Sebastian Lletget talks about matching San Jose’s “intensity” while Guillermo Barros Schelotto focuses on getting point quickly!
The bottom-feeding LA Galaxy are losers of five games in a row and sit comfortably in last place in the Western Conference, but the five-time MLS Cup champions aren’t necessarily feeling sorry for themselves.
Head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto said they’re too busy trying to salvage a season that has been on a three-week, downward spiral rather than wallow in their self-imposed mediocrity.
“We don’t have time to give up or get down because we lost some games,” he said as the Galaxy prepared to take on the San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Dignity Health Sports Park (Spectrum SportsNet). “We won four games in a row, now we lost five games in a row.
“We need to try to figure out our problems and keep working. We need to just work and get better.”
The Galaxy, who also will host the Vancouver Whitecaps at home on Sunday, will attempt to take the first step toward what they hope will be a reversal in fortunes when they face the Earthquakes for the fourth time this season. The Galaxy (4-8-3, 15 points) and ‘Quakes (5-7-5, 20 points) each have a victory in three previous meetings; the sides battled to a scoreless draw on Sept. 13 in San Jose.
Galaxy midfielder Sebastian Lletget, who has six goals and two assists this season, said he has learned a lot — sometimes the hard way — about the team’s California Clasico rival.
“They’re a physically really tough team to play against,” he said. “They’re very fit, not afraid of getting to a tackle. They’re very aggressive. I think when you play teams like that, as much as you want to play pretty I think more than anything you have to match their intensity.
“I think that’s something we’ve spoken about. Maybe at times we did. Maybe at home I think we did very well. But the two times away we felt they had a little more of an edge on us in that sense. I think that’s something we can definitely get better at tomorrow and I think once we do that I think our skill level and our ability will take over.”
The Galaxy, whose previous game against Colorado was postponed because of a positive Covid-19 test on the Rapids, are expected to have available Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, who missed a 6-3 loss to Portland on Oct. 7 to be with his wife, who had just given birth to a daughter.
Schelotto said he was more than happy to welcome back Hernandez, who otherwise has been a major disappointment with just one goal in eight appearances.
“Obviously we’ll be much better because we have him. He’s a wonderful player,” Schelotto said. “We have him ready to play tomorrow, but we need him and the others, too.
“It’s not just about if he scores or not. We need the team to work very well and give us options.”
Also expected to potentially have an impact against the Earthquakes, winners of three of their last four matches, is recent acquisition Yony Gonzalez, who joined the team in August and has played a total of 46 minutes in two appearances.
“He’s an animal,” Lletget said of the Colombian winger. “I’ve seen him in training, He’s a physical specimen. He’s not shy, he’ll fight with defenders, he has a bit of pace about him, he’s aggressive.
“I really like that about him. Obviously he’ll get a lot more time, so we can all get used to his style of play.”
Whether Gonzalez plays or not, Schelotto said the significance of Wednesday’s match cannot be under-estimated.
“It’s important for our future … talking about playoffs,” he said. “We have two less games than them, we have a five-point difference. If we beat them we will be very close to the position we are looking for.”