Los Angeles Galaxy's Emmanuel Boateng shines against Real Salt Lake
Emmanuel Boateng celebrating his goal against Real Salt Lake on Saturday at the StubHub Center. Photo provided by USA TODAY Sports.

Los Angeles Galaxy's Emmanuel Boateng shines against Real Salt Lake

MLS: Boateng was the best player on the pitch on Saturday. Both head coaches and the league even recognized his star performance

JorgeBelon
Jorge Belon

On Saturday the Los Angeles Galaxy defeated Real Salt Lake 5-2 at the StubHub Center. The Galaxy was the first club to hand RSL their first defeat of the season. There were multiple players for LA that stepped up to the plate and gave the Royals a thrashing lost.

The usual suspects Steven Gerrard, Giovani dos Santos, Mike Magee and Gyasi Zardes also scored a goal in the match. However, the player that stole the show for LA was 22-year-old speedster, Emanuel Boateng.

The rise of Boateng

Emmanuel Boateng (Right) and Mike Magee (Left) and the rest of the team celebrating Magee's goal on Saturday. Photo provided by AP Photo
Emmanuel Boateng (Right) and Mike Magee (Left) and the rest of the team celebrating Magee's goal on Saturday. Photo provided by AP Photo

The Ghanaian winger was able to open his Major League Soccer (MLS) scoring account on Saturday. He was able to beat everybody to a loose ball in the heart of the penalty box. He kept his composure and tap the ball into the net to give LA a 3-1 lead.

The speedster was also able to pick up two assists in the process. His first was clinical cross that landed right into the path of Magee. The former MLS MVP only had to make contact with the ball to finish the play. His second assist was not fancy but pure desire and fight of the five-foot-six-inches midfielder.

Boateng made a run into the box with the ball and was brought down to the ground. Instead of complaining or attempting to get the referee’s attention for a penalty the winger kept his head in the game. He toe poked the ball to an open Dos Santos. The Mexican play maker did the rest by chipping the ball into the top right hand corner of the net.     

However, to LA’s head coach and general manager Bruce Arena Boateng’s performance was no surprise. Instead it’s been coming, “He’s really grown during the preseason and the start of the season. He’s getting better,” Arena said about Boateng after the game.

Boateng cashing in on opportunities

The 22-year-old midfielder was not expected to start this match. However, on Friday he was given the green light and found himself starting against the only unbeaten club in MLS. “Two days before the game, he’s probably going to be on the bench as a backup player but the manager gave him a shout yesterday [Friday] because of Sebastian’s [Lletget] groin. He’s been professional all weekend his reaction to the manager giving him the call was tremendous,” Gerrard said about Boateng.

The Los Angeles Galaxy had a lot of reasons to celebrate on Saturday and Emmanuel Boateng (Center) was involved in three of the five goals LA scored on Saturday. Photo provided USA TODAY Sports.
The Los Angeles Galaxy had a lot of reasons to celebrate on Saturday and Emmanuel Boateng (Center) was involved in three of the five goals LA scored on Saturday. Photo provided USA TODAY Sports.

He was able to give his best performance as a Galaxy member with very little time to get ready. “I just tried to step in and help the team anyway I could,” Boateng said about his approach to the game. The 22-year-old midfield was all smiles after the match as he explained how he scored his first MLS goal. “It was great. I just jumped in front of Gyasi [Zardes] and stole his goal I guess.”

Boateng gains respect the recognization for his performance 

The Ghanaian winger two assist and his goal got him player of the game award. Plus the 22-year-old was voted player of the week for MLS. Boateng became the second straight Galaxy player to win the player of the week award, last week Dos Santos was given the award. Now the speedy winger is the third overall LA player to win the award, Magee was voted week one.

Two RSL defenders attempting to steal the ball away from Emmanuel Boateng (Center) on Saturday. Photo provided by AP Photo.
Two RSL defenders attempting to steal the ball away from Emmanuel Boateng (Center) on Saturday. Photo provided by AP Photo.

RSL’s head coach Jeff Cassar might have entered the match knowing very little of Boateng, but not anymore. “We have been preparing all week for Lletget, but Boateng throws a different look to their play. [Boateng] was a difference in the way they played,” Cassar said about Boateng’s after the 5-2 defeat. 

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