The LA Galaxy fell 2-0 to New York City FC on Saturday night and are looking at missing the postseason for the first time since 2008. But there's more than just a scoreline to consider. Let's go through some storylines, both big and small, that popped up during the 21 shot performance from the Galaxy and the subsequent conversations that were had following the game.
The answers aren't coming easy for the Galaxy and Daniel Steres isn't someone to hold back his frustration.
“I don’t think we deserved to lose it," Steres told LAGalaxy.com's, Larry Morgan. "Their ‘keeper stood on his head tonight. I don’t know how many shots we had on target, but we had near 10, if not more. We just couldn’t find it. It’s just not going our way. They got a couple of shots and they get a couple of goals.”
The Galaxy had five shots on goal for the game but had another four shots blocked before they reached NYCFC's, Sean Johnson.
It almost seems as if their just destined to be unlucky in 2017.
“Yeah, most things are going against us right now, one day it’s got to change, it can't stay this way at home," Galaxy defender Ashley Cole said after the game. "I don’t think it’s gonna carry on the whole season, it’s difficult to take after the first half performance.”
“There’s no real way to explain it," Steres Added. "We dominated that game and absolutely deserved to win. We had chances to win it," Steres confessed. "If you want to call it a rut, call it a rut. Unlucky, call it that. Whatever you want to call it, it’s just not happening right now.”
But Cole was adamant at the end. "For me, I think you make your own luck. Sometimes the ball hits you in the back of the head and it goes in the goal… We need to take our chances, everyone."
GOALKEEPING – BRIAN ROWE
Both goals in the game came from outside the box and were against the run of play. The Galaxy gives up turnovers in bad parts of the field allowing for quick and dangerous counterattacks. And when David Villa is on the end of one of those, bad and beautiful things can happen.
But was Galaxy goalkeeper Brian Rowe at fault on the long range shots? Could he have done better? Rowe certainly seems to think so.
“I just saw it late. I just saw Jermaine [Jones] was in front of him [Jonathan Lewis] and tried to see the ball coming off his foot. It went up and over," Rowe said after the game. "A game like that where we have a lot of momentum going forward and a lot of opportunities and I don’t see a lot of action down there … it’s one I need to make a save on.”
And Galaxy Head Coach Sigi Schmid seemed to agree both about the timing of the goal and that Rowe should've done better.
"It’s a bad goal to take. The first goal is a horrible goal to take. Those are the kind of goals that deflate a team. Now you take the air out of the balloon, so it becomes harder. No one is going to be harder on himself right now than Brian, in regard to that goal. We’re certainly here to support him, but things like that change games.”
Speaking off the record, someone close to the team reaffirmed the remarks from Schmid telling Corner of the Galaxy that "the 'keepers got to do better on both [goals]."
It should be noted that Schmid was very direct after this loss. He didn't hesitate to call out Gyasi Zardes (READ OUR RECAP), and in this case, he didn't pull any punches on Brian Rowe.
Will the Galaxy be shedding some goalkeepers in the offseason? You can almost count on it. Jon Kempin may be the only name that remains after what most reporters expect to be another cull of players and salary after the year. We'll have to see how contracts figure into that.
JELLE VAN DAMME
It's becoming more and more apparent that the Galaxy are likely to move Jelle Van Damme in the coming days. Perhaps without getting a replacement lined up.
With the loss to NYCFC, it's pretty apparent the Galaxy has a steep uphill climb to even think about getting in the playoffs. Why waste the money and the time to find a short term replacement when you can just look for a long term fit in January?
We'll have to wait and see what this week brings. The Belgian transfer window closes at the end of the month.
JONATHAN DOS SANTOS
Jonathan dos Santos made his home debut for the Galaxy going 90-minutes and playing a stable role in a midfield that needs his movement both going forward on offense and backward on defense. Schmid told reporters, after the game, that he didn't expect Jonathan dos Santos to go 90-minutes. Said that he thought they'd only get 45-minutes out of him.
“I still have a long way to go. I've only had four training sessions with the team and one game after being inactive for a month," Jonathan told reporters after the match. "I will gain my normal rhythm little by little. It is true that today wasn't my best game, I still need to gain a lot of my rhythm. However, that is why I'm here, to work hard, to demonstrate my level of play.”
He does seem to be a calming influence in the midfield despite, at times, giving up the ball too easily. But for a guy who has been inactive for the past month, he will be afforded a little bit of time to get going. He's more than a small upgrade at that position.
PELE VAN ANHOLT
Pele Van Anholt has played his third game for the Galaxy and he's flying mostly under the radar. And that's exactly what you want from a defender. Besides his audacious full-volley that he attempted just before halftime, he's a been a solid pickup from the Galaxy's front office – even if you want to criticize them for putting the club in that situation in the first place (Robbie Rogers injury and AJ DeLaGarza trade).
But CoG can confirm that Van Anholt is on a six-month contract with a team option to extend for another year at the end of the season. Based upon everything seen so far, and looking at the likelihood of Van Damme and Cole ending their time with the Galaxy this year, Van Anholt is nearly a lock to get that extension.
Jermaine Jones picked up a nasty little injury during the game. He told reporters that he received three stitches underneath his big toe on his right foot.
“I felt like something happened with my shoe and when I took it off it looked good but then when I came in at half time it was filled with blood," Jones told the reporters scrum after the game. "I had a big cut underneath my toe, we made it numb at half time and I kept going”
Not for the faint of heart, Jones posted a picture of the injury, before the stitches, on his Social media accounts.
Jones said that it felt a little weird to play on in the second half, but that it didn't bother him.