LA Galaxy Defensive Mistakes: Looking To Clean Things Up In Next Stretch

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CARSON, CA - MARCH 12: Clement Diop #31 of Los Angeles Galaxy dives for the ball after Rafael Garcia #25 of Los Angeles Galaxy makes a save during Los Angeles Galaxy's MLS match against Portland Timbers at the StubHub Center on March 12, 2017 in Carson, California. Portland won the match 1-0 (Photo by Shaun Clark/Getty Images)

Editorial (April 7, 2017) – Captain Jelle Van Damme said it best after last weekend’s game. The LA Galaxy are 1-3-0 this season, including two losses at home. They’ve yet to get a clean sheet. While some of their opponents have made great plays offensively, every single goal given up has had an error on it. The Galaxy need to clean that up if they want to make the playoffs this year.

LA Galaxy Defensive Mistakes: Looking To Clean Things Up In Next Stretch

Breaking Down The Mistakes:

The Galaxy have made a variety of errors in giving up opportunities and goals. It hasn’t always been the same type of error or the same player, but there have been some trends. Against FC Dallas, it was marking. The Galaxy gave up the ball in the midfield, then some late marking and a soft effort from Brian Rowe led to the first goal. The game winner would come from Kellyn Acosta. The Galaxy switched off after a substitution. Again, the opponent was able to penetrate into the box relatively easily. Poor marking gave Acosta a chance to get the shot off.

Los Angeles would then lose to the Portland Timbers 1-0. The lone goal came on a counter attack from the Timbers off a corner. Several Galaxy players did a poor job getting back and no one prevented the distribution. Nathan Smith and Goalkeeper Clement Diop were left out to dry.

They did get their first win against Real Salt Lake, but not before Yura Movsisyan scored on a header. Again, marking on the service could have been better. But Daniel Steres wasn’t able to box out Movsisyan. Credit to the forward on the finish.

Last weekend the Galaxy had a disastrous second half against the Vancouver Whitecaps. First Diop absolutely botched coming off his line on a counter attack. Again, several Galaxy players did a bad job getting back off the set piece. Then Diop gave up a juicy rebound right in front of goal. Freddy Montero was able to capitalize. No Galaxy players were marking him or another Caps player right in front of goal.

Then João Pedro had a poor turn over in the midfield. That allowed Christian Techera to run onto it and find a counter attack. Matias Laba ultimately found the ball and scored with no one closing down on him. To close the game out, Laba was able to capitalize on a rebound. Again, Diop gave up a bad rebound right to an attacker and no defender closed down Laba or cleared the ball out.

Where To Start:

Two systematic issues stick out from the film review. First off, the Galaxy need to get pressure on the opponent on the ball in and around the box. That will close down angles, blocking shots. It will also prevent some shot attempts. After that, the Galaxy need to get back off corners and set pieces. They don’t have as much speed at full back as they have had in the past.

Combined with having some inexperienced full backs (other than Ashley Cole), they are vulnerable. If the players back tracking get pressure on the ball, those long balls won’t happen as quickly. They’ll also get numbers back to help out.

Tough Schedule Coming Up:

The Galaxy host the Montreal Impact this week. After that, they travel to Orlando City SC. Then they host the Seattle Sounders. If the Galaxy can’t get a win this week, it could be some time before they get a result. Cyle Larin has been excellent this season for Orlando. The Galaxy could have another tough home game against Seattle on April 23rd. Teams cannot afford to drop points at home, especially to conference opponents.

Fortunately for the Galaxy, their next game will be April 29th at home against the Philadelphia Union. Philly has yet to win a game this season.

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