PASADENA, Calif. – The LA Galaxy’s 7-0 defeat to Manchester United may have been a friendly, but the concensus among Galaxy players was nearly absolute.
It was an embarrassing score line and an embarrassing display.
Three players scored two goals as United ran roughshod over the four-time MLS Cup champions with a 7-0 victory in front of 86,432 at the Rose Bowl Stadium. For a team that has dealt with uneven form during the first half of the MLS regular season, the result against the English giants was a wakeup call of sorts.
“It was a kick up the back side that sent us back to earth a little bit,” said Galaxy captain Robbie Keane. “It showed that we have to get back on the track to be on the training field and back in the game, and do everything from the start to the finish. And not make silly mistakes, because if you make silly mistakes you get punished.”
The Galaxy skipper pulled no punches when discussing the result saying that he hopes the Galaxy “forget” about the defeat “as soon as possible” before noting that it was an “embarrassment” that a team of LA’s stature fell so convincingly.
But despite his frustration, Keane implored the Galaxy to learn from the little things that United did well: pass the ball quickly and capitalize on chances.
“When you do play against teams, as soon as you get an opportunity to punish them, you have to take that,” said Keane. “Hopefully that will be the lesson to the younger players to see first hand that if you punish people, you genuinely punish them, and it can kill them in the end. And that was the case night; they killed us in the end.”
Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena agreed, “If they aspire to be top flight professionals, they saw some of the top flight professionals and the way they conduct themselves on the field and [with the] speed of play. Our young players and a number of our players still are not quality passers. And one thing you saw tonight, the passing by Manchester United was quick and crisp; it was of quality. We have too many players who are technically deficient right now, and it’s something they should learn.
“It’s also speed of thought. Quickness in moving, winning tackles, running off the ball,“ Arena added. “All the simple things we frequently talk about but unless you see it live and in real life it’s sometimes hard to have a picture of it, and they got a great picture of it tonight.”
Added Landon Donovan, “Against Arizona United you get away with [those mistakes] but against Manchester United, you don’t get away with that. So, that’s all part of it, all part of learning process. At the end of the day, it doesn’t feel good to lose 7-0, but when you look at it more critically, you understand why.”
Although Wednesday’s result showed the chasm in quality that exists between the Galaxy and United, LA will have an opportunity to make things right on Monday when they take on Seattle Sounders FC.
For as frustrating as the Galaxy’s loss was against United on Wednesday, LA can turn things right again by kicking off the second half of their season with a victory in front of a Seattle side that currently finds itself at the top of the MLS standings.
“The quicker we move on from this game, the better because for us, the most important thing is the league,” said Keane. “We have to move one very, very quickly from this game because the bread and butter is on Monday against Seattle.”