CARSON, Calif. – There’s no doubt that LA Galaxy’s 2014 campaign has been filled with its share of ups and downs, but with just over 10 games left to play, LA find themselves within striking distance of not only the top spot in the Western Conference, but the Supporters’ Shield.
After their commanding 2-0 victory over Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday, the Galaxy are five points behind the Seattle Sounders in the Supporters’ Shield standings and just a scant three points behind D.C. United with a game in hand—the very same D.C. United that will LA will host on Wednesday at StubHub Center.
But if the Galaxy are to compete for the league’s top regular season record, head coach Bruce Arena believes that they have one simple thing to improve on.
“Everything,” Arena said when pressed after their win to Vancouver. “We’ve got 11 games left and we’re going to try to win seven or eight of those to help us move up the ladder, and complete for first [in the West] and maybe the Supporters’ Shield. We’re all in that mix right now with a bunch of teams close together.”
Despite the tumultuous start – and especially in light of an abysmal showing against the Columbus Crew and an “embarrassing” first half away to the Colorado Rapids, the Galaxy understand that they’re on the brink of making a real push for the top spot in the West and the top spot in the league.
“We just need to learn what we did wrong and then try to make it better the next game,” said midfielder Marcelo Sarvas. “There’s a lot of talk in this locker room and, even during the game, that we are chasing the Supporters’ Shield. Now that we are so close, we can’t step back. It’s good to see everyone with that mentality.”
That mentality that Sarvas referenced will be tested on Wednesday when LA take on a tough D.C. United side that flattened defending MLS Cup champions Sporting Kansas City 3-0 on the road at Sporting Park on Saturday. But amid all the all adversity that the Galaxy have faced this season, LA are confident that they can rise to the challenge.
“It’s taken a long time, but we have a real chance now. We play Dallas twice more, we play Seattle twice more, so really, it is in our hands,” said Landon Donovan. “Obviously, [we have a] big game with big implications on Wednesday, because even if we don’t finish top of the West, if we get through the West, all of these games are important. So very important game Wednesday and we have to make sure we’re ready.”