The Los Angeles Galaxy are in the midst of an interesting defense of their MLS Cup, and the June 30 matchup against the San Jose Earthquakes underscored the kind of up and down year it has been for David Beckham and the LA squad. However, even in a loss the team showed flashes of brilliance, but also displayed a need for a bit more polish.
The Galaxy managed to hang tough with a good San Jose side, but the team just could not get the result they were after, squandering a 3-1 lead and watching the Earthquakes storm back for the win, according to LAGalaxy.com. The final score was 4-3. The sloppy passing was frustrating to watch, and the finishing has just not been at a top level. When David Beckham, Landon Donovan, and Mike Magee get a chance to put the ball into the net, it needs to happen.
The Galaxy had a wonderful preseason, even winning the Desert Diamond Cup. Then the regular season started, and the team started the long journey south in the standings. Then the team started to turn the corner, and according to the Associated Press, had won three games in a row to move to 6-8-2. For 30 or so minutes during the California Clasico the Galaxy looked like the team that won the MLS Cup last season, and while San Jose came back to win the game, the squad did not go quietly.
Despite not getting a win that would have helped the squad in the MLS standings, the Galaxy showed some fire and some desire, creating a few chances that could have netted them a draw. Even though it did not happen, the team looked differently than the side that showed up at many MLS matches this season. The midfielders held the ball, the defenders played well, and the forward players were making great runs. The problem was it did not happen for the entire game, only small parts of it, which is something that is proving to be the undoing of the team this year.
The issue that is really hurting LA this year is its lack of consistency, and head coach Bruce Arena needs to deal with that, assuming he is around to get the chance. The Galaxy have a team of superstars, and it is long-past time they started playing like they were.
Whether or not Beckham, Donovan, and company have turned things around to start another run to the top of the MLS remains to be seen, but hopefully a nice, if decidedly uneven, performance against a great San Jose Earthquake squad helped wake LA from the sleepwalk the 2012 campaign has sometimes been.
Jason Gallagher has been a soccer fan for decades, and his favoring of the Galaxy and MLS is increased by the presence of great American player Landon Donovan and former Manchester United star David Beckham.