The LA Galaxy’s seven game undefeated streak came to an end on Saturday, as they fell 3-2 to the New York Red Bulls. Here are three things we learned from this match:
Maintaining a lead
In years past, one of the major issues that the Galaxy faced was maintaining a lead to close out the game. This match was reminiscent of those matches in that, once the Galaxy had a lead, their defensive lapses and lack of converting opportunities on goal became fatal flaws and cost them valuable points.
“I think it’s the little details that in the end it’s what changes the games,” midfielder Jonathan Dos Santos said through a translator. “We also needed more ball possession and to finish the opportunities we had on goal. We had the option to tie or win the game but, in the end, I am happy with the team because we fought until the end. We wanted to win.”
Impact of Diego Polenta
Not only is defender Diego Polenta settling in defensively for the Galaxy, he made an impact on the scoresheet offensively, as well. He had secondary assists on both of the Galaxy’s goals on the match, starting the plays in motion. Regardless of the improvement of his individual effort, Polenta was more focused on the loss than anything else post game.
“I felt good, but this is a team effort,” Polenta said through a translator. “I leave sad because of the loss. The personal and individual aspect doesn’t matter in the game. This is a team, it’s group. We faced a rival that made things difficult for us.”
Midfielder Uriel Antuna scored his second goal of the season in this match against the Red Bulls, making him tied with defender Daniel Steres for the second highest scoring player on the Galaxy so far this season. The team’s leading scorer, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, has nine goals in eight matches and is in second place for the MLS golden boot race.
A forward of that caliber is expected to produce at high levels, but the time is nearing for the Galaxy to be concerned about a lack of scoring from other players. The team is expected to sign an offensive reinforcement before the close of the primary transfer window on Tuesday, but there has been no official announcement as of yet.