The French winger was instrumental to his team yet again on Sunday, scoring two goals inside the game’s opening nine minutes to spearhead a 3-1 road win over the New York Red Bulls. The outing continues the torrid start to his MLS career, with Alessandrini now at six goals and four assists in his first 10 matches with LA.
Even Alessandrini himself didn’t envision this when he signed with the Galaxy as a Designated Player this offseason.
“I was a little bit surprised. It’s a good beginning for me. It’s a big change. I’m very happy, I scored six goals and [four] assists,” he said after Sunday’s match.
“The record for my team was bad the beginning of the season. We have to keep this mentality because everybody was on the same page.”
The performance came as no surprise to head coach Curt Onalfo, who has grown accustomed to seeing the attributes on display on Sunday night.
“Certainly the way he goes about his game, whether it's home or away, he's a winner,” Onalfo said. “He's got a great work ethic and he knows that his coach and club believes in him, and it's a good feeling when you feel that way as a player.”
The Galaxy, meanwhile, suddenly look like a different team than the side that was struggling just two weeks ago. Last week against Chicago, LA found themselves down 2-0 at home by the 16th minute, then came alive in the second half to pull out a result that showed not just resilience but some attacking panache.
That surge in confidence seems to have carried into this weekend. The win was the first for the Galaxy since April 7, a four-game span in which they accumulated just two points.
Onalfo’s game plan to take a positive result out of Red Bull Arena, no easy place to play, worked nearly to perfection. Moving the ball quickly, the Galaxy switched fields to good effect against the Red Bulls’ high press and counter-press. They found lots of space and time on the ball, especially as the Red Bulls were forced to open up and chase the game.
LA exploited the wings and stretched the New York backline, pulling them apart on the counterattack.
“We felt like that would be a way to get at them,” Onalfo said. “We felt like we would get chances. But it's just a matter of finishing those chances.”
Conceding nearly 68 percent of possession to the home side, the Galaxy were the far more clinical team in the final third, with 11 shots and six shots on target.
“I think it’s just mentality. Because we are the same players, the same team, but everything has changed since last week. We have to make sure to keep that,” Alessandrini said.
“It’s [just] the beginning for a team like LA Galaxy. We have to make sure to keep the same mentality, to keep the same way. We have to make sure we grow up and come back on the top.”