Bruce Arena's Los Angeles Galaxy had a tough assignment in containing Schellas Hyndman's FC Dallas in the scorching East Texas heat, and they got the job done in the form of a 1-0 Galaxy win (remember this scoreline? I do).
With the victory, the club breaks even with a record of 10-10-3 (33 points) and continues its pursuit of the Seattle Sounders and Vancouver Whitecaps in the MLS Western Conference standings.
Every win elicits good player ratings, and at the very least average for some. Here are the ratings for the Los Angeles Galaxy players who took part against FC Dallas in Frisco, Texas.
Josh Saunders - 7
Another shutout for Saunders, even though this has been a luxury of some sort for the Galaxy netminder. Saunders only had to make one save the entire match, but did enough to earn another clean sheet.
A.J. DeLaGarza - 7
Another consistent night for A.J. DeLaGarza. He made a number of stops and had the speed to contain the FC Dallas attack. This was just more of the same from A.J.
David Junior Lopes - 6.5
Lopes had another great game, but now a question must be answered: Will he sit on the bench in lieu of a Galaxy back line of Bryan Gaul/Todd Dunivant, A.J. DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez and Sean Franklin? Or will he be on the back line to replace Franklin?
Stay tuned for the match against Seattle to find out.
Bryan Gaul - 6.5
When Todd Dunivant returns to the lineup, Bruce Arena will have a difficult decision to make: who does he start? Dunivant? Or Bryan Gaul, who held his own on Saturday?
That will be on the manager's mind when the time comes. For now, Arena can deal with Gaul starting.
Omar Gonzalez - 7.5
Gonzalez played the first full 90 and stoppage. He looked in form and made a number of key sweeps—this is the Gonzalez L.A. fans became familiar with last year.
Sean Franklin - 7
This was a great game for Sean Franklin. The defender is in midseason form, and now I can officially say, "Back To Work!"
Juninho - 7
Juninho was part of a midfield that limited David Ferreira's ability to create chances. When he and Marcelo Sarvas join forces, and it works, it's pretty much game-over if you're the opposing team. And with David Beckham returning to the midfield, the Seattle Sounders have a tough one on their hands.
Mike Magee - 8
The man of many legends, at least in the hearts of his fans, returned with a statement performance. In the 62nd minute, Magee received a delivery from Robbie Keane, and fired it past veteran goalkeeper Kevin Hartman, who was making his 400th MLS start in goal.
This is nothing new to Mike Magee; he has had a track record of breaking Dallas hearts, especially at home, so this effort should have surprised no one.
Marcelo Sarvas - 7.5
Sarvas provided good ball distribution in this one. Expect the Brazilian to continue to be a key partner in the midfield with Juninho, especially when David Beckham returns to action in MLS play.
Hector Jimenez - 6.5
This was another average outing for Jimenez in the midfield, and with Beckham and Magee in good health, he will be relieved to be on the bench.
Robbie Keane - 7
He didn't have a good first touch, is not a good finisher and did a terrible job at swaying the opinion of referee Hilario Grajeda for the most part, but Robbie Keane was able to use his experience and leadership to direct L.A.'s attack for Landon Donovan and David Beckham. Keane was responsible for the game-winning assist.
Hey, he's the vice-captain for a reason.
Jose Villareal - 6
He took his lumps against a desperate FC Dallas side, but held his own in relief. Villareal needs to work on his long ball delivery and that will happen in time.
Michael Stephens - 6
Stephens essentially did garbage duty (a.k.a. run, run, run your tailfeathers off), but was not responsible for surrendering any dangerous chances for FC Dallas.