CARSON, Calif – Sigi Schmid inherited a struggling team when he took over as head coach of the LA Galaxy, and now with New York City FC on the horizon he continues the search for his first win with the club.
Points at this point in the season are a precious commodity. The Galaxy have 12 games left to push themselves into playoff contention, but they’re currently nine points away from the playoff line. Head coach Schmid isn’t concerned, believing this can still be a dangerous team in the weeks ahead.
“It’s a tough road because of the points that we’re behind,” said Schmid, “but this is a team that can get to the playoffs – and if they get to the playoffs there’s nobody who’s going to want to play us.”
The club was quiet on Transfer Deadline day, save for the deal that sent Paul Arriola’s rights to D.C. United in exchange for Targeted Allocation Money and General Allocation Money. That’s partly because of the two deals already made – bringing in Pele van Anholt and Jonathan dos Santos – and also the returns that will come as players get healthy.
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“We made the two moves early in the window,” said Schmid, “that they made before I got here bringing in Pele and Jonathan dos Santos. Those are two very big positive moves. There’s always a lot of talk on the last day, so there were a lot of discussions we were in, but nothing materialized.
“For us, those two guys are very important additions. The main thing is just getting guys back healthy. If you can get [Baggio] Husidic back, if you can get Sebastian [Lletget] back, that would make a big difference to our team.”
When asked how far away Lletget (foot surgery) and Husidic (broken leg) are, Schmid told reporters “it’s still a ways away...I don’t know if that means three weeks or six weeks” when it comes to Lletget, and in the case of Husidic, “a little bit closer, but we’ll get a better idea next week.”
While they still have some games in hand on their competition, midfielder Jermaine Jones knows that there’s need to focus now. The Galaxy’s 1-6-4 home record needs to be improved upon if this team is going to make the playoffs. That quest continues Saturday at StubHub Center against NYCFC (11 pm ET | ESPN2, ESPN Deportes; MLS LIVE in Canada).
“I think this week we’ll start building to try and get stronger,” said Jones. “At some point we have to switch it [on]. It’s time now, especially if we want to slide into the playoffs.”