Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy return to league action tomorrow against Sporting Kansas City at the Home Depot Center (7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network). The Galaxy aim to dust themselves off and return to playing the type of football that their capable of.
“We let ourselves down, without a doubt,” Galaxy defender Todd Dunivant told LAGalaxy.com’s Larry Morgan when recalling their most recent defeat to Monterrey in CONCACAF Champions League play. “Losing that first game was kind of a gut punch to us. But it’s not something that’s going to ruin our season.
“I don’t think the mood of this team is really down right now. Obviously we want to right the ship a little bit, but I think you look at (Real) Salt Lake in 2011 after they lost the Champions League” – a 1-0 home loss in the deciding game to give Monterrey a 3-2 series win on aggregate – “in the fashion they did, I think that affected their entire season, and I don’t see that happening with us.”
“It’s frustrating because it knocked us out of CONCACAF,” defender A.J. DeLaGarza said. “We gave up the last two goals here (to Monterrey), we could have scored three here. In MLS, we’ve done it against Chivas, Toronto and Dallas and it has cost us.
“We have to get back to basics.”
Sporting are not only coming off a 1-0 victory over the New York Red Bulls but also a shutout streak of five games. However, the key to victory isn’t worth a search into the depths of their own selves, argues the Galaxy boss.
“Try to shoot and pass well. That would help. If you put it in the net, they put in the scoreboard,” Arena told LAGalaxy.com’s Adam Serrano. “They’re a good team defensively and they have a good way of playing, they understand each other very well so their backline and goalkeeper play well.”
“They’ve been around together for a while now and they have a good goalkeeper and a good back four, but we like to think that we’re a pretty good and dynamic attacking team,” midfielder Landon Donovan said of Sporting. “So for us, it’s a good challenge and we’re looking forward to it.”
One thing about the Galaxy that has been an issue has been the tendency to surrender late goals. If Los Angeles can avoid giving up late goals to the opposition, they will have a chance to get the job done.
“We always play pretty solid for the first 80 minutes and then we have one mental lapse and get punished for it,” said defender Greg Cochrane to Serrano. “A lot of times, we just have to, almost, just keep the play in front of us and not let it get behind us and hopefully, it will eliminate giving up the late goals.”
Actually, this week the G’s are aiming to do one better, argues defender A.J. DeLaGarza.
“We have got to get back to getting shutouts,” DeLaGarza said this week. “It’s unacceptable. We know that. We have to get back to getting shutouts.”