With 8 games left in the MLS regular season, are the LA Galaxy a playoff team?

With 8 games left in the MLS regular season, the LA Galaxy still does not have a guaranteed spot in the playoffs... Will they get it?
Chicago Fire v Los Angeles Galaxy
Chicago Fire v Los Angeles Galaxy / Shaun Clark/GettyImages

In a familiar script that has played out repeatedly this season, the LA Galaxy found themselves in a self-inflicted hole within the opening moments of their latest MLS game against St. Louis City SC. Samuel Adeniran, the opposing striker, pierced through their defense and netted a goal in just three minutes, a scenario that has haunted Greg Vanney's squad throughout the campaign.

However, as has been their tendency, the Galaxy responded vigorously to adversity. They dominated possession in the St. Louis half following the restart, with the dynamic duo of designated players, Riqui Puig and Douglas Costa, posing a constant threat. A breakthrough appeared imminent.

In keeping with their customary style, the Galaxy then inexplicably allowed St. Louis midfielder Aziel Jackson to waltz through their midfield, leading to a precise pass to Joao Klauss, who extended the lead in the 28th minute. It was a formidable challenge they faced.

Yet again, the Galaxy wrested control of the game. An opportunity arose when they were awarded a penalty eight minutes into the second half, with VAR intervention playing a pivotal role. Puig, despite nursing an injury and limited training, confidently slotted the ball past Burki from 12 yards, narrowing the deficit to 2-1.

When Adeniran received a red card in the 60th minute, it provided the Galaxy with a chance to flex their muscles. Their persistence paid off seven minutes from full-time as Uri Rosell's header from a Diego Fagundez cross set up the ever-reliable fox-in-the-box striker, Billy Sharp. In Sharp's words, he has "made a career out of that for the last 20 years", calmly converting from close range.

Nevertheless, the Galaxy continued to be their own worst enemy in their quest to close the gap on FC Dallas for the final playoff spot. Coach Vanney acknowledged the missed opportunity: "Not enough overall for 90 minutes in terms of punishing them on the chances that we got (...) We regroup for the big one next week".

Looking ahead to 'El Trafico', Sharp, who has experienced high-stakes derbies in England, is relishing the challenge: "These are the games that we professionals want to play in after the disappointing result this weekend. So we’ve got to go to them. Put it to them and make sure we’re on the front foot, not like today (...) The lads have told me it’s hostile, which I quite like".

Despite the latest result and the position in the table, the feeling is that of a team that will be in the playoffs. Be careful, it's a feeling, and it's personal. But... what do you think?