Hidden amongst the little purple patch the LA Galaxy has gone through the past two months (6W 5D 1L) has been a team that lacks something.
Is it defense, offense, or midfield mistakes that are responsible for the poor play despite gaining points throughout the process? How about all three?! One could compare the LA Galaxy of this year to that of last year, but being better than last year’s historically bad squad is not something to be proud of.
Its not all doom and gloom for the LA Galaxy. With 10 games in the season left they are positioned for a playoff berth and looking to make a late season push up the table. Despite the draw against Minnesota United, the LA Galaxy are currently tied on points with rivals Los Angeles Football Club on 36 points (4th in the west). Let’s take a look ahead at some of the key fixtures coming up.
Key Conference Games
There are teams currently racing up the table (Seattle Sounders) and teams just trying to stay afloat (LAFC) as we head down the stretch. The LA Galaxy need to navigate these games carefully to make sure they are not six point swings.
- LA Galaxy AT Seattle Sounders (Saturday Aug 18). The Sounders have won five games in a row and have not lost since June. Look out as the 12th man is back and Sounders fans remember the previous late season push that took them all the way to the MLS Cup.
- LA Galaxy vs LAFC (Friday August 24). If you haven’t noticed, these two teams have produced some of the more memorable fixtures of the season in the MLS. This one promises to be no different as LAFC are looking to get their first victory against the storied LA Galaxy franchise.
- LA Galaxy vs Seattle Sounders (Sunday September 23). Yea, we’ll know how bad we need the points by this point in the season, but the way things have been going, this will be a MUST WIN GAME.
- LA Galaxy AT Sporting Kansas City (Saturday October 6th). Currently Sporting KC are three points ahead of the LA Galaxy. Sporting KC had lost four out of five MLS games recently before winning their last two. At this point it looks like whoever finds consistency first will make a playoff spot.
What to Watch for
Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Enough said. He has carried the team this season on those broad 6’5″ shoulders and taken the team to heights they wouldn’t have reached without him. More importantly, Romain Alessandrini and Giovani dos Santos went down with injuries this weekend and there is still no word how long they will be out. Ola Kamara has somewhat found his groove in the offense but still does not get enough quality service in good areas that make him even more dangerous.
Can head coach Sigi Schmid finally find the right formula to keep the team balanced offensively and defensively? That remains to be seen, and up until this point my best guess would be no.
Predictions and What’s Next
The LA Galaxy play Colorado Rapids at home on Tuesday night. They lost 1-2 against the Rapids just last week on the road. With back-to-back wins, the Rapids will be looking to maintain momentum and get their first winning streak of the season. The LA Galaxy will be looking to create a little separation between them and the teams chasing that final playoff spot.
I can see the LA Galaxy winning six of their last 10 games which would be good enough for a playoff spot and maybe a dream match up against LAFC with everything at stake.
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