The LA Galaxy completed their four-game road trip with a 0-0 draw against their long-time rival DC United at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C., ending their road trip with ten out of twelve possible points.
Roster depth has become an item of concern as of late, with injuries continuing to pile up for the LA Galaxy. Last week alone, two defensive strongholds were lost to injury: goalkeeper Brian Rowe sustaining a groin strain during training and defender Daniel Steres picking up a hamstring injury during LA’s last game against the San Jose Earthquakes. Dave Romney has stepped in several times already this season, so him being asked to fill in as a center back against DC United for the injured Steres isn’t much of a surprise. In a more complicated turn of events, Jon Kempin was the chosen goalkeeper to fill in for Rowe, as his regular backup, Clement Diop, was unavailable attending national team duty with Senegal. Kempin and the Galaxy defense were able to overcome the personnel issues and recorded the team’s third shutout of the season.
“It’s important but you can’t rest on your laurels. And now, lick the wounds, recuperate a little bit and then get back to work and we’ve got to get better. There are things that we’ve got to continue to improve upon and we’ve got a stretch now where we can work on a lot of those things. At the same time, we can give some guys some well-deserved rest that have played a lot of minutes consecutively and we want to continue our momentum and continue to build on what’s been a good stretch for us.” Curt Onalfo, LA Galaxy Head Coach
A lack of cohesion and finishing continues to be a concern for the offensive players this team, as the Galaxy’s defensive players offered more of the dangerous chances in the game than the offensive players did. Romney was able to get forward to connect on several set pieces for the Galaxy for decent opportunities on frame, but Gyasi Zardes and Giovanni Dos Santos were not as effective as one might hope.
Jelle Van Damme picked up a yellow card in the 35th minute, his fifth of the season, causing him to surpass the yellow card accumulation disciplinary threshold and earn a suspension for the Galaxy’s next game on Saturday, June 17th at home against the Houston Dynamo. Midfielder Romain Alessandrini is the other LA player on the yellow card accumulation radar, as he is one yellow card away from earning a suspension. With Dos Santos set to be away on international duty and several players still recovering from injury, the next MLS match against Houston is going to be a test of roster depth, to say the least.
“Both of these clubs have huge histories. To be a part of the LA Galaxy and to get a shutout is obviously great for me. I felt comfortable and I’ve been in this situation before. All of the guys and the coaching staff gave me confidence going into the game, so it actually felt like it was just a normal game.” Jon Kempin, LA Galaxy Goalkeeper
Looking ahead, the LA Galaxy have a much-needed bye week to recover from the heavy travel and slew of injuries that have plagued them over the previous weeks. A midweek US Open Cup Match at home at the StubHub Center Track and Field Stadium against Orange County Soccer Team on Wednesday, June 14th is next, quickly followed by a home MLS regular season match against the Houston Dynamo on June 17th at home at the StubHub Center.