It was over in 23 minutes.
What should have been a battle for second place turned into a Texas rodeo as the Los Angeles Galaxy was destroyed by F.C. Dallas 3-1 on Saturday night.
LA Galaxy defense destroyed by Dallas
Both clubs entered the match with two of the stingiest defenses in the league, but Dallas dispelled any notions about the Galaxy backline being elite by hitting them for three goals within 23 minutes and effectively killing off the game.
Los Angeles Head Coach Greg Vanney admitted as much in a press conference after the match.
“We gave up three goals in 12 minutes. A lot of which is our own mistakes. And, again, just us, for me, not being at the speed we needed to be against a team that is lethal in the transition and who had three dynamic, fast players at the top. We didn’t manage it well,” Vanney explained. “Then we’re spending 70 minutes, roughly 70 minutes chasing the game. We’re swimming upstream, just trying to get ourselves in one by one.”
If the loss away to RSL was disappointing, this one was just plain hard to watch at times.
Time and time again, FCD hit the Galaxy with lightning-quick counterattacks by absorbing pressure, waiting for L.A. to make a mistake, and relying on their pace to get forward.
In a span of four or five passes, Dallas would be bearing down on Galaxy goalkeeper Jonathan Bond.
And that’s exactly how it happened for Dallas’ first goal.
Ferreira goes golden (boot), destroys LA Galaxy defense
A four-pass sequence led to Dallas forward Jesus Ferreira getting the easiest of tap-ins from a square ball across the face of goal for his eighth goal of the season.
As if Dallas’s attack wasn’t enough to contend with, the Galaxy also had to fight against refereeing.
A controversial goal “scored” by Javier “Chicharito” Hernández on 17 minutes that could have changed the complexion of the match wasn’t awarded or reviewed, despite the rabid protestations of the Galaxy players.
What do y'all think? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/4IFTPIoVYp
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) May 15, 2022
Perhaps L.A. was still focused on their non-awarded goal because less than ten minutes later, a Galaxy turnover led to them being punished again.
A Rayan Raveloson giveaway in the middle of the park let Dallas midfielder Paxton Pomykal find Paul Arriola on the left side of the penalty area, for him to drill a low shot into the lower far corner of Bond’s net.
Three minutes, a turnover, and two passes later, Bond would be picking out another one from his goal.
Left-back Marco Farfan won the ball from Julian Araujo and delivered a long ball to Ferreira, who took a touch past Bond outside the 18-yard box and rolled his shot casually into the Galaxy goal for his ninth of the campaign to make the score 3-0 and become Golden Boot leader.
It's 3-0 in 23 minutes in LA… pic.twitter.com/cGT3wp8jcN
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) May 15, 2022
Too little, too late
The Galaxy would get one back through a Douglas Costa free-kick, but never really looked like they would be able to overturn the three-goal deficit. Vanney would try to change the game by bringing on Dejan Joveljić at the half, but the game was wrapped by that point.
Galaxy Center Back Derrick Williams didn’t feel like the three-goal blitz is truly representative of the Galaxy defense, however.
“It just tells me that we just had a sloppy 12 minutes, and we can’t do that against better teams. We didn’t start the game as we wanted, we made a mistake, and they punished us straight away. A better team will do that,” a noticeably befuddled Williams confessed. He also expressed hope that it was “just a bad night at the office.”
Next up, Minnesota
Whatever it was, a true representation of the Galaxy or a one-off, they’ll have little time to dwell as they travel to Minnesota midweek for the first of four matches in a 12-day span. A turnaround and span that includes an Open Cup El Tráfico to boot.
Galaxy midfielder Sacha Kljestan alluded to the fact that this might be more of a help than a hindrance because it affords the team a chance to erase the loss from their memory quickly.
“I’m personally of the mind that every time I lose a game, I’m happy when there’s a game three days later because it’s a chance to make things right,” Kljestan said. “Get back to Minnesota and get after it right away, and then try to right things and make them good again around here. So yeah, I’m happy, we’re playing again.”
Kljestan might feel differently if they go to Minnesota on Wednesday and get the same result they did against Dallas.
In the Galaxy’s most important stretch of the season so far, who knows what Galaxy fans will get.