The fifth edition of ‘El Trafico’ was every bit as entertaining as the previous four. LA Galaxy managed to twice take the lead at 1-0 and 3-1 but LAFC were able to come back both times to eventually finish in a 3-3 tie.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic now has 8 goals in five matches against their city rivals but admittedly was tired in the second half as the LA Galaxy attack fizzled out. Coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto kept things in perspective saying, “It’s good for us to get one point. We are fighting to get in the playoffs. We need to win one of the next games in Seattle or Colorado.”
If the Galaxy are going to make a playoff push, they need to shift their focus and move on from this match as quickly as possible.
What We Can Take From This Match
With Cristian Pavon opening his scoring account and Fabio Alvarez giving two assists, the front trident including Zlatan should be able to build on this performance. Although Pavon is good with the ball at his feet, he is much better running into space than in tight spaces. Hopefully the Galaxy players picked up on that in this match. Alvarez’s and Pavon’s assist to Zlatan showed that if you can beat that last defender with the pass, Zlatan will do the rest.
Zlatan was gassed in the second half because of all the running in behind the defense he was doing. The defense and midfield need to do a better job of being able to have positive possession coming out of the back. Too many times is was sprayed wide to Pavon or played long to Zlatan. There has to be an in-between with players like Sebastian Lletget and Jonathan dos Santos who are more than capable in the middle.
We really struggled playing the ball out of the back on the night and a review of tape should have the coaching staff strategizing how to fix that, or the Galaxy will continue to be pinned in and have to hope for individual brilliance up top.
I can count on one hand the amount of times the Galaxy have put together a full 90 minute performance. They continue to play one half good and the other half bad. You could make a loop of player and coach interviews saying “I thought ‘X’ half was good but the ‘Y’ half wasn’t and if only we could play like that the whole game…” This is not a formula for success nor is it something that seems to be getting better any time soon.
Getting tired is normal in a game, but the Galaxy hit the wall hard in the second half. Players had to dig deep to make any type of effort defensively and it cost them on the game-tying goal as players were simply reaching for the ball the whole minute before Carlos Vela scored it. Likewise the offense seemed to not ever get going as there wasn’t enough movement off the ball to create angles. Players were more than happy to get the ball off their foot only to see it returned right back at them as the play eventually went nowhere.
The Western Conference standings are really tight as the Galaxy sit in fourth place but only five points from safety. There are seven games left on the schedule with four on the road and three at home.
The great news is five of the seven opponents are currently out of the playoffs! And the other two matches are against teams above the LA Galaxy in the standings that they could potentially leapfrog.
With Romain Alessandrini on the mend and the Galaxy offense clicking, can we put it together in time to be the team that nobody wants to play in the playoffs. If we make the playoffs that is.
Next game: Seattle Sounders vs LA Galaxy, CenturyLink Field. Sunday, September 1, 3:30 P.M.
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