Following last year’s disaster of a season, LA Galaxy fans are anxious about how their team will look this season. Leaving the final preseason game in a 1-2 loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday night, I heard fans saying that “We’re fine it’s just the preseason” or “It was good, its all good”.
But is it?
With little to no room for error, the LA Galaxy cannot afford to have another slow start to the season. For this reason alone, I am extremely disappointed with the performance on Saturday night. Make no mistake about it, we need to hit the ground running. If the Galaxy wants to prevent losing people to the new and shiny Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) fan base, they need to restore order as the pearl of the MLS. I am in no way saying its time to panic, but it raises an eyebrow and questions at the very least.
I know fans have been all over Gio dos Santos this past year and rightly so, but Romain Alessandrini needs to push the team forward. We need more from him; more shots, more crosses, more goals. Another yellow card for dissent is an all too familiar pattern that caused Alessandrini to miss a game last year against eventual MLS Cup champions Toronto FC.
It’s just the preseason, true, but I for one am not giving this team much slack.
Chances created. Half chances in the preseason turn into full chances in the season. During the season players are willing to give that extra gear and sacrifice their bodies for the team. I feel that new forward Ola Kamara (who got on the end of passes with some great movement) will put those away during the season. The LA Galaxy were without midfielder Jonathan dos Santos. After Joao Pedro exited the game because of injury, Servando Carrasco and Perry Kitchen formed a nice partnership in the middle of the park.
The added quality in depth for the LA Galaxy is noticeable and hopefully that helps them to avoid the pitfalls of yesteryear.
Sebastian Lletget is once again the key. I said this going into the season last year, and due to his injury and other factors, the Galaxy season went to poop. He showed his value once again. In only 22 minutes Lletget looked lively and dangerous on every attack. What people tend to forget is how industrious Lletget is during every possession. He regularly moved inside and outside to the opposite wing throughout the attack. Lletget also gets back defensively and isn’t afraid to get stuck in and mix it up to win the ball back unlike some other players (save that for another time).
The Galaxy are going to have to keep some clean sheets and grind out some results in the early going. Games at New York City FC and Vancouver are sandwiched in between the season opener vs Portland and the new LA derby match against LAFC.
They have the talent, but can coach Sigi Schmid bring it all together in time?
LA Galaxy vs Portland Timbers, Sunday March 4. 7:00pm kickoff. StubHub Center.