As the 2011 MLS Cup Champions, the Los Angeles Galaxy were expected to be strong contenders for the 2012 Supporters' Shield and MLS Cup. However, three months into the season, the Galaxy weren't performing. In fact, for a while, they occupied the lowest place in the Western Conference standings. Now, at the end of June, the Galaxy have a three-game winning streak and, suddenly, look much stronger than many of the other MLS teams in the West.
Three in a Row
Currently, the Galaxy are the only team in the West who have won their last three games. In seven days, Los Angeles earned nine points, scored seven goals and posted two shutouts. After defeating the Portland Timbers, Real Salt Lake and the Vancouver Whitecaps, the Galaxy have climbed into fifth place in the West. These wins weren't just lucky. The victories were the result of an aggressive offense and strong defense.
The Seattle Sounders started out the season strong. However, now they are on a seven-game winless streak. Most recently, the Sounders lost 2-1 to the Portland Timbers. Despite these losses, they still have 25 points and are 4th in the West. When the Galaxy first played the Sounders in 2012, we left a lot of our starters at home. As a result, we lost 2-0. The Galaxy will travel to Washington again in August. By then, I imagine we will be ahead of Seattle in the standings.
Real Salt Lake
Real Salt Lake were leading the West. After two consecutive losses, including one to the Galaxy, they are now in second. When we played at Rio Tinto Stadium on June 20, RSL's defensive errors helped us take home three points. Last year, RSL was a strong team too. However, towards the end of the season, they had three losses and two ties. As a result, they finished the 2011 season in 3rd place. I don't think RSL will continue to lose. However, I do think the Galaxy will challenge RSL in their next matchup.
San Jose Earthquakes
Unlike some of the other Western Conference teams, San Jose is still going strong. They have three wins in five games and have taken the top spot in the West. The last time we played San Jose, we were up two goals before our Northern California rivals scored three quick goals. On June 30, we will face the Earthquakes again. To keep our winning momentum, this is a must win game for us.
The Colorado Rapids have lost two consecutive games. FC Dallas has lost three out of their last five games. This week the Galaxy proved that they were still a dangerous team. We just may have a shot at another title after all.
Melissa Matters is a long time Los Angeles resident and devoted Los Angeles Galaxy fan.
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