Alright, so lets get down to business. Clearly a 3-1 loss to New England wasn’t on the list of accomplishments coming off of a 13 day hiatus. This break was supposed to clean up the mistakes on defense and provide time for Edson Buddle and Robbie Keane to get on the same page. But ultimately the Galaxy were outplayed, out hustled and overwhelmed by a decent, but not stellar New England team.
Add to this loss the fact that rumors persisted after the game that an argument between three Galaxy players saw two of them subbed off at the half. Bruce Arena stated that Beckham and Sarvas were subbed as a “Coached Decision.” He actually stated that he only subbed those two because he couldn’t sub all 11 players at the half. Probably a very good idea of what Bruce’s mindset was during halftime.
So an embarrassing loss coupled with locker room tensions? Or are the tensions just a sign that the Galaxy obviously didn’t expect themselves to be close to the bottom of the western conference.
Here is what I can tell you from Talking with the boys after the game.
Robbie Keane was upset. While he insists that it is the whole team that has issues, clearly he, and everyone else on the team, realizes the defense needs to stop allowing the same type of goals, week after week.
AJ DeLaGarza knows the score. He knows his defense let in 3 goals and he knows that they worked on the defense throughout the 13 days off. While AJ himself has played relatively well, the supporting cast around him hasn’t. That goes for midfielders and outside backs as well.
Sean Franklin, in my opinion, just wants to get stability at both the midfield position in front of him and the center back position next to him. Solid players at both of these positions lets him get forward and contribute to the offense. Instead he is having to carefully move forward in order to not open up holes around him. It really isn’t his game and the bad play around him is isolating him on the wing too often. Sean is an excellent right back, but only when he has support to his inside and has plenty of room to help out the offense.
Now let’s talk Robbie Keane and Edson Buddle. This pairing is taking a while to develop (Can you Say Juan Pablo Angel?). Add to the fact that Edson Buddle has showed poor ball control when getting the ball, and has, except for one occasion that lead to the only goal, missed Keane multiple times in open spots. The frustration is building. It’s more apparent on the Keane side as he is used to teammates being able to connect with him. This was most evident in a shot that Buddle took on a breakaway that Keane helped to create. Buddle Missed a 1 vs. 1 opportunity with Matt Reis, the New England goalkeeper, by about 8 yards to the left of the post. If he was able to stop the ball and feed it to Keane who was wide open by himself they may have had something.
Don’t let the stats fool you. New England Dominated this game. The Galaxy had the possession edge (56.5% to 43.5%) but the Galaxy’s possession was never in a dangerous spot. New England had 9 Shots on Target to the Galaxy’s 4.
Things don’t get any easier for the Galaxy either. Rumors of a Beckham hamstring injury, coupled with the recovering quad injury to Landon Donovan (Bruce Expects Landon To be available for the Sporting Kansas City Game) will force a brow beaten team to take on a very talented Sporting team on the road.
Missing Omar Gonzalez isn’t the only problem for LA. If you are one of these people who continues to blame the teams play on his absence, you need to move on. The team has had plenty of time to prepare for Omar’s injury. They just aren’t executing at any level of the field.
The midfield has been lackluster. They are leaving the fragile defense on an island and they aren’t connecting with the attacking options. Our lack of height in the box has rendered David Beckham’s set pieces useless, and unless Robbie Keane and Edson Buddle can get on the same page and quickly, they won’t be able to score enough goals to counter the collapsing defense. If Buddle and Keane can’t come to some sort of understanding soon, look for Chad Barrett to take over the spot for Edson. If that happens look for the LA Galaxy to make a deal for Buddle and a central defender. I just don’t see it coming down the pipe any other way.
The Galaxy need a good Showing at Live Strong Park, or the bad taste Galaxy fans have on the tip of their tongue is going to get worse! Much Worse!