Despite winning four games in a row, LA Galaxy believe it or not have left room for improvement. LA Galaxy added another notch on the belt beating Philadelphia Union 2-0 at Dignity Health Sports Park to remain perfect at home this season. Zlatan Ibrahimovic again turned in a masterclass scoring both goals en route to the victory.
Back-to-back shutouts has Guillermo Barros Schelotto praising his defense, “We can see how the defense is getting better game by game. I am happy with that. I think the individual level is getting better too, like Rolf [Feltscher], [Daniel] Steres, Jorgen [Skjelvik].” However, shutouts often depend on a bit of luck and some resolute defending. The Galaxy have had more luck than anything when you consider the epic “Panenka” penalty fail versus Vancouver. You can also throw in the near misses and big saves by Bingham in the Philadelphia Union game.
The defense does deserve some credit for marking better on set pieces and in the flow of play as Steres has improved as the season has gone on and same goes for Diego Polenta’s conditioning and adapting to MLS. Also, a coach once told me that if your third line (back line) is winning lots of balls, it’s usually because the midfield is forcing bad passes. I would say this is the case as we have sung the praises of Joe Corona, Jonathan dos Santos, and Sebastian Lletget before.
The defense, despite back-to-back shutouts definitely has room to improve. There is still an issue with dropping into our box too easily when absorbing pressure. Reinforcements are coming in the form of Costa Rican defender Giancarlo Gonzalez from Italian side Bologna. This solidifies the back line depth and might provide a temporary solution after Feltscher picked up an injury on Saturday night.
For some reason, LA Galaxy cant seem to put together two good halves. It happened in the last two games again after a solid 90 minutes against Portland on March 31.
“I don’t really like the second half for us”Schelotto after 2-0 victory over Philadelphia Union
Prior to the game against Philadelphia, goalkeeper David Bingham called the first half against Vancouver, “One of our worst starts to a game of the year.” Zlatan echoed the sentiment, “We needed to do more. It was not enough. If he scores the penalty, it would be a different game.”
This is a huge concern for the Galaxy as they hit a tough stretch of their schedule where we only play back-to-back home games only once from now until mid-July.
The Galaxy take on undefeated Houston Dynamo on Friday night. One of three undefeated teams left in MLS (all three are in the Western Conference).
LA Galaxy vs Houston Dynamo, April 19, Dignity Health Sports Park. 8:00 p.m. PST.