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Monday Morning Centerback: Can the Galaxy reach the playoffs?


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Don’t call it a comeback. At least not yet.

The Los Angeles Galaxy’s 5-2 drubbing of D.C. United raised plenty of questions about D.C. (again) but it also raised the question of whether Bruce Arena, Landon Donovan and David Beckham could help LA secure its first playoff berth in three years.

Yes, I know, on some level it seems absurd to talk about a team making a playoff push when it has just won its first game in three months, but this is Major League Soccer, where the Western Conference (save for Houston) has been a masterpiece of mediocrity, leaving the door open for the Galaxy to fight back into the playoff race.

The Galaxy’s win has pushed LA to within two points of third place in the West. The tougher part for LA will be leapfrogging the teams ahead of it in the standings. Can the Galaxy do it? Can LA complete a turnaround?

It won’t be easy, but it is possible.

How can it be possible? It is possible because the Galaxy boasts a virtually unstoppable offense that will keep it in almost any game. It is possible because Arena, Donovan and Beckham can make it possible. it is possible because two points isn’t that much ground to make up, even if there are three other teams trying to make the same climb.

It will only be possible if Arena sorts out a defense that has allowed at least two goals in eight of its past nine gams. No, this isn’t a new problem, but it is up to Arena to solve it. Having rookie Sean Franklin healthy is a big help, but the lack of size in the back is a problem.

So what lies ahead for the Galaxy? Here is the schedule of remaining games, and it isn’t exactly easy:

  • Thursday- at Chicago
  • 10/4- at Columbus
  • 10/12- vs. Colorado
  • 10/18- at Houston
  • 10/26 vs. FC Dallas

It’s not unfair to suggest that LA needs nine points from these matches to have a realistic chance of qualifying for the playoffs. That’s three wins, or two wins and three ties. Road games at Columbus and Houston will be extremely difficult, but the other three games on the schedule are manageable. You might think that’s not the case at Chicago, but the Fire has been vulnerable at home, as evidenced by Sunday’s 4-1 thrashing against FC Dallas. A win Thursday and a win against Colorado could set up LA for a win-and-in scenario at home against Dallas.

The only problem with the Colorado game is the fact that it falls on an international fixture date. Will Bob Bradley let Donovan skip the qualifier against Cuba? Is David Beckham ready to tell Fabio Capello he’s more interested in staying in LA then flying halfway around the world to watch Theo Walcott run circles around opposing defenses? If LA has Beckham and Donovan the rest of the way, pulling off a playoff run isn’t impossible.

It’s time for a poll:

What do you think? Will the Galaxy find a way to sneak into the playoffs? Share your thoughts below.

(Also, apologies for the late posting of MMCB, but it should be noted that it is still technically morning in California.)


  1. If the league wants LA to make the playoffs they will. They are not good enough to do it on their own, remember they were only ahead 3-2 before DC went down to 10 men. Interesting how many times this year that matches involving the Galaxy or teams that they must get ahead of in the West have had very interesting calls made during them.

    If LA makes the playoffs it won’t be because they are good enough, they are not. It will be the fact that Don feels they are owed something and everyone else gets screwed over and LA waltzes into the playoffs on the back of officals like Kevin Stott.

  2. Nevermind Beckham + Donovan. I want to know if Franchino and McDonald will be back. The team lost them a long time ago just before Galaxy went on a 12 game losing streak.

    Those two made the midfield stable and gave it some serious bite. They played a couple of games injured and were finally put on the injury list.

    With those two in tow, I think even Buddle and Gordon could get the job done. A lot of people overlook that, though.

  3. Ugh.

    So my 5th grade typing skills made me miss a letter “I”. You have my deepest apologies.

    …and yes. I want it all spelled out. You said something insane about the Galaxy and THEIR (happy, I took lessons) potential for the rest of the season. Crazy ideas require explanation. Had you done all that earlier, I still would have disagreed with you, but wouldn’t have thought you were a typical Galaxy lunatic.

    That aside, I still have to say that 83% of the season is enough to have a very good idea of what a team is or isn’t.

    The problem was never me not being able to follow logic, it was you not presenting any, and instead wanting me to assume what you meant without you having to explain yourself.

    This is now officially a boring “Who can out snob who” contest, so I’ll leave it alone from here…

    Please be careful in the name entry field next time. FF&SS is registered trademark of Faux Industries, Inc.


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