CARSON, CAlif. – The 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs are upon the LA Galaxy. They play at Minnesota United FC this evening.
LA Galaxy Playoffs: Time to Flip the Switch
The Galaxy have had an up and down season. The offense was able to put up many goals behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic who finished second in the Golden Boot race. The defense however struggled to keep the ball out of the back of the net. This despite lineup rotation and several signings to upgrade the center back position.
LA Galaxy, especially Ibrahimovic, had a nonchalant approach to the regular season. As long as they made the playoffs, the regular season, or individual poor results didn’t seem to bother them. This team, while defensively suspect and very Jakyll and Hyde, believes that they can flip the switch at any moment. As long as they have Ibrahimovic, they’re capable of winning single elimination games.
This is the team that was probably the most inconsistent and still made the playoffs. Week-to-week, there was always a question of which team would show up. Would it be the side that could dominate competitive opponents at home that is still undefeated against Los Angeles FC? Or would it be the team that lost to Vancouver Whitecaps FC and Houston Dynamo to finish the season, giving up eight goals combined.
Ibrahimovic and others would often appear to take games off. In the span of weeks, the Galaxy were twice embarrassed by the San Jose Earthquakes but they showed up for both LAFC games.
The side appeared to need to thing the game was a big either in importance, in narrative, or a significant opponent. No matter the opponent, every game from here on out will be a must win. They can’t take the game off. Even if they think they’re better than Minnesota, or even that the Loons are an unworthy opponent, they have to show up.
There’s been a lot of talk that this team isn’t phased by individual regular season results. They just needed to make the playoffs. Then in needing to win every game, the focused overpowered squad that has four points in two games against LAFC will show up and be able to defeat anyone.
One way or another, we’re going to find out who the real LA Galaxy are and if they’re the sleeping jugernaut the claim to believe they can be.