“Sloppy” play dooms Galaxy against Real Salt Lake

Galaxy struggle on both ends of the field in defeat to RSL

CARSON, Calif. – Ask LA Galaxy coaches and players about the club’s performance in Sunday’s 2-1 defeat to Real Salt Lake and one word comes up time and time again—sloppy.

Despite going up inside of 20 minutes on Robbie Keane’s wonder volley in the 17th minute, it took a span of three minutes between the 25th and 28th for Fabian Espindola to score two goals— the second of which put Real Salt Lake up for good.

Josh Saunders postgame reaction

Following the match, Keane admitted that after their initial deluge of scoring chances—Keane himself counted four—LA was sloppy.

“After the 20 minutes definitely,” said Keane after the match. “I thought that the first 20 minutes was brilliant, to be honest with you, the way we played and the way that we linked up, but as soon as we conceded the two goals, it’s like we were already beaten.”

The sloppy play was spread throughout the field as the Galaxy struggled to place pressure on the RSL attack. Throughout the second half, LA repeatedly wasted potentially dangerous chances, but nearly tied the game at two a piece, when Juninho fired a shot directly into the chest of RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando.

Following the match, head coach Bruce Arena gave a blunt assessment of the Galaxy’s play against Salt Lake.

“We were sloppy defending in our penalty area, not real sharp with our attacking play in the other penalty area,” said Arena. “We just weren’t sharp enough for 90 minutes. In the early going we were okay. We played a sloppy game today.”

The Galaxy now head into the two week international break before the final two matches of the MLS Regular Season where they were take on the likely Supporters’ Shield frontrunners, the San Jose Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium on Oct. 21 and Seattle Sounders FC in the final regular season match at The Home Depot Center this season on Oct. 28.

Ahead of the final matches of the season, Omar Gonzalez believes that the club must refocus if they want to finish among the conference’s top three.

“Next game we can’t make those mistakes and we’ve got to be on the entire game,” he said. “So even though we didn’t get the win tonight, I think we can still take a lot from it and grow from it because there’s two more games left in the season and then the true test comes.”

Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and on LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com