Editorial (July 2, 2017) – The LA Galaxy have by far the worst home record in Major League Soccer this year. They are 1-4-3 at home, good enough for 6 home points, about half as good as the next worst record. This has to change for the team to have a good chance at making the playoffs. Let’s break down what isn’t working for the LA Galaxy home form.
Breaking Down What Is Wrong With The LA Galaxy Home Form
To be fair, the Galaxy have been a very different team at home since their April 23rd loss to the Seattle Sounders. Since that game, they are 0-1-3 at home in league play. Prior to that, they lost three of their first four home games. While they’ve stopped a lot of the bleeding, there are still some concerning trends.
Going Down Early:
The Galaxy have given up the first goal in all but two league home games this year. In those two games (April 29th against Philadelphia Union and April 7th against Montreal Impact) where shutouts.
Those goals they have given up also have been due to self-inflicted wounds. Clement Diop has struggled in goal, making mistakes that result in the first goal of the match. There were errors on both goals given up to the Chicago Fire.
After the loss to Kansas City, Ashley Cole said “we’re not getting it together like we are away. we don’t know why, but it’s something we have to look at in the video and change something. It’s not good, but we’ll change it up. I think it’s probably more of an understanding of the game. We set out our game plan with the tactics, and sometimes it probably gets lost in translation.”
As shown in the recent home match against Sporting KC, they know how to fight back in a game. They have trouble putting together a 90 minute performance. Maybe it’s circumstancial and they’re having issues with the tactics like Cole said. Regardless, they have trouble starting games well at home, unlike on the road.
Perhaps It Is All Mental:
When asked about their troubles at home, players and coaches have had trouble explaining. Logically, if they knew what the problem was, they’d have fixed it by now.
“On the road we have another mentality. I don’t know, maybe we have a little bit of pressure cause we play with the fans at StubHub Center. Away, we are free,” Romain Alessandrini said after a win at Colorado Rapids.
Head Coach Curt Onalfo does seem like a player’s coach who can build the narrative of ‘us against the world’ and have his team (post the Chicago Fire game) get behind it. At home, that narrative does not work. Perhaps the team is having a mentality issue with defending home field. On the road they aren’t expected to win, so any result is them stealing points from an opponent. At home, all the expectations are on them.
Maybe they need to just block out the fans and focus on their mentality like Alessandrini said. If they ignore the context of the match being at home, they might be able to play free.