Jona dos Santos: "Ghosts from last year" haunted LA Galaxy in Atlanta loss

The LA Galaxy have been a Jekyll-and-Hyde side in 2019, beating some of MLS’s best teams yet losing to several at the bottom of the table, and star midfielder Jonathan dos Santos expressed his frustration with that inconsistency after their 3-0 loss at Atlanta United on Saturday.

“I don’t know. I don’t know how to explain it,” he said at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. “The season has been like this. I don’t know what to say. It’s frustrating.

“I’m not used to this,” he continued. “It’s very difficult. I don’t like this situation at all. But we have to keep fighting. There’s still a lot of season left. The good thing is that we’re at the top half of the table and we have to think positively.”

Jona dos Santos duels with Franco Escobar | USA Today Sports Images

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In the wake of last week’s humbling vs. the Portland Timbers, the Galaxy have now lost two games in a row, both on the road, by a combined score of 7-0. For dos Santos, it’s provoked memories of last season’s wild swings, which ended with a stunning failure to qualify for the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.

“The taste left in your mouth is tough to explain. Losing by more than two goals is frustrating – sometimes it feels like the ghosts from last year,” he said. “In the end we’re the Galaxy and we have to give a little more, beginning with me as the captain in this game. But like I said, we have to correct a lot of things – little details, basic things that they teach you as a kid. In soccer when we don’t do them they cost us matches.

“We’re the Galaxy. We can’t give this image. I don’t lose 3-0 and 4-0. Not at all. But in the end, we’ll talk about it with the team. We need to be positive. We’re together. We know what we want. And we know the Galaxy have to be at the top.”

LA faced ATLUTD without Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Efrain Alvarez and Diego Polenta due to suspensions and further complicated their task in Atlanta by making poor decisions and failing to finish their chances.

“It could be the fact that we don’t have any legs,” said dos Santos when asked about his team’s profligacy in front of goal. “The fact that we’re running poorly at the wrong times, pressing and then having to run back is complicated. We’re not players who can go up and down the whole game. As we’ve always said, we have players with a lot of quality and what we like is to have the ball. And if we’re spending the entire game going up and down and up and down, you see it in the legs.”

Coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto now turns the Galaxy towards another difficult road trip, a cross-continent journey to visit D.C. United in a nationally-televised match on Sunday, Aug. 11 (7:30 pm ET | FS1, TSN1/4).

“We’re with the manager 100 percent,” dos Santos emphasized. “In the end we always know what he wants and we do what he asks. But we’re the ones who make the decisions on the field. If we don’t make the right decisions on the field, we’re the guilty ones, 100 percent.”


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