COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — The road troubles just keep on coming for the LA Galaxy.
LA dropped their third straight road match on Saturday with a 2-0 defeat to the Colorado Rapids in a plodding game at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The Galaxy have struggled mightily away from home this season, ironically, their last road win came at StubHub Center against Chivas USA.
The last time that LA won a road game not played in Carson? Back on May 15 against the Philadelphia Union, some two months and 12 MLS Regular Season games ago. In their defeat to Colorado, LA exhibited the traits that have plagued them this season conceding on set pieces and struggling to create chances without several key players.
Following the match defender Todd Dunivant admitted that the Galaxy simply “lost fair and square” to the Rapids, but was quick to mention that they must get better away from home.
“I think we have to start getting a better mentality of getting points on the road. We have to be a little smarter,” said Dunivant. “Again, we're not pushing ourselves out of position or anything like that. It's just a mentality we have to get back to of trying to get a point first and foremost.”
While late goals have been a recurring problem for LA this year, against Colorado, it was an early goal in the second half that truly did them in. Just minutes into the second half, Dillon Powers broke through the center of the Galaxy defense off a pass from Edson Buddle then nudged past Sean Franklin for a shot that beat LA ‘keeper Carlo Cudicini.
Following Powers’ goal, LA created little going forward as they failed to truly test the Colorado defense until a pair of chances for Gyasi Zardes in stoppage time.
“It bothers us because we knew there was a second 45 [minutes]. You talk about going out and not giving up a goal in the first fifteen and that's where we gave up another goal a few minutes into the second half. That kind of put us behind the ball,” said Franklin. “It's frustrating knowing how well we played in the first half and they got a goal like that at the end of the first half. It's unacceptable. Our team's better than that. We've just got to bounce back when we get the chance to play again.”
As they look to fix this problem, the message is clear: LA must learn to close out halves once again.
“We've got to get back to being satisfied with a draw even on the road. It's tough to run especially here with this altitude,” said DeLaGarza. “We've got to have a better road mentality. It's as simple as that.”
Upon the conclusion of the Guinness International Championship Cup in two weeks, LA will continue their road swing with an away match against FC Dallas on Saturday, Aug. 11. While the cure for the road blues remains elusive, LA’s head coach was none too concerned about his club’s difficulties away from StubHub Center.
“I don’t really care,” said Bruce Arena. “That’s not a factor at this point.”
As LA heads into final stretch of the season, they’ll need to tighten up on this issue to prevent it from becoming a factor that could hinder them come postseason time.
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com