In the MLS Week 11 Power Rankings, the Los Angeles Galaxy went from rank 12 to rank 17. After a disappointing 1-0 loss to Chivas USA, the Galaxy increased their winless streak to five. At this rate, we will be duking it out with Toronto FC to stay out of 19th place. Will the Galaxy continue to fall in the power rankings?
At this point, anything is possible.
A Lack of Confidence
For me, the Galaxy's problems stem from a lack of confidence and effort. After losing a certain amount of games, you start to question yourself, your teammates and your coach. When your team is referred to as "struggling" and the term championship seems to be drifting further and further into the past, it's hard to be confident. David Beckham admits that sometimes the effort hasn't been there. Yet, the English midfielder believes that that his team can still turn things around.
It's all about Attitude
On June 25, 2011, during the California Clasico, the Galaxy revealed that they would not go down without a fight. Although Donovan Ricketts injured himself and Josh Saunders received a red card, the Galaxy continued to play at a high level. Mike Magee stepped into goal and came up with several big saves. The final score was 0-0. It's hard to imagine that game was just last year. Now on May 23, the Galaxy will play the San Jose Earthquakes again. The Earthquakes are a much better team in 2012 than in 2011. Thus, a win or even a draw would be a big confidence booster for the Galaxy.
Not too Far Behind
If we are to look at the big picture, the Galaxy are not too far behind. In fact, there are ten teams in the league with 13 points or less in the standings. The Western Conference is stronger than the east and only four teams have 13 or less points. Thus, since the Galaxy have 11 points, they could possibly jump into sixth place in the standings with just one win. That's how quickly things can change.
Donovan and Keane Gone
To echo Bruce Arena, we haven't been winning with these two players on the field. Thus, perhaps without them, some new stars will emerge. Donovan's absence is the most significant. While he hasn't scored lately, he has definitely been active on the field and given his teammates opportunities to score. As Todd Dunivant mentions, the Galaxy's problems are a team-wide issue. The defender says, "everybody needs to raise their game."
I may sound like a broken record but I know that the Galaxy are capable of much more. A win against the San Jose Earthquakes is the first step in the right direction.
Melissa Matters is a long time Los Angeles resident and devoted Los Angeles Galaxy fan.
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