But if the five-time MLS Cup champions think their climb up the Western Conference standings — they’re 1-3-2 for five points and currently 11th, ahead of only winless Houston — figures to get any easier after securing their first victory of the season, they better think again. A look at their upcoming schedule is a harsh lesson in reality.
It starts with Wednesday’s match against reigning MLS Cup champion Seattle (3-1-2, 11 points) at Dignity Health Sports Park (8 p.m., Univision), followed by Saturday at home against San Jose; Wednesday, Sept. 2 at Portland; Sunday, Sept. 6 at home in a rematch with LAFC and Sunday, Sept. 13 at San Jose.
That’s five games in only 18 days. It normally would be enough to leave players shaking in their boots, but Galaxy goalkeeper David Bingham prefers it that way.
“Our team actually likes the schedule for us,” he said Monday. “We’re actually playing Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday, Wednesday, Sunday and then the following Sunday. As players it’s almost more enjoyable … you play a game, you have a couple of days to recover and then you play another game, a couple of days to recover and then another game.
“The best part of being a professional soccer player is playing in a game. When the games are sped up like this obviously recovery is a big part of it, but we’re playing games, that’s what we want to do, and you look forward to that.”
Center back Dan Steres, one of several Galaxy defenders who played superbly against LAFC, said trying to sustain momentum after such a quick turnaround will be a challenge.
“It’s going to be a lot of games coming up real quickly, so momentum can play a factor,” he said. “For us the two weeks” — after they returned from the MLS Is Back tournament in Orlando, Fla. — “more than game planning for just one game it was kind of resetting and figuring out how we’re going to be best as a team.
“We can say that’s all fixed and we got it right, but it’s just one game and we have to continue it. It’s good to have another game this quickly because we can continue what we were doing instead of sit back and think on things.”
Schelotto admitted some concern over a lack of preparation for Wednesday as opposed to the two weeks his side had to prepare for LAFC.
“We were working during the weeks before for that game. We had time to prepare for it,” he said. “Now we have just two or three days and need to be ready. Everyone is ready and in a really good mood for Seattle.
“They’re a really good team, good coach. It’s another big step for us.”
Seattle, by the way, doesn’t have it any easier. The Sounders haven’t won at Dignity Health Sports Park since a 3-0 victory on April 23, 2017 and are coming off a 3-0 win at Portland on Sunday at Providence Park.
“Seattle has a harder turnaround than we do,” Bingham said, “but once the whistle blows we’ve got to be ready to fight and we have to come out with the same intensity we had against LAFC and we’re on our home field.
“We’ve got to get points and start climbing the leader board again.”