Sluggish Galaxy fortunate to get draw against DC United
CARSON, Calif. — The LA Galaxy pulled out a point from Friday’s nil-nil draw with D.C. United and extended their shutout streak to 411 minutes.
Aside from that, players and coaches had precious few positives to take away from the match.
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“[The] performance was absolutely poor,” Galaxy coach Bruce Arena evaluated. “There was no quality to our game, our passing was poor, effort was just OK. Just didn’t get it done. No excuses. That was a poor performance. The only good thing about tonight is that we lost those games last year.”
The Galaxy saw their four-match winning streak halted but extended their unbeaten streak to seven matches. However, getting a point against DC was nothing short of fortunate. In fact, Arena said it was a “miracle” they got the draw.
D.C. United played with more energy and had the better of chances. Had it not been for poor marksmanship — Josh Wolff and Charlie Davies pushed open attempts from inside the box wide of the goal in the final half hour — DC would have walked away with three points.
Had the visitors claimed victory, Galaxy players probably would not have complained too much.
“Why we came out that way, I don’t know — heavy legs, tired legs. We didn’t have a good performance,” Galaxy defender Todd Dunivant said. “Probably on the night, we deserved zero points, but we got one, so we take that as a positive.”
Even LA’s shutout streak was a bit fortunate to reach past 400 minutes. Davies nearly put a dagger in the Galaxy when he raced past Omar Gonzalez and eluded Josh Saunders but sent a shot wide of the goal.
“We got a little bit lucky with that one play,” Gonzalez said. “Moving forward, I would like for that not to happen — a mistake at the end. It’s great that we haven’t let up a goal in four games, we’ve just to got to keep that going and forget about this game.”
The Galaxy played without three key players, as Landon Donovan and Donovan Ricketts are away on Gold Cup duty while Juan Pablo Ángel missed the match with a calf injury. Arena said Donovan’s absence “had nothing to do with” the team’s poor showing, but players said they could have used their captain’s energy.
“He’s an X-factor for sure,” Galaxy defender Todd Dunivant said. “We missed that spark. We were pretty flat and we didn’t really have any explosive plays out there and that’s what he’s known for. We missed that.”
Part of the team’s sluggish showing was the recent hectic stretch of games. The Galaxy played seven matches in May, including two Wednesday matches. A week ago, the Galaxy played Chivas USA and Houston at The Home Depot Center before heading to the East Coast for a match against New England.
While the Galaxy won all three matches by 1-0, it seems like the travel and extra games caught up to the club.
“That’s probably one of the best games [DC] have played and that’s probably one of the worst games we’ve played after Salt Lake,” Gonzalez said. “We just came out flat and, to be honest, we were all a little bit tired from three games in one week.
“Really all it was, was just us being flat and not winning second balls, being a little slow mentally,” he added.
After the Galaxy returned home from New England, Arena rewarded the players with some time off. That, too, may have been part of the problem.
“I gave the players three days off this week and it showed,” Arena said. “They never got going during the week.”
While Beckham said during the week that he quite enjoyed the three days off — “Who doesn’t like three days off?” he asked on Thursday — after the team’s draw against United, the Galaxy star said it may have been too much of an indulgence.
“Possibly the three days off was too much,” he said. “Maybe Bruce won’t be giving us three days off again.”