Both of Major League Soccer's L.A. teams have had their struggles this season. But with just a handful of games left in the fight for a Western Conference playoff spot, there is a markedly different mentality between the L.A. Galaxy and Chivas USA.
At Chivas, coach Preki said after the weekend's hard-fought 2-1 in over the Kansas City Wizards: "I give my guys an incredible amount of credit. They fought and they are keeping fighting." And veteran midfielder Jesse Marsch adds with reference to the team's departed players, like Brad Guzan, and the injury list: "We're not talking about who's missing. That's not important right now. What's important is who's on the field, who's going to help out on the bench and what our mentality is. I think, overall, even though there have been some major hiccups along the road, we've handled ourselves pretty well."
There's a contrasting tone at the Galaxy, where it sounds like coach Bruce Arena is close to writing the season off. "This is a process. We're reconditioning them mentally," he said Monday. "And it's going to take some time. I don't think they're conditioned as a team to win games. And obviously that's not a history from just this year. In the last five years of this league the L.A. Galaxy have the least amount of points [of any team]. This is not a problem that's just occurred. That's why I'm here, to change that mentality."
Despite that, Arena claimed that he's "optimistic, I'm preparing to win four games. I hope I've got a group of players who think that as well." If only we could turn hope into points, then every team would be a winner.