This had better be the low point. Without Omar Gonzalez or Robbie Keane, the LA Galaxy’s patchwork lineup gave Orlando City a unique opportunity to hit the reigning champs, hard. The Lions took full advantage, running rampant over the visiting side to the tune of 4–0.
“We were awful on the day,” said LA head coach Bruce Arena afterward. “I had 14 players that played and I thought about three of them played in an acceptable manner. We were outplayed all over the field. Really, there’s not much you can say.”
For eagle-eyed fans, the first sign of trouble came before the starting whistle. Baggio Husidic lined up at left back, playing out of position in a long-shot attempt to field a workable back line. But it was Tommy Meyer who had the worse game, playing a direct role in at least two of Orlando’s goals.
”I had 14 players that played and I thought about three of them played in an acceptable manner. We were outplayed all over the field.” —Bruce Arena
The opening goal, however, is one where there’s little blame to spread. In the 12th minute Orlando put together a beautiful sequence that made one of the prettier goals this season. It started with Rafael Ramos’s pinpoint cross to Brek Shea. Shea headed the ball back across the six in a plum arc that found Eric Avila, whose sharp header zipped past Galaxy keeper Jaime Penedo. Seriously, this goal was a beaut.
While the Galaxy struggled to mount anything resembling an attack, Orlando struck again. With ten minutes to go in the first half, Tommy Meyer found himself as the last line of defense against Kaká. Meyer attempted a slide — a dubious idea at best — but worse, he missed. Kaká squared the ball off to Cyle Larin, who buried his shot and put the Lions up 2–0.
A questionable PK call and a shot from a distance gave Orlando two more tallies in the second half, but truthfully LA never got back into the game. Galaxy fans have to hope that this weekend was a fluke — but even if the absences of Robbie Keane and Omar Gonzalez are to blame, this is a shallower team than in years past.
AJ DeLaGarza summed it up best. “I’ve been here 7 years and probably the worst game,” said the defender. “We’re definitely angry. No one likes losing — especially when we are representing the Galaxy. It’s just not who we are.”