SEATTLE – The LA Galaxy remain above the playoff line in the Western Conference standings coming off their wild 4-3 defeat to the Seattle Sounders at CenturyLink Field on Sunday, but they’re certainly living on tenuous ground.
With Sunday’s loss, the Galaxy now hold onto the West’s final playoff spot by just two points over the Portland Timbers, who have a game in hand and a home-heavy schedule the rest of the season. Throw in a Sporting Kansas City squad looking to make a run of their own, and the Galaxy are in nothing short of a dogfight to make the postseason at all, let alone vie for the second seed behind front-running LAFC.
LA hung tough with the Sounders in the match, coming back to tie the game two separate times before an 89th-minute game-winner from Cristian Roldan sealed their fate. But that’s of little consolation for head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto, who said after the game the only thing his team can do is try to regroup and keep fighting.
“The result is so bad for us because it gives three points to Seattle and we are fighting for the playoffs,” Schelotto said. “If you analyze the game, I think the game was very even. Sometimes they played well and sometimes we managed the ball and the situations.
“Yeah, we scored three times and we fought and found the places deep in the second half,” he added. “At the end of the day, the result is very bad for us, but we have seven games [left]. We are right now in the playoffs, but we need to keep fighting.”
The Galaxy had already been struggling coming into the game, going just 1-4-2 since their epic El Trafico derby victory over LAFC on July 19. But the result in Seattle was especially frustrating given the come-from-behind theatrics that left them in ample position to steal a road point after Jorgen Skjelvik tied the game at 3-3 with just 10 minutes to go.
The game was defined, midfielder Joe Corona said, in the frantic period after that goal. The Galaxy couldn’t withstand as the Sounders turned up the pressure and eventually found the match-winning tally.
“I think today we got a little bit overwhelmed once we tied the game,” Corona said. “I think that’s when they took advantage of us [to] pressure and go high. We were trying to look for the winning goal and unfortunately their third goal [from Jordan Morris] was offside. I don’t know about that. I asked the ref, I told him and they said they were checking it. They are things that change the game.”
Corona, the only Galaxy player to speak with reporters outside a cleared-out locker room after the match, said that the result was indicative of what has become a recurring issue for the team: A propensity for leaking late goals and being unable to close out results.
“I think it’s a problem throughout the whole season,” Corona said. “It’s very sad that they come back after we tie the game and it’s something that we have to keep working on and hopefully get better at. Making the playoffs is our first objective. Hopefully we can turn this around.”