The Los Angeles Galaxy would not be in the MLS playoffs if they started today. Luckily for our side, the MLS playoffs do not start today and are still quite far away.
If you ask Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena about his team's playoff chances and the points needed to make the postseason based on last season, you won't receive an answer that shows he likes the question. "You can put your math somewhere else right now. It's a little early for that. But the easiest way to take care of yourself is to win games. If we don't win games we're not going to make the playoffs." It's hard to argue the point about winning games.
However, it is clear to everyone that something has to change for L.A. Whether or not Arena wants to hear about the numbers, they look terrible so far in 2012. The Galaxy have zero shutouts this season. The team has also given up four penalty kicks and only scored three away goals in MLS matches in 2012. Overall, the Galaxy are on pace to have the worst shooting percentage in franchise history.
Last season, the Galaxy had 14 different goal scorers with 10 players scoring at least one-game winning goal. This season, nine different Galaxy players have scored with three different players scoring a game-winning goal. None of the combinations used on defense this season have been able to help the offense. The defenders have combined for zero goals and one assist this season after scoring seven goals and making 11 assists last season.
Yet, Arena is certain that his team will not continue to keep losing games. "Internally, we know the issues. And I'm confident we're going to break out of this. We've got to get a few breaks and we'll turn this thing around." Galaxy fans have heard that same sentiment for weeks now from players and coaches. It's always about these mysterious "breaks" that the Galaxy can't seem to get and the internal issues that won't become public.
Hopefully MLS' international break is the opportunity the Galaxy need to fix their issues.
More from Patrick Johnston:
Kevin Baxter, "L.A. Galaxy's demise is tough to fathom," LA Times
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- Los Angeles Galaxy