SANDY, Utah -- Landon Donovan stepped up in a big way to give the LA Galaxy a 1-1 draw heading into the second half against Real Salt Lake, but once the half begun, Real Salt Lake notched two unanswered goals from Olmes Garcia to seal a 3-1 victory over the Galaxy.
Although Donovan rose to the challenge at that moment, the Galaxy have seen too few step up in critical moments during their recent skid.
The loss is LA's second consecutive defeat in league play, but their third in a row if you factor in their U.S. Open Cup defeat to the Carolina RailHawks. Stretch it out even further and LA has just one win -- their April 29 victory over Seattle Sounders FC -- in their last five matches across all competitions. During that time, LA has played three of those games without the services of either captain Robbie Keane or defensive stalwart Omar Gonzalez, and according to Donovan, the Galaxy must perform better when missing key players.
“In this league you don’t have a roster of 20 or 25 guys that are sort of all the same. In other leagues in the world you have more of that. In this league when you miss 3 or 4 guys that are instrumental, it makes a difference," Donovan told reporters after the match. "We can still be better as a group with the guys we have. We have done enough for the most part to get some points in these games, but we’re falling short when it matters.”
That is not the only issue however, as LA has developed a tendency to concede late goals over their past two league games. LA has conceded five times in the last 10 minutes in their two matches, but Donovan believes that those numbers do not tell the whole story.
“On the surface it’s five goals in two games, but maybe not all. When you’re pushing to get goals sometimes you open yourself up. Those goals are I’m less concerned about. It’s the goal in the 83rd minute [on Saturday], the 2-1 goal that is more of a concern," said Donovan. "Those are the plays we have to be better at when you’re pushing to tie a game. Sometimes you open yourselves up, and when you play a good team, they make you pay.”