Carson, CA. – There’s no question frustration is setting in on the LA Galaxy, and Ola Kamara perhaps unfairly could be feeling the brunt of it.
The Galaxy acquired Kamara in an off-season trade in hopes of sparking the offense, but results have been hard to come by.
Saturday’s 2-0 loss to Atlanta United in front of a sellout crowd of 25,846 at StubHub Center was a perfect example of an offense that is looking, well, offensive at the moment. Kamara, who recently signed a three-year contract worth a reported $1 million a year, was credited with three shots on goal but none were on target.
In fact, the only player to officially have a shot on target was Romain Alessandrini, last year’s leading scorer with 13 goals and 12 assists.
“It’s a huge disappointment,” Kamara said. “We had a good week of training.”
Kamara hasn’t scored since a season-opening, 2-1 win over the Portland Timbers on March 4 and is one of five players with only one goal. Recent acquisition Zlatan Ibrahimovic leads the team with three goals. The Galaxy (3-3-1) have scored only eight goals and haven’t had multiple goals in a game since their 4-3 victory over Los Angeles FC on March 31. They sit tied for the league’s fifth-worst offense.
In case anyone is wondering, honors for the worst offense in Major League Soccer goes to winless Seattle (0-3-1), which has just two goals this season. Next is defending MLS Cup champion Toronto (1-4-0) with four.
Kamara may be getting his share of criticism for his lack of scoring and an inability to click with Ibrahimovic, but Galaxy head coach Sigi Schmid took offense to that line of thinking.
“Well, hold on,” a frustrated Schmid told reporters after Saturday’s game. “With Ola, he’s doing so much dirty work for the others.
“Ola has sacrificed his game for the team. He’s coming back in midfield, he’s defending for others who aren’t coming back. And as a result of that, he’s taken himself out of position.
“He had a couple of headers where he was very close, and he was almost through on another opportunity,” he continued. “He’s still creating chances. But he’s sacrificing himself for the team, which is something as a team we have to do in order for us to play our best.”
Kamara did, indeed, have chances Saturday. Among them was a bicycle kick from deep in the Atlanta penalty area in the seventh minute that went high over the crossbar and a volley from 20 yards that went just wide of the Atlanta goal in the 39th minute.
“Today was frustrating for me,” he said. “I had a couple of shots, I had chances, but they didn’t go in.
“For me, that’s very frustrating.”
Kamara said his and the Galaxy’s lack of scoring aren’t for a lack of trying.
“We always want to go out, create chances and score a lot of goals,” he said. “This is something we’re going to address in the week. We have to get together because we aren’t scoring goals.”
Kamara also said he isn’t worried about an offense that isn’t clicking at the moment.
“I think it’s a process,” he said. “It’s not a crisis, but I think we have to talk about it and work hard to get better at it.”