Category Archives: LA Galaxy

LA Galaxy

Goodbye, Open Cup

Allison Sorrell - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Allison Sorrell // @AJSorrell_

Monday, July 10: 3-2 Loss

Now, here’s the thing. I’m going to start off by saying that considering circumstances, this match wasn’t inherently bad. In fact, it could have been much worse. With that statement, I probably lost almost every single one of my fellow LA Galaxy fans and followers reading here. However, let’s break this down.

On Monday night the LA Galaxy took another hard blow and were knocked out in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup with a 3-2 loss in San Jose at Avaya Stadium.

Let’s start with the positives here. Brian Rowe is finally back from injury, and it’s comforting to have a little more depth back in the keeper position, and to give Clement Diop, what most of us feel is, a much needed rest to rebuild his personal confidence after a series of defeats between the post for LA.

In addition to Rowe, Giovani dos Santos has made his return after a long stint away on international duty with Mexico, and made his presence known with an assist to Jelle Van Damme’s goal in the 3rd minute, as well as a few convincing chances on goal of his own in the first half. The core of the Galaxy is slowly returning from injury and international duties, and it will be more than welcomed to see how they perform once this unlucky plague of injury is behind us.

However, there are issues that need to be dealt with now. The Galaxy, though seemingly on the upswing, is still stuck with much needed players out on injury. As we all know, Romain Alessandrini has been behind, or at the very least a part of most of the Galaxy’s attacking plays this season, and his absence was very much noticed on Monday. In addition to Alessandrini, Joao Pedro, Jose Villarreal, and Daniel Steres’ absences were all felt.

While Alessandrini and Pedro, who have been training with the team, are on the mend and should be back by the time the Galaxy compete against Manchester United on Saturday (yippee…), the absence of these experienced players in the midfield seems to be a hoop that this team doesn’t seem to be able to jump through. The lack of pressure and possession in the midfield, especially in the second half of this match, wasn’t very hard to see.

By the 60th minute, San Jose were running circles around the Galaxy who seemed to have lost all confidence once again. It isn’t to say that I fully blame them, the past month has been a tough one for this team. Their last win against another MLS side coming almost a month ago on June 21st against Colorado, and confidence is hard to build back, especially for a younger side.

On the contrary, the issue here is that it doesn’t seem like we’re working towards doing anything about it. And while the Galaxy looked drained of confidence and ideas, Chris Wondolowski sure didn’t. Scoring two goals, one in the 16th minute and one in the 51st minute, both assisted by Tommy Thompson. Wondo came to play, and it showed.

A goal from Danny Hoesen in the 62nd minute sealed the Galaxy’s fate, and the match that should have been a redemptive confidence boost for the Galaxy went to the Earthquakes. My hope is that players are well rested and willing to compete for three points on July 19th during LA’s next league match at home against Vancouver Whitecaps. If LA hopes to make a convincing bid for the playoffs this season, now is the time to step it up. We’ve done it before.

Featured image courtesy: @LAGalaxy

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The State of the Galaxy

Allison Sorrell - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Allison Sorrell // @AJSorrell_

The Fortress Has Been Breached

The fortress of StubHub Center has breached. That isn’t to say we haven’t been struggling at home all season, because it’s absolutely no secret that we have, but before this year, StubHub Center was a place teams feared showing up to.

Contrary to the norm, this season LA Galaxy only has one win at home. When asked why that is, players have been cited as saying that they feel pressured at home because of fans, and can’t perform the way they do on the road because of it.

Whether that is a valid excuse for leaving eighteen points on the table at home this season or not is very much up for discussion. Despite the woes that, lets face it, we’ve all been feeling this season until this past weekend, the Galaxy were unbeaten in ten matches which if you ask me is a pretty good record. That all changed in this weekends California Clasico at San Jose.

Injury Woes

Last weekends lineup, while not what you would expect a starting XI for the Galaxy to look like, wasn’t that far off for what we’ve been looking at this season. The team, as a whole, experiencing an unlucky bout of injuries. Last weekend’s match in San Jose saw the Galaxy missing twelve players due to injury and international call-ups.

This injury list included the team’s current leading goal scorer, Romain Alessandrini, who has notched eight goals and seven assists this season, leading the LA Galaxy in that regard. Other veteran and regular starter injuries, Ashley Cole, Brian Rowe, and Baguio Husidic (out with a broken leg) contribute to the Galaxy’s lack of continuity in a starting XI.

While most of these absences will be short lived enough, for now, the Galaxy are left without a host of their starters, and forced into using a host of homegrown and loaned up Los Dos players to get the job done.

Young Guns Get the Start

The silver lining in the lengthy list of injuries and absences plaguing the Galaxy is the chance for younger players, many of them homegrown players, to get a chance to shine. Players like Jaime Villarreal, Jose Villarreal, Bradford Jamieson IV, and Jack McBean are finally getting the minutes they deserve, and showing up to prove their worth.

This past weekend in San Jose, Jose Villarreal notched a beautiful assist on Jelle Van Damme’s first goal for the LA Galaxy, and has contributed to the team’s recent successes in a way that leads me to believe he deserves a shot at being a regular starter, even after many of the injured players become game fit.

Jack McBean has shown in the past few weeks that he is a competent forward willing and able to finish in the final third, and this young team is eager to continue proving themselves. The issue is, we just weren’t able to pull it off this weekend.

The Clasico Loss

The California Clasico, a historic rivalry between the LA Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes is known to always be a big rivalry and riveting game, and this time, at least the ending, was no different. Let’s face it, the game was a little scrappy. San Jose faced, full strength, an LA Galaxy side full of revolving doors as players have been in and out of rotation due to injury all season (we didn’t even travel with a full eighteen players).

For the most part, this younger Galaxy side held their own. Despite this, there’s something important I think we need to talk about: Clement Diop. I’m not saying he’s a bad keeper, because he isn’t by any means. But there are very few times that a Galaxy keeper scares me coming off of his line as much as Diop does (Does anyone remember Carlo Cudicini? He’s the exception). I believe with growth, he could be a wonderful keeper, but for now, he’s had too many scary moments for my liking.

The first half saw an end of 1-0 Galaxy, and we looked as if we were in the driver’s seat, but the second half tells a different story. Goals in the 75th minute by Chris Wondolowski and 90+3 from Shea Salinas brought San Jose the win. These two goals mark San Jose’s only shots on goal during the entire match. This short handed Galaxy squad pulled out most of the stops, but just couldn’t handle finishing the job.

The Cost of Dissent

The biggest, and probably the most believable part of this match was Van Damme’s temper. It’s no secret he’s… passionate. But two yellow cards, one following a non call of a handball in the box (that could have cost the Galaxy points), and a second following the final whistle after San Jose’s second goal, leave the Galaxy without their captain for the Fourth of July clash against Real Salt Lake.

While Van Damme has apologized for these outbursts via social media, his absence will almost certainly be known against a Real Salt Lake team who has, fortunately, been struggling this season.

With only one win at home all season, the Galaxy have a large task at hand, and hopefully the post game fireworks aren’t the only ones that Galaxy fans see at StubHub Center this Independence Day.

Featured image courtesy: @LAGalaxy

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Catching Stride Away From LA

Allison Sorrell - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Allison Sorrell // @AJSorrell_

After the LA Galaxy‘s last home-stand (a 2-2 draw to Chicago Fire), a four week road trip didn’t seem like a good idea this season for a Galaxy team that’s been struggling more than they have in the past 10 years. With twelve points on the table available on this road trip, it wasn’t extremely misplaced to say the Galaxy wouldn’t come home with many points. I personally, frustrated from the team’s struggles, honestly thought we might end up with two or three. I wasn’t the only one.

We were wrong.

Here we are, two matches in, having accumulated 6/6 points available. I never want us to play at StubHub Center again. For a team that has historically held a fortress at home, and struggled on the road, this is a little weird to watch, but then again, so is this whole season under the watch of Kurt Onalfo. Either way, I’ll take points any way I can get them.

Last Sunday’s match at Minnesota United (3-7-2) had the Galaxy facing a team in a bit of a similar situation. Both teams in question started the season slowly (to put it lightly), and had similar ranking in the western conference. Despite this, once again, the Galaxy came out swinging, winning with a 2-1 scoreline.

I’m going to start with the negative, because this time, there weren’t many. Baggio Husidic’s injury, which has been ruled a broken leg has him out for around two to three months per Onalfo. With the center midfield spot left open by two injured players now, after the midfield was finally finding its form after the match at Red Bull Arena, Rafael Garcia came in to fill in and surprisingly, contributed well to the attack after being subbed in at the 8th minute.

Though there were many chances, the first ball that hit the back of the net for the Galaxy came from Giovani Dos Santos in the 38th minute, only his second in the run of play all season. The Galaxy dominated the rest of the half and for the beginning of the second, until Minnesota’s Christian Ramirez snuck one in at the 66th minute. Thankfully, he did the Galaxy a favor as well in the 84th minute with an own goal to give us the win.

Moving forward, it will be interesting who takes the spot left open by Jermaine Jones, and then again by Baggio Husidic. Jaime Villarreal, the younger of the Galaxy’s homegrown brothers made his first team debut this match. He’s been creating a lot of chances and finishing a lot of balls for Los Dos (LA Galaxy II) in the past few years, and I think he and his brother, who has been MIA for a bit from the first team 18 most of the season, could do some good with all of the injuries currently plaguing the midfield of the first team.

Saturday at San Jose (5-4-4) should be another challenge for a team that’s just now catching their stride. Though San Jose hasn’t had the greatest month, only catching one win out of the four matches played in May, the Galaxy’s real challenge comes in the form of creating chances in the midfield, with players like Garcia, Villarreal, or even Raul Mendiola filling in.

I don’t want to get too ahead of myself, but I think we can run away with three points at Avaya Stadium, as well, if we keep the form we’ve had these past two matches.

Featured image courtesy: @LAGalaxy

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A Breath of Fresh Air

Allison - LA Galaxy
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Allison Sorrell // @AJSorrell_

Sunday, May 14: 1-3 Win

Sunday’s match was an unexpected breath of fresh air.

With this match being the first of four consecutive away matches coming directly after a brutal loss and a couple of uneventful draws, LA Galaxy fans didn’t have the most positive outlook heading into last Sunday at Red Bull Arena.

The week leading into Sunday’s match, Galaxy players and coaches alike cited last week’s draw against Chicago Fire as a turn in the right direction. I can speak for myself and probably many other avid followers of this LA team when I say I was a little more than skeptical that a draw at home could possibly be a turn in the right direction. Thankfully, those of us that thought that were wrong.

This LA team walked into this match at Red Bull Arena more confident than I’ve seen them at even any of our home matches this season. The Galaxy got their first solid chance in the 7th minute when the ball bounced between a few players in the box, but the play ended in Romain Alessandrini drawing a foul just outside of the box, and subsequently scoring a beautiful ‘goal of the week’ worthy goal directly off of the free kick in the 8th minute.

With the Galaxy having the game in their hands for the first time in longer than I can even remember, the added confidence led to Alessandrini earning a second goal in the 9th minute. Not only are the Galaxy only the second squad this year to earn a goal against the Red Bulls on their own turf, but this looks like a complete 180 for the Galaxy we’ve been seeing all season. I think we all would have liked to be flies on the wall during training last week.

While Alessandrini was the star of the show (as he has been all season, let’s be real), some other bright moments came from Giovani dos Santos, who has been extremely quiet for most of the season, but earned the assist in the 9th minute, and had a much more inspired game than I’ve seen from him all season. He went on to score the goal from the penalty kick drawn by Alessandrini.

If the score line wasn’t enough, it was easy to see that the Galaxy has turned over a better leaf by watching the celebration after the third goal. We’re not out of the woods yet, but for once this year the future isn’t looking quite as bleak. The real test will be in how we handle the rest of this trip away from home.

While Brian Rowe only missed the clean sheet by less than a minute after Daniel Royer’s goal for the Red Bulls in stoppage time, Rowe seemed to gain a little confidence back as well, and I think we’ll be seeing him as the starter for the long haul.

It was almost as if the Red Bulls were uninspired this whole match, which is the same thing I’ve expected from the Galaxy most of this season. They sat back at home, didn’t take necessary chances, and consequently left this match defeated at home for the first time all season. But hey, I’m not complaining.

Featured image of Romain Alessandrini courtesy: @LAGalaxy

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A Frustrating Loss I mean… Draw

Allison - LA Galaxy
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Allison Sorrell // @AJSorrell_

Saturday, April 29: 0-0 Draw

I hate to say it, but I dreaded watching this match.

Prematch rumor mill had people talking about the losing head coach getting the axe, and a joke went around indicating that if it’s high stakes and no one can lose, the match might as well end in a draw.

They were right. The LA Galaxy (2-5-1) played to a 0-0 draw against the Philadelphia Union (0-4-4) on Saturday. Curt Onalfo changed up the lineup a bit, going with a 4-2-3-1, which ideally would have helped with the attack that the Galaxy has been lacking all season. To this day, not a single Galaxy forward has scored a goal in the run of play this season, and the Galaxy’s supposedly huge offseason signing in midfielder Joao Pedro hasn’t contributed either a goal or an assist in the eight matches he has played for the Galaxy.

To me, a draw against the team at the bottom of the table in MLS is a loss. With only four points this season (each point coming from a draw), the Philadelphia Union hasn’t won a match since last August. LA should’ve had this match in the bag. But we didn’t.

Despite the change in lineup, the Galaxy just could not put the ball in the back of the net, and it almost feels as if there’s a magnetic field preventing this squad from doing so. Romain Alessandrini’s biggest chance came and went in the second minute when his wide open volley went directly into the arms of Andre Blake, the extremely lucky keeper for the Union, who was saved by the posts in the 21st minute when Joao Pedro’s rocket hit not one, but both goal posts and rolled right back out and into Blake’s hands.

The positive of this match is that Brian Rowe looked ready to take his spot as starting keeper back. In the 19th minute Rowe tipped a great shot from Roland Alberg over the bar and then came off of his line to get the bar out of danger during the subsequent corner kick to keep the scoreline at zero.

The problem here is that I’m not ready to say that the Galaxy is improving at all. Playing at home against a team that hasn’t won a match in eight months, we should have had all three points in the bag here. An improved but still less than stellar performance against the current worst team in MLS does not mean that we’re out of the woods yet, and based on the reaction to this match, I’m not the only one that is still hesitant.

I’ve stated this a few times in previous weeks, but let me reiterate. This Galaxy team is just boring. The second half against Philadelphia was so uneventful that nothing that happened is even worth mentioning here.  We had a couple of good changes, our defense looked a bit better, but the magic, confidence, and the swagger the LA Galaxy has had in previous years under Bruce Arena is completely gone. The longer we keep this up the more I believe that huge changes need to be made before we can ever even think about becoming the best team in MLS again because well, we are, take a look at how many MLS Cups we’ve won. It’s five. 1-2-3-4-5.

But I’m not sure this team knows that.

Next week we take on the Chicago Fire, the team that always steals my favorite Galaxy players. Currently on their roster is former Galaxy starter Juninho, who I will bet just about anything will score a goal at StubHub Center next Saturday. This Chicago team, very surprisingly actually, looks good this season, sitting just under the line at 7th in the east. Hopefully, we’ll finally score a goal and win a match at home for “Throwback Night.” Hopefully, we’re throwing back to when we won matches.

Featured image courtesy: @LAGalaxy

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It All Started With A Shirt

Kristen - LA Galaxy
LA Galaxy Key Contributor

By Kristen Kincaid @KristenKincaid

As my family and I were exiting the Stub Hub Center after witnessing an underwhelming performance by the LA Galaxy on Sunday, we paused to let a group of Seattle Sounders fans pass and one couple caught my eye – ironically, it  wasn’t the man with dyed green hair adorned head to toe in his fan gear, it was his wife in the simple t-shirt bearing the phrase “I married into this”.

I chuckled to myself and reflected upon my own journey into soccer fandom.

I am a So Cal gal who has recently been converted to a soccer fan after “tolerating” my husband’s love of soccer for years (his words not mineJ). My journey into fandom began with a trip to watch the USA women’s national team on their journey to eventually winning the World Cup in 2015 (#shebelieves).  I had never experienced a live sporting event that had the atmosphere and energy that radiated from the Stub Hub that day  – I was hooked!

I have been a baseball fan since the Eric Karros (swoon) and Mike Piazza (double swoon) days with the LA Dodgers in the late ’80s and then found a love of Steeler Nation while in high school.  I grew up in the Redlands, CA area and our hometown hero Landon Donovan led me to follow and become a fan of LA Galaxy.  This journey into soccer fandom is new to me and I hope to offer a unique perspective not only as a female fan, but a new fan.   

Many thanks everyone for reading and especially to MLSFemale.com for this amazing opportunity to be a Key Contributor for LA Galaxy and to share my journey with you all!

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Well, That Was Embarrassing

Allison - LA Galaxy
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Allison Sorrell @AJSorrell_

Sunday, April 23: 0-3 Loss

I was a little too optimistic last week.

Let’s be real, this Galaxy team (2-5-0) is… bad. Being at (almost) the bottom of the table, even this early in the season, doesn’t lie. It points to a change that needs to be made, and quickly.

Per Kevin Baxter, the LA Galaxy already have as many home losses in 2017 as they do in the past two seasons combined. We haven’t won a single game this season playing against 11 men— both wins we do have under our belt coming from sides of ten due to red card send offs.

Let’s start with the positives here. Admittedly, there aren’t very many. Brian Rowe is back, but I’m sure the only reason for this breath of fresh air is Diop’s nagging hip injury from last weekend against Orlando (2-1 loss). Despite the score line against Seattle, he gives the back line a little more of a sense of security and as a fan, I’m not quite as worried about him every single time the ball even enters the final third.

This Seattle Sounders side was relentless throughout most of the first half, but didn’t even put one (of their three) goals in the back of the net until the 29th minute. Until that point this Galaxy squad was confident enough, but you could see that confidence deplete with each second that passed afterwards.

From here on out you would think that Seattle was the home side, pulling in a second goal in the 35th minute, and a third in the 44th. The Galaxy’s defense just didn’t exist… but neither did the offense.

Let’s be honest here, this match was a complete wash for LA. The only good chance we had at even getting one back came in the 51st minute for Giovani Dos Santos, who missed a ball you never would’ve seen him miss even last season.

Last week, the little spark of positivity I cited was the Galaxy’s notorious “slow starts can still win MLS Cups” line. This isn’t a slow start anymore. Our offense isn’t scoring goals. Our defense can’t keep it together. Coaching decisions don’t make much sense.

Finally, no one in this organization is confident, and the tension can be cut with a knife. Curt Onalfo refused to comment on Dos Santos performance, even after being cited the previous week as saying he’s ready to go and is playing well. Emmanuel Boateng and Ashley Cole both came off of the field dodging Onalfo’s attempts at a handshake. And finally, large amounts of fans are calling for members of the coaching staff and members of the front office to lose their jobs. This all feels like an active volcano right before it blows.

For fans, the push on the new recycled jerseys we wore last week and the sassy quips on Galaxy social media we usually know and love seem more like distractions against the way the team is playing (which do I have to say one more time is terrible?) and it isn’t going unnoticed. I was willing to give it a break after last week at Orlando, where we only fell by one. But at this point? Something’s gotta give.

#allisongroup
Image courtesy: @LAGalaxy

I still don’t have any doubt that this team can pull through this. If there is one thing that this organization usually knows how to do its adapt to change and pull through. It just needs to happen a little quicker than it currently is. We need that usual unfaltering confidence back— players, coaches, front office, and fans alike.

Let’s see what happens next week with Philadelphia Union who, thankfully, are also at the bottom of the table. Maybe we have a chance at gaining some level of momentum back, or at least some reprieve from what already feels like an extremely long season.

Featured image courtesy of: @LAGalaxy

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Orlando City vs. Alessandrini

Allison - LA Galaxy
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Allison Sorrell @AJSorrell_

Saturday, April 15: 2-1 Loss

This is the most fun I’ve had watching an LA Galaxy match all season — and unfortunately it wasn’t all because of LA. If you’re a Galaxy fan, or even end up watching a few Galaxy matches a couple times a season for whatever reason, you know this team can get interesting. From spectaculars by the likes of Robbie Keane in recent years, to savvy playmakers in the midfield like Marcelo Sarvas and Juninho, this team has always been fun to watch, not just during the playoffs, but even during early season away matches like Saturday’s.

Unfortunately this isn’t really the case anymore.

As LA Galaxy fans we’re still getting used to this too — with regular XI staples AJ DeLaGarza and Keane (just to name the biggest losses) departing and new names Joao Pedro, Nathan Smith, Romain Alessandrini, and Jermaine Jones all becoming regular starters and replacements for these fan favorites. Even our coach Bruce Arena, who had an eight year tenure with the club is gone (Now the head coach of the USMNT).

With all of this change it isn’t a surprise that LA fans are a little pessimistic.

Tweets from even diehard Angel City Brigade fans read “ready to lose this game!” Before the match even started. From another fan that’s been here to see this team raise a few trophies, to say those thoughts are completely without cause would be unfair.

With that being said, it’s no secret that Orlando City SC is a good team, especially at home. Cyle Larin is one hell of a dangerous goal scorer, and you know Will Johnson is enough of a hardworking midfielder to keep you busy. With the opening of the new stadium (which I really need to visit this season mind you, it’s beautiful and the atmosphere looks amazing), this Orlando team hasn’t lost a single game at home (this week’s win making them the first team ever to win the first four games at home at a new stadium). This was never going to be an easy match for LA, a team that has notoriously struggled away from home, and in light of circumstances, the match as a whole turned out much better than it could have for LA.

The most notable part of this match lies with Will Johnson’s goal of the week worthy goal in the 9th minute. Watching the match I was more enthralled with how well placed the goal was than how badly our defense fell apart on the corner and subsequent rebound that led to it.

Which leads me to something we need to talk about — Clement Diop. Diop helped lead LA’s USL side LA Galaxy II to 2nd place in the USL in 2015, but he still doesn’t seem ready for MLS play. He’s been caught off his lines and off guard (does anyone remember the loss at Vancouver?) way too many times. Meanwhile, Brian Rowe, who played 31 matches last season is on the bench “coaches decision” being cited. Diop is just too green for the job of starting keeper. If we don’t want to utilize Rowe, we need to find another keeper.

The final, and most important part of this match for any LA Galaxy fan is Alessandrini’s showing. Not even counting his 83rd minute goal, there’s no one on the field right now for the LA Galaxy that can make as much of a difference as he can (he’s had 4 goals in 4 matches) and to build the offense around him would not be a mistake.

LA is just suffering from lack of confidence, direction, and leadership (it took me a few minutes to even remember who the captain is. That should say enough). Only time will tell if Curt Onalfo’s leadership proves a worthy successor of Bruce Arena’s. We have the talent, we’re just not sure what to do with it this early in the season yet. This isn’t the first time LA has started the season off on the wrong foot, and we all know things will come together soon enough. Until then, none of the three points on the table are coming home to LA.

Featured image courtesy of: @LAGalaxy

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