Carson, CA. – The LA Galaxy continued their climb up the Western Conference standings with a come-from-behind, 4-3 victory over Orlando City FC on Sunday night in front of a StubHub Center crowd of 24,941.
They improved to 5-0-4 in their last nine games, 10-7-5 overall and now sit in third place in the West with 35 points behind front-running FC Dallas (42) and expansion side Los Angeles FC (36). But before anyone starts predicting a sixth MLS Cup championship is in the works, not so fast.
“I don’t know,” captain Ashley Cole said quietly when he was asked what the Galaxy have to change after the five-time league titleists came from behind for the fourth consecutive game (3-0-1).
Galaxy head coach Sigi Schmid admitted the recent results have started to take a toll on him.
“I just told the team, ‘We keep doing this I’ll be 90 by the time the season’s over,’ ” he said after his team came from behind three times Sunday. Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored three second-half goals, including the game-winner in the 72nd minute. “It’s great for the fans, great for TV and all that stuff, but it’s really hard on me emotionally.
“I’m not happy that we’re always in the position that we have to come back.”
Orlando City (7-14-1) entered the game without a road victory since a 2-1 win at Colorado on April 29. The Galaxy were coming off Thursday’s emotional, 2-2 tie against LAFC in which they scored two goals in the last eight minutes, and Cole said he feared Sunday’s clash was going to be difficult.
The Galaxy got a positive result, but just barely.
“We go into the game confident but concede sloppy goals,” he said, one of them an own goal by Galaxy center back Michael Ciani that gave Orlando City a 2-1 lead in the final minute of the first half. “Then again we’re back to the start. It’s difficult and it’s hard to swallow, but I stand here in kind of a bad mood.
“At the end of the day yeah, we won the game and we’re climbing up the table. We’ve got to be positive, and if we get better and stop conceding goals we’ll be a good team.”
Cole, however, admitted that might not be as simple as it sounds. The Galaxy have allowed 36 goals, tied with Colorado for fifth-most in the West.
Cole said one thing that definitely must change is the Galaxy’s penchant for falling into early deficits. Orlando City’s Cristian Higuita, for example, opened the scoring in the 18th minute.
“I don’t know if it’s a change in mentality,” Cole said. “Mentally we have to be better right from the start. I can’t remember too many games where we started off really well. Yeah, if we want to keep climbing the table and not kind of rely on Ibra we have to start stopping goals from going in.
“We’re going to have to watch videos and kind of understand why we’re conceding goals, we’re not compact enough or we’re too open. The coaches have to sit down and kind of go over why we keep making mistakes or conceding goals.
“We train hard, we train tactically,” he went on. “I don’t think it’s that. I just think it’s a lapse in concentration sometimes.”