First, lets break down the half time personnel moves by Galaxy Coach Ruud Gullit that changed the nature of this game.
Gullit inserted new Galaxy signing Joey Franchino – a player he had seen only on video – into the middle of the park in place of the ineffective Alan Gordon. Josh Tudela also came out, with left back Mike Randolph slotting into left midfield and Sean Franklin moving over into his position. Abel Xavier came in for Franklin in central defense.
“I had to have a little bit more power in midfield,” Gullit said, adding that Franchino was valuable because of his left foot.
“We didn’t have control of midfield (in the first half),” Gullit added. “There were too many gaps.”
Goalkeeper Steve Cronin also credited Franchino for restoring order – and perhaps intimidating the Dynamo a little, too.
“He’s a presence there,” Cronin said. “He’s a hard-nosed guy.”
David Beckham lamented the lack of “fight” and “urgency” the Galaxy demonstrated in the opening 45 minutes.
“A few words were spoken at half time by players and management,” he said.
But Beckham rejected the notion he and Donovan had essentially played the role of white knights for the Galaxy.
“It’s more about the fight that went on before it,” he said. “That’s what got us back into the game.”
Dynamo Coach Dominic Kinnear conceded that on the balance of play the draw constituted a “fair result,” considering how the momentum “came and went” for his team after outplaying the Galaxy in the opening 45 minutes.
“We just couldn’t hold onto the ball as well as we did in the first half and it hurt us a little bit,” he said.
But just in case the importance (over reliance?) of Donovan for the Galaxy needed emphasizing, it’s worth pointing out he now has five goals in four games and has scored all but one of the Galaxy’s goals so far in this young season (Becks has the other).
Game details here.