Ibrahimovic scored both goals (and saw another waved off by an offside flag) as LA fought back in the final 20 minutes following Dallas forward Cristian Colman's controversial red card, but it wasn't enough, as he pointedly proclaimed afterward.
“It's irritating, of course, when you lose the game,” he said in a somber LA locker room after Wednesday's game. “It's never good [when you're losing] 3-0 [and you must] chase the game. I've played more than 800 games, and it's very difficult to win games when you're losing, 2-0, 3-0. Doesn't matter who you are, it's very difficult.
“Against LAFC, we were losing, 3-0, won, 4-3, now everybody is like, 'Yeah, if we're losing, 2-0, 3-0, we can catch it 5-4 or 4-3.' But it's not easy. Today was the same thing: 3-0, we try to catch, we came to 3-2, and, yeah, we lose the game. It's very [frustrating] to lose. It's never good to lose.”
It's become a recurring theme for the Galaxy, which lost successive 3-2 games April 28 against the New York Red Bulls, May 5 at Houston and May 12 at Dallas before notching successive 1-0 victories last week at Montreal and at home against San Jose with Ibrahimovic missing following a red card.
What was different in those games? Not much.
“I saw the same things,” said Ibrahimovic, who was dismissed just before halftime with the score 0-0 in Montreal and served his suspension against the Earthquakes. “The thing is if we play against a team like Real Madrid or Barcelona and we lose, I will say, 'Yeah, we did the hard work, we tried everything we did,' but we're not playing against those teams. Because the quality [of the MLS opponents] is not so high, and they're not better than us. Opposite, we're better than them, but they're winning the games, and that's the difference.
“For us saying we did much more [against Montreal and San Jose], the only difference is that you win and you cover [up] the mistakes you normally do [by winning]. The things are not [better] by winning. It's like a hidden secret, like it's still there but yo don't see it, because you're winning. That's the problem. And when you're losing, you see it and you point at it, and you say that's the problem.”
The Galaxy came out without much fire and saw Dallas take early command en route to a 2-0 advantage by halftime and a 3-0 edge in the 66th minute. Head coach Sigi Schmid rotated a few positions with another game coming Saturday at Portland (5 pm ET - Full TV & Streaming Info) -- the Galaxy's fourth in a dozen days -- and with Giovani and Jonathan Dos Santos off for Mexico's World Cup preparations.
Schmid said he would first assess his decisions and how they impacted LA's performance, said that “the whole team is frustrated” by what's going on, and that the defensive performance, a problem area since the start of the campaign, “was not acceptable.”
“How do you fix it? By winning the game, hopefully,” Ibrahimovic said. “In the game, you always have positive and negative. Negative, you lose the game, it's never good. I feel in the offensive and defensive way, we're a little bit lost in the positions we're playing because we're not organized, and it's difficult to play like that, because as soon as we play a team that's a little bit organized, they punish you, because they're a little more organized, obviously.
“Doesn't matter [how much] quality you have, because it's a collective game, it's not individual, so the collective needs to work for the individual to work. And now it's not working 100 percent. We're conceding too many goals, too many easy goals, and we need to work on it. We need to work on the things that we're less good at and the things we're not good at.”
Ibrahimovic said that he should be included in any criticism of LA's performance.
“I don't want to blame nobody,” he said. “I blame always myself when we are not winning. I'm one of many who has to do much more than what I am doing. So I keep working hard and keep pushing.”