, good finish, then hug it out.
In a way, Dos Santos and Alessandrini kind of mimic the Robbie Keane-Landon Donovan partnership. The forward prefers to be a withdrawn second striker. He likes to get the ball on his feet and create. The winger likes to cut inside and is a good passer. Both have a high Soccer IQ and are good finishers.
It’s way too early to say these two will replicate what Keane and Donovan did statistically or in trophies. That said, 2014 was collectively their best season. They scored a combined 29 goals and 33 assists in 5,269 minutes. That’s a goal every 182 minutes and an assist every 160.
With a much smaller sample size, Dos Santos and Alessandrini have 12 goals and 7 assists in 2,008 minutes. That’s a goal and assist every 167 and 287 minutes. Not as good as the former pair, but not bad. (Dos Santos should work on his cartwheels and angry face maybe).
If they can keep building on these performances, the Galaxy will be just fine in 2017.