CARSON, Calif. – What the fallout will be from the LA Galaxy’s 5-0 defeat to the New England Revolution last Sunday remains to be seen.
Will head coach Bruce Arena dramatically shake up the lineup? Can LA respond against a hungry Real Salt Lake side that is 5-1-1 in the seven games since their 2-0 defeat to the Galaxy in April? All of these questions will be answered in the days leading up to Saturday’s match at Rio Tinto Stadium.
One certainty, however, is that when the Galaxy return to the training pitch on Wednesday after a two day reprieve, they’re in for a grueling and challenging week.
“It’s going to be hard and fierce,” A.J. DeLaGarza told LAGalaxy.com after Sunday’s defeat. “Guys will get into tackles and that is something that we haven’t done lately. We’ve been too easy on each other and we have to start getting into tackles in practice and step up.”
Following a difficult defeat that saw LA concede three goals in the game’s closing three minutes plus stoppage time, the club is eager to get back to work.
“We have to take all the critiques and the bad comments about [the New England loss]. We’re adults and we have to look forward and we have to get back on track next week,” LA Galaxy goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini said. “To be fair, I think that it’s difficult to forget a game like this. Hopefully on [Wednesday] when we get back on the training ground, we’ll be ready to prepare for next week.”
Once the team returns to the training pitch there will be a number of areas for immediate improvement. Obviously, it starts with the defense after tying a club record for the largest margin of defeat with their loss in New England. However, LA must also improve on the offensive side of the ball failing to find the back of the net once during their seven-day, two-match trip along the east coast.
Particularly, the Galaxy will need to find a way to connect in the final third. During their defeats to the Carolina RailHawks and the Revolution, LA dominated possession, but were unable to translate that possession into goals. Against New England, LA struggled to create opportunities inside the New England 18-yard-box as 10 of LA’s 13 shots came from outside the penalty area.
But how does LA correct this? Is there some training drill that can fix this issue? LA midfielder Landon Donovan says no, but that he and his teammates need to step up when it counts.
“It’s [about] guys making plays. I have to make plays, other guys that are attacking have to make plays. If we knew the answer then we wouldn’t be talking right now,” said Donovan. “Sometimes they go in, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes the final pass comes out comes and sometimes it doesn’t…There’s a lot of factors that go into it, but we can still do a better job.”
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com