The road woes of the Los Angeles Galaxy were amplified tenfold Wednesday night in Denver at the hands of the Colorado Rapids.
There were a number of factors that made the 1-0 loss so disappointing, the least of which was the fact that Los Angeles could have overtaken first place in the Western Conference with a win. Couple that with the fact that the Galaxy played with a two-man advantage for 30 minutes, and you start to see a picture forming of a team that can't get things done away from home.
The Galaxy was up a man only 18 minutes into the match when Pablo Mastroeni was sent off for a reckless challenge. At that point, the Rapids abandoned all attempts at generating an offense, and instead, like a sponge, soaked up all the Galaxy had to offer.
In advance of their current four-game road swing, the Galaxy seemed optimistic, even anxious to get out on the road and prove themselves.
"I think a lot of guys are looking forward to getting on the road," said veteran goalkeeper Kevin Hartman. "We want to get out there and test ourselves."
The test didn't go well Wednesday night. Granted they were playing a very stingy Colorado team who scored an early goal and then began to sink back into a defensive shell. But after the Rapids watched both Mastroeni and Guy Melamed earn red cards and saw the Galaxy lay siege to their penalty area to the tune of a 20-4 shot margin, they still escaped with the win.
The lack of finishing by the Green and Gold begs the question: does an otherwise potent Galaxy offense play differently away from the confines of The Home Depot Center?
"Whether I'm at home or on the road, I play the same," said Galaxy striker Jovan Kirovski. "I don't feel any differently. Everyone has to knuckle down and win some games."
This midweek clash was just the third time the Galaxy ventured away from southern California this season, and all three games have been borderline embarrassing losses. The first was a season-opening 3-0 shellacking at the hands of the Columbus Crew. Then came a disappointing loss to Real Salt Lake where the Galaxy blew several golden opportunities and a second half lead to fall 2-1. And then there was last night's game.
The road doesn't get any easier either. Next on the agenda is a clash with Western Conference leaders FC Dallas. The Hoops are looking to avenge a 2-0 loss they took in Carson in front of what's expected to be a large and hostile home crowd at Cotton Bowl.
Greg Daurio is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.