For the second home game in a row, a team from Texas came to Los Angeles and blitzed the Galaxy in their own building as Houston Dynamo FC humiliated L.A. 3-0 on Sunday night.
But it was a defensive switch off that led to two goals in quick succession again, just like against FC Dallas, that condemned the Galaxy to their second home defeat in as many games.
Galaxy humiliated by Houston
The Galaxy found themselves down 1-0 early to a Carlos Ferreira rebound goal on 11 minutes, but the team created plenty of chances around the Houston goal in the first half and should have been able to level the score. These opportunities were wasted as Galaxy players either shot directly at Houston goalkeeper Steve Clark or passed the ball aimlessly around without taking a shot.
Midfielder Víctor Vázquez, who was returning from injury, said everyone on the team was responsible.
“We need to be more effective in front, to be more killers. We need everyone, we need the strikers, we need the midfielders, we even need the defenders when we get the free kicks, the corner kicks. We need more from all of us and it’s not happening,” Vázquez explained.
In a game in which Los Angeles Galaxy Head Coach Greg Vanney opted to begin with his DP players on the bench to save them for the midweek U.S. Open Cup match against LAFC, the inability of role players to step up and shoulder the goal burden is worrying.
Even more worrying is the four-minute span in the second half in which the Galaxy gave up two quick goals to put the game out of reach for themselves.
Two quick goals, two games in a row
A Tyler Pasher shot from long range on 58 minutes and a Thor Ulfarsson rocket in the 62 were the daggers in the Galaxy’s coffin.
Thor hammer 🔨
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) May 23, 2022
That’s six goals against the Galaxy in the last two home games, with only one scored.
A clearly frustrated Javier “Chicharito” Hernández criticized and warned his team after the game. “The breakdowns are a very negative performance from all of us. It’s the second time that we concede three goals in our home. In our fortress. We are being very naïve in soccer IQ. We need to improve all of us,” Chicharito shared passionately. “We need to be more decisive because we think that one simple pass from five yards doesn’t matter, but everything counts. Everything matters. Every turn, every pass, every tackle. Every intuition, like a play. Everything. We need to wake up because if not, we’re going to go into an even deeper hole.”
But for all the defensive lapses in the second half, the goal opportunities were there for L.A. in the first, if not the goal. An Efrain Alvarez strike from a pretty Dejan Joveljić back heel should have tied the game in the first half and might have changed the complexion of the game.
Vanney shared he would like to see his team have more “killer instinct.”
The killer instinct
“It needs to go a step further outside of the pretty game and lead to the effective game. And, that requires more work. More running. More sacrificing yourself in front of the goal. And, some of that hard stuff that is gritty. And, we just need more of that,” Vanney expressed.
But with five games in the last 15 days and two more over the next week, tired legs might play a role in how much effort Vanney gets from his players.
For a team that just got booed off its home field, however, a chance to put things right on Wednesday and get a win against their rival is pivotal, tired legs or not.
Photo: Los Angeles Galaxy.