Frank Yallop's former team gave his current one a comprehensive rollover at the Home Depot Center on Sunday, becoming the first team in the West to clinch a playoff spot. Defending MLS champ Houston Dynamo, once the San Jose Earthquakes under Yallop, dominated the last third of an otherwise closely contested game, winning, 3-1, to cement the L.A. Galaxy's third losing season in its last five and all but guarantee that it won't make the playoffs for the second year in a row.
It was the usual story for L.A., there some bright moments in possession, including a few well-crafted chances, but defensive errors ultimately put the nail coffin. Poor marking at the back post left Ryan Cochrane free to tap in at the far post from a corner. After Alan Gordon equalized, Mike Randolph gave away a penalty, which was converted, just a minute into the second half. Defending on the last goal was particularly poor: two Galaxy defenders stopped and looked at one another as an astonished Ricardo Clark waltzed by them to slot home past Joe Cannon.
"We can't give away goals like we did today," Yallop said, harping on the team's defense. "We're nervous. We're indecisive. We're all the things you're not supposed to be as a defender." He added that the overall team effort was poor. "Guys just don't take responsibility. For me, you have to make sure that you feel that something is your fault, and I think our guys don't." L.A. is 4-13-5 with eight games left in the regular season.