CARSON, Calif. — The LA Galaxy have dropped three of their last four games, a frustrating stretch in which they've played poorly and played well, missed some chances and given away a few goals, and failed to accumulate all of the points they were probably entitled to.
Call it a slump? The Galaxy don't. Not really.
“Everything in LA seems to be a little blown out of proportion,” Mike Magee said this week as the Galaxy prepared for Sunday night's Home Depot Center showdown with Seattle (11 pm ET, ESPN2, live chat on MLSsoccer.com). “When we lose a couple of games, things get a bit dramatic. That's just the reality when you have as much success as we do and don't go through slumps like this often. I don't feel like it's a slump, but we're well aware it's uncharacteristic of the group.”
LA were lousy in successive losses to Houston and Vancouver, but they recovered nicely with the return of Robbie Keane from injury last week at Philadelphia. They finished their chances against Philly and pulled away to a 4-1 win, But they didn't finish against the Red Bulls last Sunday and lost in stoppage time on a poorly defended free kick.
WATCH: LA vs. Seattle preview
Late, costly goals have been an issue all season, and most of the criticism directed at the Galaxy has centered around defending. The Galaxy conceded soft goals in all three games on the road trip that ended last weekend, several of them with porousdefending in the box.
Goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini, who was called out for his failure to come off his line on the Red Bulls' free kick, thinks the tenor of the “critiques” is ridiculous.
“I think this defense is doing pretty well,” the Italian goalkeeper said. “If you want to compare it to the previous two years: Last year, for sure we are improved; two years ago, we are doing more or less the same. ...
"I don't think [the criticism] is fair. I mean, how do you critique a defense that is the second [best] defense in the league? But every time we concede a goal, I read and I hear stuff on TV. Every time. I don't think it's fair.”
Some of the goals surrendered, Cudicini grants, have been “silly” and “absolutely” should not have been conceded.
“But I don't read that same thing when other teams concede goals,” he said. “Why are we the only team where we have problems in defense?”
Scott French covers the LA Galaxy for MLSsoccer.com.