CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy dropped their second consecutive match on Sunday, but the team is staying very positive about their prospects this season.
Diego Chara’s first-half goal propelled the Portland Timbers to a 1-0 win and gave the Galaxy their first 0-2 start since the 2001 campaign. Los Angeles also dropped two consecutive home matches to start the season for the first time in club history.
But the Galaxy locker room was not panicking after the defeat, however, as head coach Curt Onalfo said he felt the early season adversity will pay off in the long run for his team.
“You’re always going to deal with adversity through the course of the season. You don’t want to draw it up where it’s this early. I actually look at it differently. We’ll be better for this. We got some players some minutes, and they performed well. That helps create depth to our team,” Onalfo told reporters after the game. “We were down five players today. That’s never easy.”
“As we add the players back from injury and suspension and you look at performances like Sebastian [Lletget] had and Ema [Boateng] who was very good again today and had an excellent week of training. And all of the sudden, you have options, and it makes you better. It’s unfortunate. I’m a forward-looking person; I don’t look back. My job is to continue to make the group better, and that’s my focus.”
Forced to play with 10 men after Jelle Van Damme’s controversial sending off and without the injured Giovani dos Santos for the second half, the Galaxy were forced to dig deep to try and find the equalizer. A determined Galaxy squad had their opportunities to pull level. Jose Villarreal’s late header forced Portland goalkeeper Jake Gleeson to make a world-class save, but LA’s goal never came.
“There’s still a ton of season left, and we know that. We’re going to get criticized, let’s be honest,” Rafael Garcia told LAGalaxy.com after the defeat. “We have a target on our back, and we’re fine with it. We deal well with adversity. It’s a positive to keep grinding, and the results will come.”
The Galaxy are poised to bounce back this week, however, as Jermaine Jones and Dave Romney return from suspension, while Ashley Cole and Gyasi Zardes continue to make progress in their respective injuries.
With the Galaxy hopeful of returning to near full strength ahead of this weekend’s match with Real Salt Lake, Lletget believes that the team just needs to stay resolute.
“It doesn’t seem like it’s going our way, but we just have to stay strong,” Lletget said. “It’s only the beginning fortunately enough. I’d rather that this happens now than in playoffs. We’ll be alright. I feel that.”
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at www.LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com