MLS Talking Points: Once-mighty Galaxy sinks to new low

For years, with Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan roaming the wide expanse of StubHub Center, the Galaxy was almost invincible at home.

It won three MLS Cups (2011, 2012 and 2014) in Carson and never lost more than two regular-season games at home in its last four seasons. It lost for the third time in four games at home on Sunday, falling by a 3-0 score to the Sounders that flattered MLS's once-dominant team.

LA Galaxy at home:
2016: 8-1-8
2015: 12-2-3
2014: 12-1-4
2013: 11-2-4

The Sounders all but ran the Galaxy off the field during what Galaxy coach Curt Onalfo termed a “dismal, terrible first half."

The Sounders were up thanks to a Clint Dempsey goal and own goal by Ashley Cole in the 38th minute when Onalfo pulled winger Ema Boateng to make room for Baggio Husidic and give the Galaxy another player in midfield, but that couldn't stop the Sounders. Jordan Morris made to 3-0 in the 44th minute.

“Unfortunately," Onalfo said of the Boateng sub, "he took the sacrifice, but we were just getting overrun and overloaded in the midfield. We were defending the entire half, so we had to make a change where we added another midfielder. It actually immediately worked, we began to gain momentum then we got scored on off the counter. If we didn’t give that goal away, I think everything would have changed.”

Captain Jelle Van Damme couldn't explain the first half.

“I think everybody is disappointed," he said. "I think there is nothing much to say about it, I think we let down ourselves. I think we only played 45 minutes today. I think the first half was way too sloppy, everybody was too sloppy. We didn’t win our one-on-ones, we didn’t win our second balls."

Seattle's Osvaldo Alonso and Cristian Roldan dominated Jermaine Jones and Joao Pedro in midfield, but the Galaxy's problems weren't just defending. Even the Sounders were playing without three starters in the backline, the Galaxy couldn't score. It has only eight goals in seven games -- only one by Mexican star Giovani dos Santos and none by American Gyasi Zardes.

“It’s the worst game of the LA Galaxy," said Frenchman Romain Alessandrini, who has scored half of the Galaxy's goals. "The first half was very bad, and Seattle played good. In the second half, we tried to give everything to score a goal and come back, but it was a bad afternoon for the LA Galaxy but we need to give more next week.”

Alessandrini said the Galaxy has no excuse.

“I think we lacked aggression," he said. "That’s why we took three goals in the first half and we have no excuse. It was very bad.”

20 comments about "MLS Talking Points: Once-mighty Galaxy sinks to new low".
  1. Quarterback TD, April 24, 2017 at 8:05 a.m.

    Instead of the players I would prefer to hear from the coach. if he cannot win or even draw with Ashley, Zardes and Santos he is not using his lineup properly. Galaxy is a good team on paper without the coach. Solution is to remove the coach period.

  2. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, April 24, 2017 at 11:21 a.m.

    Way too soon to replace the coach. They have some decent players but this team isn't that great anyway. A washed up Ashley Cole isn't enough to win in MLS.

  3. Chris Wirth replied, April 24, 2017 at 12:07 p.m.

    @FPGN, why the swipe at Cole? He's been very dependable. Obviously, he's not going to be a game-changer, but there are very few defenders that are.

    Onalfo was a mystery hire. His track record is terrible. He's never been a good top level manager.

  4. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, April 24, 2017 at 12:36 p.m.

    I still hold his previous comments about MLS against him I guess.

  5. Mo youknow, April 24, 2017 at 8:16 a.m.

    I consider it a good thing in terms of the league that a once dominant team is not dominant every year. Also Bruce Arena is a pretty good coach, but keep that on the low down. He's American you know, that's not suppose to happen

  6. Quarterback TD replied, April 24, 2017 at 9:44 a.m.

    Totally agree that is why European top leagues are a joke and a CON game.

  7. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, April 24, 2017 at 11:20 a.m.

    So MLS sucks and European leagues suck? Does anything not suck?

  8. Miguel Dedo, April 24, 2017 at 9:32 a.m.

    Curt Onalfo seems a dependable assistant coach but he has not been a success in two previous head coaching stints, at KC and at DC United.

  9. frank schoon, April 24, 2017 at 9:34 a.m.

    Apparently the handwriting was on the wall when you look at the Galaxy's last year's 'home" record 8-1-8 as compared to 2015 when it was 12-2-3. Now is a good time to watch stars like Zardec , Jones, and Gio to see their real worth to the team. None, I would say, you can write home about. All three basically looked lost. There is no leadership at midfield, too many square passes in the back, too many predictable long balls from the back to the front. Jones now looks like what he basically is and nothing else , a piano carrier, lacking any sense of game insight. Zardec ,playing up front in the middle lacks the skills needed to play in small spaces and is more useful playing on the flanks.
    Gio, the most experienced of the three, proves why he is now playing in the MLS.

  10. Quarterback TD replied, April 24, 2017 at 9:50 a.m.

    I have not seen the team play but there are very quality experienced players that are beyond basics and from what you are saying it sounds like the players are either not playing their roles or totally dazzed and confused which is more the reason to replace the coach now and not later.

  11. Bob Ashpole replied, April 24, 2017 at 11:44 a.m.

    QTD, coaches may bring out the best in players, but they cannot transform Jones and Zardes into another Keane and Donavon.

  12. frank schoon replied, April 24, 2017 at 11:49 a.m.

    TD, We tend to look at stars through a very small scope.
    You judge a real star when the conditions are tough. For example, as soon as a team puts full pressure on opponents , giving very little time and space with the ball, than then you will see who is really good and who can cope. Players like a Beckham would fail, right away.
    Looking at Gio, Zardec , or Jones are not really stars.

  13. Bob Ashpole, April 24, 2017 at 11:38 a.m.

    Paul's first sentence has the story in it. Keane and Donovan made a difference. If LA wants to maintain its "Galaxy" brand, it needs to recruit some better players (plural).

  14. Chris Wirth, April 24, 2017 at 12:11 p.m.

    This Galaxy squad should be a lot better than it is. There's a lot of talent there on paper. Would a few awesome players paper over the coaching cracks? Of course, but a decent manager would be doing much better with this team than Onalfo.

  15. Lonaka K, April 24, 2017 at 12:41 p.m.

    Why does sports team owners always stay with the establishment. Why not think and go outside of the box when hiring coaches. Curt is a nice guy and I'm sure competent in coaching at the pro level, however, after 3 jobs, all ending because of poor results why give the reign to someone that has not sown any capability to take a team to the top.

  16. :: SilverRey ::, April 24, 2017 at 1:14 p.m.

    The Galaxy have reached the end of an era. For so long they had a huge advantage with the amounts they were paying for players, and with Arena's coaching.
    Now many teams have caught up to/passed them in spending, and Onalfo is not the answer to get them back to the upper echelons.
    Add in the new competition coming to town with LAFC which already looks to outspend them based on the new facilities and stadium, and I think LAG becomes the second team in LA.

  17. Glenn Maddock, April 24, 2017 at 2:22 p.m.

    It's still too early. We knew this was a team in transition, with so many new players, and departures. I give them another month, and if still failing like this, then you can criticize Onalfo. He's no Bruce Arena, but he can still get it done with this roster, they just have to gell and find the right lineup. You only have to be .500 to win MLS Cup anyway.

  18. Craig Cummings, April 25, 2017 at 9:57 p.m.

    The players just need time to work together as the Galaxy has some really good players.I bet by the end of the season the Galaxy will be one of the best teams in MLS.

  19. beautiful game, April 25, 2017 at 10:26 p.m.

    QTD says, "I have not seen the team play but there are very quality experienced players...." What a splendid "observation'.

  20. Craig Cummings, April 27, 2017 at 10:16 p.m.

    If the Galaxy did make a coaching change?" Where is BOB BRADLAY? Is he still under contract with swansea city? Did he have a buy out?

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