Despite a strong start defensively, LA Galaxy II fell 1-0 to Swope Park Rangers at home. They’ve now lost 5 out of their last 6 games and still sit second to last in the table in the Western Conference.
Even though the result shows a loss, there were both positives and negatives in their performance Friday night.
Defensive Structure Reappears
After their loss vs. Sacramento Republic, Los Dos made the necessary defensive changes to combat the threat of Swope Park Rangers. Their organization stifled the away side as they were able to clean up any attack that came their way. They also forced Swope Park into taking shots from distance and shots from non-threatening angles. With their solid two banks of four, they defended as if they were a part of a Roman Legion.
Eventually, their defense was breached as substitute Nansel Selbol found space in the six-yard box and slotted it home at the far post.
They had a nervy 5-6 minutes after, but found their shape again.
What helped them defensively was they limited their pressing. Against Sacramento, their gung-ho pressing left spaces in behind the defense for the away side to exploit, resulting in three goals in as little as twenty minutes. Friday night, they reduced their pressing and it helped stifle Swope Park when they were on the attack.
Coach Mike Munoz should be pleased with their defensive display.
Counter-Attack Wasn’t Working
As a result of a defense-first approach, Los Dos counter-attack had to be at their best to help the home side grab a win.
Unfortunately, their counter-attack was non-existent.
Throughout the 90 minutes, Los Dos offered nothing going forward. They didn’t do enough to put pressure on Adrian Zendejas’ net to cause him harm. Their best chance to score was in the 28th minute as Tyler Turner headed a ball into the ground which forced Zendejas to touch over the bar for a corner.
When trying to activate Justin Dhillon and Adonis Amaya on the counter, the defense and midfield were hitting errant balls away from the two forwards. They were isolated at points throughout the match.
The return of Ethan Zubak from suspension will certainly help the attack in their next match against Reno FC Monday July 3.
A Second Home Win Still Elusive
With Friday night’s loss, they’ve now lost 5 out of 7 games at home this season. Even worse, they haven’t won at home in three months. Their last home win was against Vancouver Whitecaps, and that was the first game of the season.
In order to move up in the table, Los Dos will have to find a way to turn losses and draws into wins at the Stubhub Center Track and Field.
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