Just when the Los Angeles Galaxy appeared to be out of their slump, the Seattle Sounders recorded a 4-0 victory over the 2011 MLS Cup champs. It was the club's worst loss in more than four years. Can the Galaxy rebound after this embarrassing defeat?
Going Back to 2011's Defense
Omar Gonzalez is back. Although he didn't play, Todd Dunivant was back on the roster against the Sounders. Due to a calf hematoma this was the first time the defender had been on the 18-man roster since July 18. With most of the players from 2011's stellar defense back, there doesn't seem to be any reason to experiment with new lineups. While Sean Franklin has been pushed up into the midfield, I would like to see Mike Magee in the midfield and Franklin back in the defense. A.J. DeLaGarza and Gonzalez should pair together in the central defense and, hopefully, Todd Dunivant will return to the starting lineup.
Getting Past Non-Calls
Against the Sounders, Leo Gonzalez brought down A.J. DeLaGarza in the box in the 15th minute. The Galaxy thought they deserved a penalty. However, referee Chris Penso didn't make the call. DeLaGarza says it was a "play that could have changed the game." Beckham added that getting a PK would have "definitely" altered the match. It may or may not have changed the game. However, referees are going to make bad calls. It has happened to the Galaxy before and it will happen again. The Galaxy cannot allow "non-calls" like these to ruin their ability to stay in the game.
Stopping Early, Late Goals
So far this season, L.A. have allowed seven goals in the first 15 minutes of the game. Against the Sounders on August 5, we allowed goals in the 6th and 88th minute. It is these early and late goals that have led to many losses. For instance, on March 31, the Galaxy gave up two goals in the first 13 minutes in the match against the New England Revolution. Los Angeles ended up losing 3-1. When we played the San Jose Earthquakes on May 23, Alan Gordon scored a second half stoppage time goal to hand the Galaxy a 3-2 defeat.
The Galaxy have rebounded from setbacks before. I have faith that they will do so again.
Melissa Matters is a long time Los Angeles resident and devoted Los Angeles Galaxy fan.