CARSON, Calif. – Dan Steres is in only his fourth season with the Galaxy but already has earned a reputation as one of the five-time MLS Cup champions’ steadiest defenders in the center of a back line that has undergone a number of changes this season.
He’s also earned enough respect to be given the captain’s armband, which Jonathan dos Santos gave to him as he was substituted out late in the second half of Sunday’s disappointing 1-0 loss to the previously winless Colorado Rapids in front of a crowd of 19,015 at Dignity Health Sports Park.
The 29-year-old Steres was proud of the honor and realized what came with it– namely, giving his take as a leader on a team struggling with a four-game losing streak and winners of just one of their last six matches (1-4-1).
“Today I actually thought we came out aggressive and played our game,” he said after watching the Rapids’ Andre Shinyashiki score in the 82nd minute for the game’s lone goal. “The ball just didn’t go in the net.”
It wasn’t quite that simple – the Galaxy, for example, got caught on at least three Colorado counter-attacks, with the last one proving to be decisive – but like the rest of his teammates, he was at a loss for words for what has gone wrong of late.
It wasn’t too long ago the Galaxy were one of the best teams in Major League Soccer. Now, however, they’re searching for answers to rectify their sudden downturn.
“I think we have a really good team here,” he said. “I think we’re playing well. Last week” – when the Galaxy played three matches in seven days – “was a tough week for us, but I think we came back to the drawing board and practiced well, to be honest.
“I thought we came out (Sunday) and played pretty well, the first half for sure. The second half we didn’t come out flat like we had before. We put pressure on them.
“We just kind of played into their hands. It’s a little surprising … we should be doing better than this.”
Steres said he took the captain’s role to heart Sunday – “It’s something I need to do and something I can do,” he said – and added he’s doing his best to help lead his teammates out of their current malaise.
“We’re talking through it,” he said. “Everyone’s a little upset right now. This is not a good loss that we took. Even though we played OK, it’s not like we didn’t play well. There’s other games we played a lot worse.
“It’s just not a good result. We’ve got to talk with each other, we’ve all got to work, lift ourselves up, and get back to it this week because we have another tough week coming up.”