Hole getting deeper for Galaxy
The Los Angeles Galaxy are currently mired in a six-game winless streak dating back to the middle of June. Out of a possible 18 points, the Galaxy have picked up just two, which is why they've slid from the top of the Western Conference table to the middle, in what seems to Galaxy fans as a blink of an eye.
The current streak right now stands as the third longest such streak in franchise history. The longest winless streak was set in 2003, when the Galaxy played their first eight games on the road that year while The Home Depot Center was being finished. The Galaxy recovered in time to make the playoffs that year, but barely did so, finishing in the fourth and final playoff position in the West.
The second-longest run occurred a year ago, a seven-game winless streak in the middle of last year highlighted by the dismissal of then Galaxy head coach Sigi Schmid. That happened after the fifth game in that streak.
In the Galaxy's defense, during this year's streak they have been missing quite a number of players due to injury and national team commitments. While it isn't as if the situation was unexpected, in the past six games, one would be hard pressed to find two games in a row where the Galaxy has fielded the same starting 11.
"We just need to find our rhythm," said budding striker Alan Gordon. "Unfortunately the team we've had out there the past couple weeks hasn't had the opportunity to play with each other. And it's affected us."
The Galaxy aren't making excuses for themselves, but they are quick to point out the key players they have been without for these hard times. Names like Landon Donovan, Chris Albright, Tyrone Marshall and even captain Peter Vagenas have missed at least two games during the stretch.
But the Galaxy isn't the only team that's been lacking in star power this summer. Western Conference leader FC Dallas have been without Carlos Ruiz, Eddie Johnson and Richard Mulrooney during this same span. When healthy, the trio is amongst the elite at their respective positions.
Still, without their three superstars, the Hoops have compiled three wins and a tie, pushing themselves a full nine points ahead of the Galaxy in the standings. Galaxy coach Steve Sampson points to Dallas as the benchmark right now in MLS.
"Dallas has done an exceptional job getting results home and away, even arguably without some of their best players," said Sampson. "You have to give them the credit, and that's why they're on top of the league."
A game against Southland rival Chivas USA is coming up this weekend, and normally would be a welcome opportunity for the Galaxy to stop the winless streak. The Green and Gold have dominated Chivas USA in their first two meetings, but the Goats are coming off back-to-back wins in league and U.S. Open Cup play.
Greg Daurio is a contributor to MLsnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.