Sluggish Galaxy fortunate to get draw against DC United

Arena grades performance as poor as LA miss Donovan's spark

dunivant_dc

Photo Credit: 
Robert Mora / LA Galaxy

CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy pulled out a point from Friday’s nil-nil
draw with D.C. United and extended their shutout streak to 411 minutes.

Aside from that, players and coaches had precious few positives to take away from the match.

WATCH: FULL MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

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“[The] performance was absolutely poor. There was no quality to our
game, our passing was poor, effort was just okay. Just didn’t get it
done. No excuses. That was a poor performance,” Galaxy coach Bruce Arena
evaluated. “The only good thing about [Friday] is that we lost those
games last year.”

The Galaxy saw their four-match winning streak halted but extended
their unbeaten streak to seven matches. However, getting a point against
DC was nothing short of fortunate. In fact, Arena said it was a
“miracle” they got the draw.

D.C. United played with more energy and had the better of chances.
Had it not been for poor marksmanship – Josh Wolff and Charlie Davies
pushed open attempts from inside the box wide of the goal in the final
half hour – DC would have walked away with three points.

Had the visitors claimed victory, Galaxy players probably would not have complained too much.

“Why we came out that way, I don’t know – heavy legs, tired legs. We
didn’t have a good performance,” Galaxy defender Todd Dunivant said.
“Probably on the night, we deserved zero points, but we got one, so we
take that as a positive.”

Even the Galaxy’s shutout streak was a bit fortunate to reach past
400 minutes. Davies nearly put a dagger in the Galaxy when he raced past
Omar Gonzalez and eluded Josh Saunders but sent a shot wide of the
goal.

“We got a little bit lucky with that one play,” Gonzalez said.
“Moving forward, I would like for that not to happen – a mistake at the
end. It’s great that we haven’t let up a goal in four games, we’ve just
to got to keep that going and forget about this game.”

The Galaxy played without three key players, as Landon Donovan and
Donovan Ricketts are away on Gold Cup duty while Juan Pablo Ángel missed
the match with a calf injury.

READ: No Donovan? No Ricketts? No Problem

Arena said Donovan’s absence “had nothing to do with” the team’s
poor showing, but players said they could have used their captain’s
energy.

“He’s an X-factor for sure,” Galaxy defender Todd Dunivant said. “We
missed that spark. We were pretty flat and we didn’t really have any
explosive plays out there and that’s what he’s known for. We missed
that.”

Part of the team’s sluggish showing was the recent hectic stretch of
games. The Galaxy played seven matches in May, including two Wednesday
matches. A week ago, the Galaxy played Chivas USA and Houston at The
Home Depot Center before heading to the East Coast for a match against
New England.

While the Galaxy won all three matches by 1-0, it seems like the travel and extra games caught up to the club.

“That’s probably one of the best games [DC] have played and that’s
probably one of the worst games we’ve played after Salt Lake,” Gonzalez
said. “We just came out flat and, to be honest, we were all a little bit
tired from three games in one week.

“Really all it was, was just us being flat and not winning second balls, being a little slow mentally,” he added.

WATCH: Davies beats Gonzalez, Saunders but misses

After the Galaxy returned home from New England, Arena rewarded the
players with some time off. That, too, may have been part of the
problem.

“I gave the players three days off this week and it showed,” Arena said. “They never got going during the week.”

While Beckham said during the week that he quite enjoyed the three
days off – “Who doesn’t like three days off?” he asked on Thursday –
after the team’s draw against United, the Galaxy star said it may have
been too much of an indulgence.

“Possibly the three days off was too much,” he said. “Maybe Bruce won’t be giving us three days off again.”

 

Related:
Highlights: LA vs DC
Match Recap: Galaxy, United battle to 0-0 draw
Postgame notes & Quotes
Saunders reclaims top spot
No Donovan? No Ricketts? No Problem