LOS ANGELES – Ashley Cole walked off the StubHub Center field on Sunday into plenty of uncertainty as the LA Galaxy’s season ended with a 3-2 defeat to the Houston Dynamo.
Cole and the Galaxy were just 45 minutes away from a berth in the 2018 postseason only to see the team concede three unanswered goals to the Dynamo in the second half. The match was a microcosm of the Galaxy’s 2018 campaign as Los Angeles’ offense led the way only for the team to collapse and see their postseason dreams go up in smoke.
For the team captain, it was a disappointing way to end to a two-month run that saw the Galaxy come so close to a postseason berth.
“At times it’s been difficult and frustrating, nicking wins here and there, then conceding too many goals at times and then you stop conceding goals, and then it all comes down to today, so if you were to give this kind of option to us three months ago, we would have taken it. After the result, we come off it so disappointed knowing that it was just one game away from a playoff. I think if we would have going to the playoffs, we would have had the confidence to win the whole thing. It’s disappointing.”
The season complete, the 37-year-old will now evaluate his future in the game. Galaxy fans made their attempts to persuade the left back to stay as they chanted “one more year” at the English left-back as he accepted the LA Riot Squad’s Player of the Year trophy postgame.
Cole, who was named the team's defender of the year, says his future is still undecided as he reflects upon a 20-year professional career that has included a three-year stop in Los Angeles. But regardless of what happens next, he believes he gave his all for the galaxy.
“I’ve loved it. When I first came here, probably a lot of people didn’t think I still had the fight and desire to want to play. I have to thank people like Bruce Arena when he brought me here, he took a gamble on me probably because of the age,” Cole said. “Ever since, I tried to work hard in training and help the team on the field, help the players off the field. It’s been great. I’ve loved every minute of it, even though it would have been nice to win.
"I’ve enjoyed every minute. It’s a little bit sad walking around the pitch today not knowing what I’m going to do because the fans probably at the start didn’t take to me, but at the end the reception I got was nice. To win LARS Player of the Year probably shows that I’ve done something good in my three years.”