Carlo Cudicini hits back at critics of the LA Galaxy defense

CARSON, Calif. – Much of the talk following the LA Galaxy’s 1-0 defeat to the New York Red Bulls focused the defensive breakdown that led to the decisive goal in LA’s defeat, but on Tuesday, goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini hit back at those criticisms.

“To be fair, I think this team is getting a lot of critique, a lot of comments about how we’re doing,” Cudicini said. “I think the defense is doing pretty well. Compare it to the previous two years and, for sure, we’ve improved. I don’t really get all this critique I read and I hear on TV about this defense, really. I’m sorry.”

Tim Cahill's goal in stoppage time was the sixth goal that the Galaxy have conceded in the last 15 minutes in 2013, but Cudicini is adamant that the notions of defensive breakdowns or the late goals, do not tell the whole story.

“I don’t think they’re fair, it’s as easy as that," Cudicini said. "How can you critique a defense that is second defense in the league? Every time we concede a goal I read and I hear stuff on TV every time. I don’t think it’s fair. I don’t read the same things when other teams concede goals. Why are we the only team where we have problems on defense?

"If you compare the defense to last year, we improved it and you compare to two years ago then we have the same shutouts and a couple of goals more [conceded] so I don’t see the standard that we are not achieving at this moment. I’m talking about statistics, not my point of view, you love statistics, I’m bringing statistics to you.”

The statistics back up Cudicini’s argument as after 11 games, the Galaxy have conceded 10 goals and sit in a four-way tie with the Columbus Crew, Sporting Kansas City, and the Colorado Rapids for the title of second best defense in the league. However, LA and Columbus are likely to be given the edge as each team has played 11 games compared to 12 and 13 for Colorado and Sporting respectively.  Meanwhile, LA has earned four shutouts to date. 

The 2013 mark is an improvement from LA’s 2012 numbers when LA failed to register a shutout while conceding 16 goals in their first 11 regular season games. In fact, LA’s goals allowed numbers are nearly identical to the Galaxy’s mark in 2011 when they conceded 11 goals while holding four shutouts.

“What I’m saying is we want to improve? Yes, we want to. We have to improve? Yes we do. We want to get better? Yes, but it’s part of a team, part of the process that a team has to go through during the season,” Cudicini said.

“Now that we are already 11 games in, we want to get better, try not to concede silly goals and avoid silly situations. But in soccer, in football that happens, it will happen today, it will happen in two games, it will always happen.

“Of course you want to try to get rid of mistakes or situations where you can control better, but personally I don’t think this defense is doing as bad as a lot of people are saying.”