Tag Archives: Brian Rowe

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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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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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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