Galaxy carry goal drought to Colorado
When the Los Angeles Galaxy were last seen on the field in an MLS game, it was against the Colorado Rapids at The Home Depot Center. In that game, Colorado took an early lead, and then frantically defended over the final 45 minutes to preserve their 1-0 advantage.
Eleven days removed from that contest, the Galaxy finally return to action to face the same Rapids team. This time, however, the Galaxy must travel to the thin air of Denver to try and exact some revenge. Colorado has been one of the stingiest defenses in recent years, and is starting to gain that reputation again this season, making it that much tougher for the Green and Gold to get the result they're looking for -- especially for a team struggling to score goals in recent weeks.
"It's very hard to find ways to score against (Colorado)," said Galaxy midfielder Paulo Nagamura. "We have been working on our offense. I think we've improved a lot. I think we're going to give them a hard time."
It's not just Colorado that has been stingy towards the Galaxy offense lately. Every team the Galaxy has faced in the month of May has stone walled their offense.
The Galaxy have found it difficult to score against every defense in the month of May. They have yet to score a goal in the month, currently battling a 390-minute scoring drought, and Steve Sampson's team is desperate to get the offense going again in order to relieve some pressure.
"It's important for us to get that first goal. Not necessarily the (first goal) of the game, just for us," said Todd Dunivant. "We need to get that goal and get it out of the way. That will open the floodgates a bit because we're due."
Dunivant is also making a homecoming. A stalwart on the left side of the defense for Los Angeles, Dunivant is from Wheat Ridge, Colo. According to him, these road trips to Colorado always mean a bit more.
"It's always a special place for me," said Dunivant. "I always need to get a lot of tickets and get the family and friends out. It's a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to it."
Another thing Dunivant and his throngs of supporters who make the trip out to Invesco Field can look forward to is a possible position change. Sampson has toyed with trying Dunivant out in the midfield, and while the MLS veteran dodged any direct questions about a tactical switch, he didn't rule out the possibility of a role change.
"I'm looking to play the left side of midfield," said Dunivant. "I'm perfectly happy to do that, get forward and let the other guys do the defending."
Even though Sampson admits that he has to try new things with his lineup until he finds something that works, tinkering too much all at once could also spell trouble. Towards the end of their last encounter with Colorado, Sampson was forced to go to a very attack-minded lineup in search of an equalizer. The result was 14 shots in the second half, and only tremendous performance by third-string goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul kept the Galaxy scoreless.
Sampson wants the same kind of offensive pressure, but is still wary of pushing too many players forward.
"It's important we come with the same kind of energy we had in the second half against Colorado last week. We need to put pressure on them without losing our shape," said Sampson. "(Colorado's) a team that can counter attack, so we don't want the game to get too wide open."
With the results of this past weekend, the Galaxy fell into a tie for last place in the Western Conference. While the front runners are putting more and more distance between themselves and the rest of the conference, the bottom half of the table is still tightly bunched. A result on Wednesday night will go a long way towards getting the Galaxy back where they want to be both mentally and in the standings.
Greg Daurio is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.