CARSON, Calif. – For all the negative attention the undermanned LA Galaxy defense received early this year, it has been the attack which has been the team's Achilles' heel so far this season.
HIGHLIGHTS: LA 0, NY 1
Heading into Saturday’s match at Montreal, the Galaxy have exactly one goal in their last 321 minutes of play. And the lack of finishing has kept LA from enjoying much success so far, according to manager Bruce Arena.
“From the Champions League on, we’ve created a lot of chances and don’t have enough to show for it,” Arena said. “Whatever that reason is, you’ve got me. Because there have been enough chances since early March for us to be scoring more goals. In the early going, we made some defensive mistakes for sure, but we’ve produced enough chances to score more goals this year and haven’t gotten it done.”
He's right. The chances have been there. While last week's midweek match in Seattle did not produce more than a few opportunities, the Galaxy squandered several clear scoring opportunities against New York this past weekend.
Juninho and Landon Donovan had good looks that were blocked by New York Red Bulls 'keeper Ryan Meara, and Chad Barrett squandered a decent look at goal by blasting his shot into the stands.
A week before that, the Galaxy also should've done better against FC Dallas. Robbie Keane missed a penalty kick, and a shot from Donovan hit the post.
So how do the Galaxy fix their broken attack?
“There’s no magical answer," Donovan said. "Obviously if we knew, we would do it. The only way I know – the only way this team knows – is to keep going.”
Statistically, the club’s attack isn’t among the league's worst. The Galaxy are eighth in goals scored.
But delve a bit deeper and issues arise. Only two players – Keane and Donovan – have more than one goal to their name. Keane, however, has not scored since March 31. And prized offseason acquisition Edson Buddle has only one goal in 532 minutes this season – and that came in the season opener on March 10.
On a team full of stars, nobody is shining.
“We haven’t found a player that can consistently get us goals,” Arena said. “There have been plays there where the ball’s got to end up in the back of the net, and it isn’t. And it’s costing us dearly.”
Luis Bueno covers the LA Galaxy for MLSsoccer.com