Unbeaten streak intact, but Galaxy frustrated with recent form
CARSON, Calif. — At a glance, the LA Galaxy’s current run seems impressive.
Four consecutive wins sandwiched by a pair of draws on either side makes for an eight-game stretch any team in the league would be proud of.
Still, the club will carry a tinge of disappointment heading into Saturday’s match at Colorado. After all, drawing matches means the team isn’t winning games.
“We are upset because of the result [on Saturday], because the team did not play as we should have.” forward Juan Pablo Ángel said. “But we have to fix it. We have some tough games coming up and we have to start winning again.”
LA’s latest two matches were ones that screamed Galaxy victories entering each respective game. Both D.C. United and Toronto FC had flaws in their games before going to the Home Depot Center, and the Galaxy were supposed to have exploited them.
“These were two home games – DC and Toronto – that on paper we should win, but those are always the toughest games,” defender Todd Dunivant said. “They’re coming in with nothing to lose. They’re going to defend and fight and play for 90 minutes, which ... both teams did.”
Perhaps then, the Galaxy will find the cure for their ills at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. While the Rapids are no pushovers, playing a road game could give the Galaxy’s opponents a different look.
Typically at the Home Depot Center, their rivals all play similarly: They bring their best.
D.C. United, for instance, frustrated the Galaxy and did well to stifle their attack, but the wheels fell off the next weekend in a 4-2 loss to San Jose.
“That’s what teams do when they come here and when they play us. Their energy picks up a level from they have the rest of the season,” midfielder David Beckham said. “We’ve got to expect that and we’ve got to be more mature in the way we play and the way we finish our games.”
If there was one area of improvement from the draws against D.C. United and Toronto FC, it was in the way LA worked.
During the DC match, Galaxy players were lethargic and never seemed to get into a rhythm. Against Toronto, they had a goal with two minutes gone and scored another late in the match, although the club did allow an equalizer four minutes into stoppage time.
If the club can improve similarly against Colorado and continue to pick up their energy level, then a positive result could finally be forthcoming.
“Our energy was a lot better [on Saturday],” Dunivant said. “Last week, we were really heavy on the legs and [Saturday] was a lot better. If we continue that, I think we’ll be okay.”
As difficult as the draw against Toronto FC was, having two points snatched from their grasp with less than one minute remaining until the final whistle, there is no need to blow up their tactics or formation or bring in some new blood.
The same pieces that were in place before the year, the same pieces that have been in place during the club’s unbeaten streak are still around and will be just fine going forward, players said.
“We’ve just got to sharpen some things up,” Galaxy defender Sean Franklin said. “We’ve talked about the whole year that that’s probably one of the last things we need, that final third of good touches, smart passes. If we clean it up, we’ll be fine the rest of the season.”
The Galaxy sit atop the Western Conference table and still have no losses since May 1, and that counts for something.
“Overall, we’re still unbeaten in eight,” midfielder Chris Birchall said. “We’ll try and take it on and get our confidence back next week.”