CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy are in the midst of a 13-game unbeaten streak as they prepare to hit the road for a pair of games against the two newest clubs in MLS. Bruce Arena’s team will look to maintain that streak on Saturday when they visit the expansion Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Empire Field and could be in line to match the club record of a 15-game unbeaten streak four days later against the league’s other expansion team, the Portland Timbers, at JELD-WEN Field.
In addition to their current unbeaten streak, which is the longest in MLS this season, the Galaxy also lead the Western Conference with an 11-2-9 record and an MLS-high 42 points, so they are understandably pleased with their current state of affairs.
But despite that success, the club stills has their share of doubters who are not convinced by this year’s Galaxy squad, despite the fact they haven’t dropped an MLS game since a 2-1 loss to FC Dallas on May 1 in Frisco, Texas.
The criticism is nothing new, players say.
“I’ve been asked the question before. People are asking what’s wrong with the Galaxy?” said goalkeeper Josh Saunders, who has made 10 appearances this season in place of the currently injured Donovan Ricketts, who underwent arm surgery on June 28. “It’s like, ‘What’s wrong with everyone else?’ Why are people asking what our problem is?
“I don’t think people understand we have such a good group of guys and we look forward to the rest of the season because this is when things start to mean something.”
Defender A.J. DeLaGarza echoed those sentiments and said so-called criticism comes with the territory.
“There’s always doubters against us because we’re one of the biggest clubs in MLS, we’re from L.A., guys say you can’t buy a championship,” he said. “Everyone has their opinion, but I think what we do on the field shows we’re a good group and we work hard every single day and every single practice.
“Guys don’t read too much into all the stories, the papers, what other people have to say about us. We’ve just got to keep winning and proving people wrong, I guess.”
The final third of the MLS regular season is underway, the Galaxy are on the road for four of their next six games and CONCACAF Champions League group play is about to begin.
But the players say they’re ready for the challenges that lie ahead.
“We’re in a good position,” central defender Gregg Berhalter said. “We complained a little bit in the beginning about how we dropped some points, but when we look overall at things we’re happy where we are. The friendlies (against Real Madrid and Manchester City) last week were a good chance to play in front of good crowds and against good competition, but now it’s time to really refocus on A, the league, and B, the Champions League.
“It doesn’t matter what people think of us now. We’re confident, we have a good group of guys and we believe in ourselves. But we have to prove that game in and game out.
“We want to win every game that we’re in.”