CARSON, Calif. – Set pieces have been a recurring problem for the LA Galaxy this year with the team conceding 13 goals off set pieces to date, but if they're ever going to correct the problem, they'll need to get a little bit down and dirty.
The Galaxy conceded their sixth goal off a corner kick during LA’s 1-0 defeat to the Portland Timbers on Sunday that was a result of Maximiliano Urruti's goal off a Will Johnson corner in the 52nd minute. Following the loss, LA defender Omar Gonzalez implored his teammates to get a little bit nastier on set pieces and following training on Tuesday, associate head coach Dave Sarachan agreed with the defender.
“I think that’s a big part of it. There has to be [a sense of] physicality when you defend restarts,” said Sarachan. “There is wiggle room that referees are allowing because in reverse we feel like we get impeded like crazy and as long as we know what the parameters are within the letter of the law, we've got to be a little bit grittier as well.
“There’s a lot of colliding going on set pieces and there’s a lot of moving pieces, but underlying that is an intense concentration and making sure that you beat your guy to that ball,” said Sarachan. “If we're not good at it then we better get at it because it’s been an issue for us.”