The Los Angeles Galaxy suffered a 2-1 loss to the New England Revolution last Sunday, in Bruce Arena’s first match back in Major League Soccer. Here are three things we learned:
Defensive efforts can’t sustain the pressure
In the match against the Revolution, the Galaxy faced 16 shots with seven of those coming in on-target. Goalkeeper David Bingham made several spectacular saves, but at that rate of shots, a few balls are bound to get past him.
Last season, the Galaxy were tied for fifth worst in MLS in goals allowed with 64. Their defensive struggles followed them throughout the season last year, and it was something that general manager Dennis Te Kloese specifically mentioned that he would address when he was appointed to his new role. The numbers aren’t as bleak for the Galaxy so far this season, they are eighth best in goals against this year, but defensive lapses are still a huge issue for the team to address.
Shifting of starting line-ups causing inconsistency in play
A lack of continuity in the starting line-up could be one cause for the defensive lapses so far this season for the Galaxy. Changes to the starting line-up due to injuries or international call-ups have caused the Galaxy to frequently test their depth options already this season.
In the match against the Revolution, Galaxy head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto had to change his game plan relatively early into the match when midfielder Sebastian Lletget had to leave the match due to “hamstring irritation.”
Teams frequently have to address injuries at inopportune times, but maintaining continuity defensively despite changes is something that the Galaxy have struggled with so far this season.
— Britt (@_BrittJo) June 7, 2019
Reliance on Zlatan Ibrahimovic
LA Galaxy star forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored his 11th goal of the year from a bicycle kick in this match, which no small feat for a player who is 37-years-old and listed at 6-foot-5. His goal came in the 84th minute of play, and there was a small moment in time where it looked like the Galaxy might have been able to stage a comeback. As great as it is for the Galaxy when Ibrahimovic scores, it is even more important for other players to find the back of the net, as well.
Ibrahimovic’s 11 goals make up exactly half of the Galaxy’s 22 goals so far this season, meaning the rest of the roster split the other 11 goals scored. The next highest goal scorer is defender Daniel Steres, who has three goals so far, followed by midfielders Uriel Antuna and Jonathan Dos Santos, who have two goals each.
If the Galaxy are hoping to fix their current predicament, they need to have other players score on a regular basis.