Ashley Cole, English International, doesn’t mince words after the season finale in Texas.
After what could have been his final game with the LA Galaxy, 36-year-old defender Ashley Cole didn’t mince words in criticizing the five-time MLS Cup champions after Sunday’s 5-1 loss to FC Dallas in Frisco, Texas.
“If I’m honest, I’m embarrassed for the performance today,” Cole told reporters after the game. “No one fought for each other, no one gave their heart and the scoreline shows again. We lost by four goals.”
Cole, one of the Galaxy’s bright spots in 2017, has been outspoken when necessary. After a four-goal loss in a season replete with lopsided results, he saw no reason to hold back. Sunday’s disappointing performance seemed to have touched a nerve with the English international.
“I’m sick and tired of speaking and saying, ‘We’ve got to do this, we’ve got to do that,’ ” he said. “Season’s done now and people have to look in the mirror. Everyone has to look in the mirror and say, ‘Did they, this season, give enough,’ and we’ll see for next season.”
With his future up in the air and talks for a new Galaxy contract underway – exclusively reported by CoG just over a week ago – Cole may be thinking he has nothing to lose in motivating the team’s younger players.
But his comments should resonate from now until the beginning of training camp in January. He was, after all, the leader in minutes played and was one of the club’s most consistent players.
“In times like this, you need to show character,” he said Sunday. “We go 1-0 up. We play well. Then we concede a goal and everyone seems to go in their shell.
“They don’t want the ball. They don’t want to play. We kind of changed the tactics and the mindset. We’re not a big team. We don’t need to hit long balls. We’re not going to win the first balls, so we need to have an identity to play, and today we didn’t.
“Once again,” he added. “We are in the same predicament, same scoreline, same disappointment.”
Disappointment seems to be a theme for the 2017 Galaxy, which had the fewest wins and fewest points at home in franchise history. The Galaxy also claimed the infamous “Wooden Spoon,” a fan-created prize that goes to the team that finishes last in Major League Soccer.
Regardless of the final result, Cole has left the team with valuable words to play by. Now it’s up to the Galaxy to decide if that’s the kind of attitude it needs going into the next season.