The LA Galaxy, MLS's hottest team just a month ago, is now mired
in a four-game losing streak, the longest active streak in the league.
The Galaxy hit a low under new coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto when it lost, 1-0, at home to the Colorado Rapids, who had not yet won a game this season. It was playing without star Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who was serving the first of a two-game suspension for grabbing the throat of NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson in its 2-0 loss on May 11.
The loss to the Rapids was the fourth in four games in May and left the Galaxy in fourth place behind LAFC, Seattle and Houston in the Western
Conference, where FC Dallas has also cooled off after a fast start, leaving just five teams have winning records.
The Galaxy lost Frenchman Romain Alessandrini until September with a knee injury suffered in April and Jonathan dos Santos has been ailing with a hamstring injury. Dos Santos missed the NYCFC game but returned against the Galaxy, though he admitted he didn't play well.
"I’m lost for words," he said. "We were doing so well at the start of the season. It’s difficult when you go through bad runs. I think the team attempted and tried until the end. We dominated ball possession on their half, like usual. We are lacking that final pass and goal, which is the most important in soccer because you can have all the ball possession in the world, but at the end if you don’t score goals, nothing happens. Also, defensively we are lacking."
The Galaxy has been overly dependent on Ibrahimovic, who has half of its 18 goals, and predictable in how it plays. It brought in Uruguayan defender Diego Polenta, Mexican winger Uriel Antuna and U.S. international midfielder Joe Corona, but it still has a lot of work to overhaul a team that failed to make the playoffs in 2017 and 2018.
For now, Barros Schelotto has no choice but to work with the players he has.
“I think you can check game after game, we always have had some problems," he said. "Alessandrini out, Ibrahimovic out, Jonathan out, all big players for us. We had three games in seven days last week. I don’t want to put excuses, but when you want to play the same lineup, you’re going to [come across] problems always. But we need to work. That’s the only thing I can say to you. We need to work. We’ve got a roster, and we need to work with everyone and get something in the next game.”
The Galaxy will be away to Orlando City on Friday.
Photo: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports