CARSON, Calif. – With all the offensive firepower on the LA Galaxy, Saturday night’s stellar performance came from an unlikely source in the form of young winger Emmanuel Boateng.
The Ghanaian made his second start of the season count, notching a goal and two assists to help lead LA to a resounding 5-2 victory over previously-undefeated Real Salt Lake.
Boateng didn’t get a whole lot of notice ahead of the game, as he found out on Friday that he would get the nod.
“I made sure to step in and try help the team any way I could,” he told reporters after the game. “It’s been a fun night.”
After Gyasi Zardes leveled the match early in the first half with an impressive rocket from distance, Boateng flew up the left flank about five minutes later and sent in a beautiful cross to an unmarked Mike Magee, who calmly finished to put the home side up 2-1.
Arena was impressed with Boateng’s performance, praising his play on both sides of the ball.
“He had a terrific game, an overall balanced game,” Arena said. "He obviously helped us in the attack, but defensively he played very well.”
Boateng scored his first MLS goal off a ball into the box from Giovani Dos Santos, although he claims it may not have been meant for him.
“It was great. I just jumped in front of Gyasi and stole his goal,” Boateng cracked.
To close out the half, Boateng repaid Dos Santos, assisting on the Mexican international's incredible chip just before halftime.
“It was a heck of a goal," said Arena about the Dos Santos strike. "He’s playing himself back into good form, and we’re hopeful that he continues to get better."
Despite the strong performance on the night, Boateng knows there’s more work to be done.
“I still don’t think I’m at the place I want to be yet,” he said. “There’s still more that I need to learn as a player, so every day I just continue to improve.”