And it has nothing to do with much-needed rest from a brutal schedule, a change in formation, or the addition of new personnel. It can be summed up in one word – attitude.
That’s what Galaxy striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic alluded to after his team was beaten by visiting New York City FC 2-0 on Saturday in front of a Dignity Health Sports Park crowd of 22,806.
The Galaxy, playing their third game in a week – all losses – allowed two first-half goals, including a penalty kick in stoppage time, and missed a chance at equaling the best home start in franchise history. That mark was 7-0 in the inaugural 1996 season of Major League Soccer.
Head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto on Saturday went with a five-man backline featuring the addition of center back Giancarlo Gonzalez to help offset the loss of midfielder Jonathan dos Santos, who was deemed unable to play because of an injured left hamstring he suffered in last Wednesday’s 3-1 loss at Columbus.
Ibrahimovic asked to assess the team’s productivity in their new alignment Saturday, said it had little effect on the outcome.
But something else apparently did.
“I don’t think it depends on the formation we had,” he said. “it was more about attitude. We were not aggressive. We were soft all over (the field). The second half was better because we had a different attitude and we wanted more.
“The first half today I think was a lack of attitude. In Columbus, it was the same thing … we were too soft from the first minute until the end. New York (Red Bulls) was different (a 3-2 loss on May 4); we were leading, some mistakes happened and that’s why we lost.
“I think the last two games was an attitude thing and we need to react, we need to change and show what we want by attitude. Not by playing quality.”
Ibrahimovic said it all comes down to desire, not only on a personal level but on a team level as well.
“I think that comes depending what you want,” he said. “Either you want it or don’t want it. I can do for myself what I want, and I don’t say I have a high attitude.
“I think it’s collective. It’s all collective thinking.”