After spending a few weeks near the bottom of the MLS Power Rankings, the Los Angeles Galaxy have moved up from 17th to 15th place. The two level move was due to the Galaxy's recent win against the Portland Timbers on June 17. However, it can also be attributed to poor performances from Toronto FC, FC Dallas, the Philadelphia Union and the Portland Timbers. How can the Galaxy continue to move up in the rankings?
Obviously, we are going to have to keep winning on a consistent basis in order to keep moving up. One win here and there isn't going to do much for our position in the rankings, the standings and our hope to make it into the playoffs. With two big games this week, we have the opportunity to earn six points. A victory against Real Salt Lake would definitely boost our confidence and our ranking.
Keep Josh Saunders on the Field
Josh Saunders' return to the lineup was one of the main reasons we were able to win and post our first clean sheet of the season. Saunders had two big saves against Timbers' striker Kris Boyd. He even blocked a shot with his face. Saunders' performance put him at No. 11 on the Castrol Index. Todd Dunivant also made it on the Castrol Index at No. 13.
Depth and Flexibility
With Robbie Keane gone and many players injured or suspended, we had to field a different lineup for the game against Portland. With a lack of forwards, Bruce Arena used a 4-5-1 with Chad Barrett up top. The five-man midfield included David Beckham, Juninho and Marcelo Sarvas. Sarvas had his best game of the season. Reserve players Bryan Jordan, Kyle Nakazawa and Jack McBean also helped our team finish with a win. Overall, it was a collective effort that lead to the 1-0 victory.
The Galaxy have taken a step in the right direction. We moved up in the rankings and the standings. In addition, we had our first shutout of the season. However, we don't want to move up two places because other teams are doing poorly. We want to move up because we have smashed the competition.
Melissa Matters is a long time Los Angeles resident and devoted Los Angeles Galaxy fan.
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