Carson, CA. – Ashley Cole scored his first goal in more than a year on Tuesday night at StubHub Center, but that wasn’t necessarily the Galaxy captain’s favored post-game topic of conversation.
The veteran left back instead was bemoaning another lost opportunity, this one in a 2-2 tie with the Colorado Rapids in front of a crowd of 16,231. The Rapids, who had beaten the Galaxy less than two weeks ago with a goal in extra time, came through late again and earned a draw on a goal in the 83rd minute by Niki Jackson.
So much for Cole’s exploits – the goal, by the way, was his first since July 4, 2017 in a 6-2 loss to Real Salt Lake – but he had plenty to say. And not so much about his scoring play.
“Again we come into the game looking to get three points, and we concede a sloppy goal again,” he said. “It’s disappointing.
“I don’t know what it is. Collectively maybe we’re not giving our all, fighting for every ball and every tackle. Sometimes it shows in kind of the way we concede goals. We’re kind of all over the place at times.”
Cole’s third goal of his Galaxy career occurred when he took a pass from Chris Pontius, dribbled between two defenders and scored in the 59th minute to give the Galaxy a 1-0 lead.
“I just tried to make a run kind of down the line and didn’t get it and I ran inside (the penalty area),” he said. “I’m not too sure who passed it to me.
“I got a good touch, it kind of opened up for me and I had a nice finish.”
The Rapids tied it 15 minutes later on a goal by Edgar Castillo, but the Galaxy regained the lead at 2-1 on Sebastian Lletget’s second goal in two games just four minutes after that. That should have won it, but Jackson slipped past two defenders and the Rapids earned a draw.
Cole was asked if it was difficult to not go crazy figuring out why the Galaxy’s defensive lapses keep occurring.
“I’m gone already,” he said with a laugh. “It’s difficult. At the start of mid-season we were going down and coming back (in games), then the last few weeks we were leading games and conceding silly goals.
“I think we’re disappointed how we’re conceding goals, and we have to change it.”
If that means getting a big nastier – even in training – so be it, he said. He’d even welcome such a change in tactics.
“We’re missing the mentality, the intensity,” he said. “We have to start kicking each other because we don’t kick enough players of the opposition. We’re too soft, we’re too nice to each other. I think that has to change.
“I think we spoke about it before together that maybe we’re too soft on each other. We have a lot of experienced players. We can all take criticism. We can all take a kick up the ass. Sometimes it’s needed.
“I think it’s needed now,” he continued, “because it’s come to the crucial part of the season where we have to find a place in the playoffs, minimum, because picking up the odd point I don’t think is going to be enough. We have to start winning games.”