This had better be the low point. Tonight the LA Galaxy suffered two losses against Colorado: they lost the game, first and foremost, falling 1–0 on a brisk night in Denver — but the bigger setback may be the injury that forced Omar Gonzalez to miss the second half.
LA looked sharp right out of the gates. A string of shots and rebounds in front of the Rapid’s net somehow – somehow – didn’t produce a goal. Seconds later Colorado flipped the tables and came inches from their own early lead. Five minutes in, the game looked electric; it looked like we were in for a battle at both ends of the pitch. But Colorado had other plans.
In the 20th minute Vicente Sanchez received a cross in the box and Leonardo, bizarrely, chose to contain him rather than charge. With time to spare Sanchez chipped both the defender and goalkeeper Jaime Penedo, scoring off a fortunate bounce from the far post.
It’s the second time in as many games that a poor decision by Leonardo has cost LA a goal, and to Galaxy fans it seemed all but certain that he’d be swapped out at the half. Fate – or maybe just bad luck – had other plans. Instead it was Omar Gonzalez who never returned after halftime, pulled from the lineup due to a knee injury.
It’s hard to tell which is more concerning: Gonzalez’s injury, or the fact that after the first five minutes, the Galaxy stopped looking like a team. They seemed unable to build plays out of the back, instead choosing to blindly boot the ball forward. Organization and spacing were a lost cause — too many players were both clumped in the center and pushed too far forward. And yet, even with those numbers up front, LA was always a step behind when trying to crash the goal and finish a cross. At least Omar’s post-game diagnosis was promising:
Bruce Arena post game says that he thinks that Omar Gonzalez "will be fine." #usmnt
— Adam Serrano (@AdamSerrano) May 4, 2014
Sounds like his problem might work itself out. I wish I could say the same for the Galaxy’s quality of play. LA head to Portland next week, and we’ll be eager to see whether this was merely an off-night or if the Galaxy have bigger problems.