Just when you thought it was safe to watch the Los Angeles Galaxy, the nightmare returns. What nightmare? The one posing as a defense in Galaxy uniforms.
The Galaxy gave up three goals to a Toronto FC team that had scored a single goal in two previous games. Yes, Amado Guevera made his debut, but that wasn’t the only reason Greg Vanney was beaten like a Pinata full of hundred-dollar bills.
So this is what Alexi Lalas meant by sexy football.
SBI Correspondent Nathan Henderson-James would probably call it something else. After watching his team lose to Toronto on its home turf, Henderson-James is ready to share his take on the disaster that his club is fast becoming. Here is his report (Share your own thoughts below).
The Galaxy nightmare continues
by Nathan Henderson-James
Last week I said, "[A]ny team that can string together any sequence of passes in the midfield and has even half a striker will be big trouble."
I rest my case.
The fan trivia question at halftime (correct answer gets you a gift certificate for $25 in auto parts!) was, "When Cobi Jones scored the Galaxy’s first ever goal exactly 12 years ago, what other current Galaxy player was also on the field?" The answer? Greg Vanney. Here’s my trivia question for this past Sunday’s game. "Which Galaxy player was beaten on every one of Toronto’s goals?" You get one chance.
There were some bright spots on Sunday. The Landon Donovan – David Beckham connection is just coming into its own. If they both stay healthy and can deal with the disruption of international duty, they are going to give opposing defenses fits. Ely Allen was loads better this game than he was last week. Sean Franklin gave me no reason to wish for Abel Xavier or Troy Roberts to come off the bench.
But the midfield link between the (so very very slow) defense is looking decidedly low-rent. Alvaro Pires continues to do a fine job disrupting, but a poor job distributing. Pretty much the same with Brandon McDonald (who was able to stay on his feet most of this game). And it’s not like Pete Vagenas suddenly figured out the secret to the completed forward pass when he came in either. I know I just gave Allen props above, but he blew two chances in the box with a bad header and an inability to one-touch a shot. (Donovan did the same, but he made up for it by finishing two other chances. That’s why he gets paid the big bucks and Allen gets just above senior roster minimum.)
Finally, for my money Carlos Ruiz cannot get healthy fast enough. I don’t care how amazing Alan Gordon’s work rate is, if your finishing in the box reminds me of the elegance and flourish of a three-year-old painting the baseboards in my living room, then I’m gently suggesting you get the hell off the pitch! Edson Buddle’s 22 minutes weren’t a whole lot better, though had he scored that goal in stoppage time I’d probably be more forgiving. After all, he did juke a few defenders with the ball at his feet, something Gordon should just stop trying to do.
In truth, things didn’t look so bad. The G’s really dominated the run of play in the first half and the passing was about a thousand times more creative than in any game I watched in 2007. Those predictions that this team could end up with a number of shoot-outs like last year’s 5-4 game against the Red Bulls are looking better and better. If the team had one more central defender who had either the positioning of a Michael Parkhurst or the speed of a Marvell Wynne, or the balanced combo of a Jimmy Conrad, things would be a whole lot different.
But it is worrying that they gave up three goals to a second-year team in a losing effort on their home field.
I wonder how Ty Harden’s gig with Goodwill is going…