For the second game in a row, the LA Galaxy left themselves open to a double-whammy against a rival that proved too costly to come back from.
In last Friday’s El Trafico clash at Banc of California Stadium, the Galaxy conceded two goals in two second-half minutes to fall 3-1 behind, ultimately losing 3-2.
This time, against Cali Clasico rivals the San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday, they fell behind to a Cristian Espinoza penalty in the 13th minute, only to see their deficit doubled pretty much from the restart. By half-time, it was 3-0 to the Quakes, meaning Dejan Joveljic’s second-half brace was pure consolation.
Head coach Greg Vanney didn’t hold back after the match, pointing out just how costly and ‘unacceptable’ these lapses in concentration are for his team.
“The first half was embarrassing,” Vaney told reporters. “I actually thought we got off to a decent start for the first 10 minutes or so. And then, we just, we commit a silly penalty kick. It’s just clumsy.
“And then, I think off the kick-off, in less than 60 seconds, we give a second one back, which is the second game in a row we’ve given up two goals back to back in less than two minutes. Which is unacceptable. It’s embarrassing. And it digs a hole for ourselves that makes the game very difficult.”
The Galaxy’s credit, they’ve responded well to setbacks throughout this season. However, their defensive misgivings and periodic lapses are presenting mountains too hard to climb.
LA are now seventh and only safe in the MLS Cup Playoff spots by one point. Things need to change soon if they’re to avoid missing out on the post-season for the second campaign in a row.
“I said this to the guys… there’s too many of these discussions, especially at home, when we are talking about getting ourselves behind, and then we have a great response, but the response hasn’t been good enough,” Vanney added.
“We’re seeking just that reliability from each guy as we step onto the field in place. Every game. Because that’s what professionalism is about. And we need that. We can’t just make mistakes. It’s not acceptable anymore. Mistakes are putting the team in a hole, and making it very difficult to get ourselves out.”
The Galaxy are back in action against the Colorado Rapids on Saturday.