It seemed the perfect remedy for such a forgettable June.
FC Dallas could head into LA, with the prospect of getting three points against the defending champs and retaking a share of the Western Conference lead ready to extinguish any lingering memories of a month that saw them go 0-1-4 and get knocked out of the US Open Cup.
But owing to a complete performance from the Galaxy and their own struggles in creating chances, the team from North Texas left Southern California with a six-game winless streak and plenty more problems to consider thanks to the Galaxy's 2-0 win on Saturday night.
"I think the reality is that they basically outworked us," FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman lamented in his postgame press conference. "And by outworking us they caused us a lot of problems."
The difference in attacking industry between the two teams was made evident not only by Hyndman's observations, but simply through the fact that LA seemingly domianted every facet of play. The Galaxy outshot Dallas 23-6, outpossessed Dallas 54.7-45.3 percent, completed more passes, made more crosses and won more duels.
Hyndman didn't fault his players for their efforts at keeping possession, though. Instead he wished his team could have been more dynamic in turning that possession into something more tangible.
"We didn’t create enough scoring chances, which causes you problems, we didn’t have people running off the ball, we didn’t have many tackles," he added. "I thought we did fine in the middle third of the field – you know, getting the ball, keeping the ball – but at the end of the day [LA Galaxy midfielders] Juninho and Marcelo [Sarvas], they killed us. They were making runs through the field and there wasn’t a lot of pressure on them."
As Hyndman intimated, the Galaxy's central midfield pairing of Sarvas and and Juninho were particularly troublesome for his team on Saturday night, with Sarvas playing an espeically pivotal role. Not only did the Brazilian net the Galaxy's opener, he completed 46 out of 54 attempted passes and, together with Juninho, provided the defensive mettle necessary to almost completely shutdown a David Ferreira-led attack.
“You have to give them credit because they played a good game," Ferreira told reporters after the game. "The team came apart in the second half and they took advantage of the spacing that we weren’t allowing in the first minutes and end up with a bad result. We came here with the intention of winning, but that didn’t happen. So, we need to keep working and keep thinking about what’s ahead and hopefully the next game will be a positive one for us.”
Dallas' winless streak is certainly a troubling sign for a team that started the season with so much promise, though they still hold onto second place in the Western Conference. But with the Galaxy and a host of other teams suddently close behind, FCD will be looking for the ideas that just didn't come against the Galaxy in hopes of jump-starting their Supporters' Shield push.