The LA Galaxy's season has been defined by streaks.
A frustrating four-game losing streak and a delightful nine-game unbeaten run preceded the team's current six-game winless streak. With their playoff hopes perilously hanging by a thread and Sigi Schmid no longer in charge as of Monday, how did a season at times so promising arrive to where it is now?
Here are five games that turned the Galaxy's season.
May 5: LA Galaxy 2-3 Houston Dynamo
In the thick of things during the beginning of the season, losing to the Dynamo at home didn't seem too awful of a result. Conceding three at the StubHub Center wasn't ideal but Houston's attack is legit.
But with the knowledge in hindsight that the Dynamo would later fall out of playoff race thanks to their current 10-game winless run, and win no more games away from home, this result looks worse and worse.
Aug. 11: LA Galaxy 2-2 Minnesota United
Kicking off a week of disappointment in August for the Galaxy was a 2-2 draw against the struggling Loons.
Including the draw against the Galaxy, Minnesota have taken just four of a possible 39 points on the road this season. The Galaxy twice led and were twice pegged back by the Loons, failing to keep a lead and close out a lead.
Aug. 14: LA Galaxy 2-2 Colorado Rapids
Three days later, the Galaxy dropped more points at home when they twice led again. The Rapids, like the Loons and Dynamo, have just one win on the road this season.
Aug. 18: Seattle Sounders 5-0 LA Galaxy
In their defense, the Galaxy were without half of their regular starting XI. But that may well be the primary notion of "defense" that took place on behalf of the Galaxy around that match.
Losing to the streaking Sounders in Seattle with a less-than-full strength lineup is defensible; expected, even. But an embarrassing five-goal loss on national TV is tough to stomach, no matter who is on the pitch. Architects of their own demise, the manner in which the loss transpired did Schmid no favors. Individual errors, basic tenants of defending gone missing and lack of fight put the Galaxy's season in genuine peril.
Sept. 1: Real Salt Lake 6-2 LA Galaxy
The fatal blow.
Facing direct playoff competition RSL, the Galaxy had a chance to take the inside track for the playoffs with a win or at least stay within striking distance with a tie. They got out to the perfect start with a goal inside the first minute for an early lead, but then conceded four goals on the bounce en route to a shocking 6-2 loss.
With Seattle and Portland each having games in hand, RSL were the likely target to poach a playoff place from. They're now six points behind RSL with as many games to go.