Carson, CA – Your LA Galaxy took a major step backwards tonight. It’s that simple. While the fans have been happily singing the praises of Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan and all their goal scoring prowess, quietly the Galaxy have been doing something that bad teams do. They have forgotten how to score.
Looking back on the recent goal scorers it’s been Robbie and Landon. Landon assists to Robbie. Robbie assists to Landon. Keane finds Donovan on the break. Donovan finds Keane at the top of the box. Oh, and Omar Gonzalez heads it home.
But who else has scored? The last goal scored by someone outside of the designated players was on July 20th by Gyasi Zardes who netted the 2nd goal of a 2-1 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps (the first goal in that victory was scored by Jose Villarreal).
And in that time the Galaxy DP trio have combined for 11 goals. Thats six goals for Keane. Four goals for Donovan and one goal for Gonzalez. The assists come from lots of places, but the goals only come from two (we’ll give Omar a breather on this conversation. He is a defender after all).
Where has the midfield been? Where have the goals from the wings gone? Where is the offense when Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan aren’t there? And what happens if they are there and some team figures out a way to stop the dynamic duo from scoring?
Marcelo Sarvas has 4 goals this year. I’ll take that. In a heart beat. Marcelo has to play both sides of the ball and he’s a major distributer. So asking for more goals out of Marcelo is difficult. But what about his strike partner, Juninho?
Juninho is a guy who used to launch long range shots. He used to find goals that were thought to be too far from goal to be a threat. But he has zero goals this year. Is it because of his defensive responsibilities? Sure, but he’s getting far enough forward to be dangerous. Where is that “with no regards to humanity” strike? It’s missing.
Zardes has been getting a lot of playing time, so where are his goals? Most of them are probably in the center of the Angel City Brigade. His accuracy – well can we call it accuracy – is not, very accurate. Read an article from LAGConfidential.com and you see that before this game he converted on a whopping 5.2% of his shots. Add his two shots from tonight and thats 60 Shots and only 3 goals ( a 5% conversion rate).
Is Gyasi young? Yes! But is that an acceptable effort from a young player? Great question. I don’t have the answer.
There are seven games left to this 2013 MLS season. Thats four games at home (Seattle, Chivas, Montreal, San Jose) and three games on the road (DC, Portland, Seattle). Not a daunting schedule, and one in which the Galaxy get to control their destiny. And if Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan keep scoring in these games, will we all forget what happens when they don’t? Will the playoffs end early for the LA Galaxy?
Let’s not fool ourselves, this all comes down to the playoffs. While the Galaxy aren’t in trouble of missing the playoffs, they certainly can’t coast through the final games. But there will come a time in the playoffs, with Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan being blanketed by a good opponent that someone will stop them. Some team will finally say “We stopped Landon and Robbie Keane.” They won’t give the common answer of “when the Galaxy are good, and Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan are on you can’t stop them.” They will just stop them.
So when this team stops the Keanovan (That’s Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan combined), who will score?