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Galaxy coach Schelotto after lopsided loss to LAFC: “The team gave up”

LA Galaxy head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto said after the team’s loss to the Portland Timbers last week that his defense needed to improve in order to fare better in the next match.

Well, they came up well short in that regard.

The Galaxy suffered one of the ugliest defeats of the MLS is Back Tournament on Saturday night. They were overwhelmed by rivals LAFC to the tune of 6-2 in the Group F affair, with Diego Rossi stealing the show with a four-goal performance.

Rossi’s four goals would have been concerning enough on its own, but the manner in which the Galaxy conceded so many chances may have been what was most worrying. LAFC finished with 19 shots and 12 were on target.

“The team gave up instead of continuing the fight and the battle, and we can’t do that,” said Schelotto in Spanish after the lopsided loss. “We have to keep playing for 90 minutes. That is what happened and that is what allowed for a lot of spaces in our defense, which allowed their players — who are good in the attack — to generate chances to score.”

The Galaxy may have ended Saturday’s showdown in embarrassing fashion, but they started it fairly decently. Yes, the team’s defense conceded an early equalizing goal through a needless penalty kick, but the Galaxy were still a mere seconds away from taking a 2-1 lead into halftime.

That is, until a whiffed clearance from Daniel Steres on a rebounded shot allowed Rossi to pull LAFC level again in stoppage time.

“That kills us when they tie it at 2-2,” said midfielder Sebastian Lletget. “I think that was a game-changer for us. Obviously, if we finish that half, 2-1, I think we have a different spring in our step going into the second half.”

The Galaxy did not, though, and instead it was LAFC that seized all the momentum. Bradley Wright-Phillips took advantage of the Galaxy’s poor defensive shape on a counterattack in the 56th minute, bending a low shot inside the far post to give LAFC the lead for the first time in the game.

Then, the floodgates opened.

Rossi scored his third of the day 19 minutes later on another play in transition that again exposed the Galaxy’s poor shape, substitute Mohamed El-Munir thundered home a spectacular goal five minutes after, and Rossi punctuated the win late with a finish from in close.

“We also can’t allow that many goals,” said Lletget.

Adding insult to injury for the Galaxy was the news that broke prior to kickoff. Starting star striker Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez missed the game and will likely be out for the remainder of the MLS is Back tournament due to an injury picked up in training on Thursday.

“He (tore) the muscle so he will be around three weeks out,” said Schelotto in English.

Chicharito’s absence naturally drew some of the attention postgame, but much of the talk and focus was on the Galaxy’s poor defensive display in the rout. Schelotto stated that the team needs to analyze and correct the mistakes that were made, but added that it has to be done with the current group of players and not outside signings.

“We must fix it with the players we have,” said Schelotto. “The first thing I have to do is work on the defensive side so that we don’t endure these types of situations again.”


  1. I thought that in the first half the Galaxy played more physically than LAFC and got the yellow cards to show for it. That kind of physical defensive effort can upset any team and it certainly troubled LAFC’s midfielders.
    However, as time went on, the accumulating yellows and exhaustion (probably helped by the mental response to the late first half goal and to the heat in FL) drained the punch from the Galaxy’s physical approach; By the end of the game when all was lost the Galaxy could not keep up the defensive effort and essentially quit.
    I have never been a fan of Kitchen’s approach to defending; he plays with what is the worst of the college soccer mentality; that is when in doubt be sure to get a piece of the attacker. I think he epitomizes the Galaxy’s defensive approach.

  2. I doubt this season is salvageable for this Galaxy team. For one thing, they probably need to play 2 defensive mids (they really miss J. dos Santos) and maybe play a 4-5-1 (4-2-3-1 in actuality) or even a 5-4-1 to stop the bleeding. Their only hope seems to be a defensive shell and then hope Chicharito, when healthy, or Pavon can score for them to win some games 1-0.

    • I’m not sure that backline is sound enough even then. Pavon is so good but not good enough to outscore good teams by himself. Jona and Chicharito should help but Feltscher, Steres, and Gonzalez have struggled for awhile. I don’t really see much choices on their bench in defense either.

  3. There’s no defensive spine to this team they just rely on individuals they’ll never come close to a championship the way the current team is constructed

  4. This Galaxy team, and its leadership are nowhere close to a top MLS team. The Galaxy needs to drop this fascination with stars players near the end of their career and focus on signing more players like Pavon and developing the players in their academy. I realize they have had some salary cap issues that have bound their hands rebuilding the defense, but they keep bringing in bad replacements. Gonzalez was putrid last night. MLS 3.0 is real and LA needs to adapt or continue to lose to the clubs that have.


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