Apr 6, 2012, 10:15 AM EDT
The weekend biggie in Major League Soccer matches the best team in MLS (at the moment) against the best team in MLS (or so everyone thought).
Livestrong Sporting Park is the venue as undefeated, untied Sporting Kansas City hosts the reeling Los Angeles Galaxy (4 p.m. ET, ESPN).
The Galaxy struggles have topped MLS storylines this year. So L.A. manager Bruce Arena addressed some of the questions springing up around the Home Depot Center on Thursday. He told Extra Time Radio that his team certainly didn’t play well in last week’s 3-1 loss at home to New England.
He didn’t have solutions, exactly, but wasn’t tossing out excuses either. The heavy physical burden of those early, important Champions League matches? No longer a factor, he said.
“I don’t know that you ever chalk up losses to,” Arena told Extra Time. “If we knew why, it wouldn’t have happened. It wasn’t a good day I think need to give New England credit. They played well, they were opportunistic. They worked harder than we did.”
He also addressed the team’s defensive woes, having seen the Galaxy concede 11 goals in five matches (in all competitions). Four of those five matches were at home.
“The mistakes we made can be fixed,” he said of the beleaguered back line. “Some of them are pretty basic. We’ve probably given up one or two goals that may have been good goals, but they are all correctable mistakes, and hopefully over time they will be corrected.”
Arena talked about breaking in A.J. DeLaGarza and Omar Gonzalez back in 2009, about some of the elementary booboos his first-year pros made back then. But here’s the difference:
That team had Gregg Berhalter, whose mentoring presence was a major boon to Gonzalez’s development. (Gonzalez, in fact, won MLS Rookie of the Year, surely due in some part to Berhalter’s tutelage.)
This team doesn’t have a Berhalter. DeLaGarza worked last year as a reliable central partner alongside the dominant Gonzalez, but he’s not a cornerstone figure.
Some of the mistakes might be correctable, but there’s only so much certain individuals can do. Bottom line here: the Galaxy must address its hole at center back, or get a whole lot more work and help out of the midfield.
Saturday is the next big test; if Arena’s men aren’t up for it, Sporting Kansas City has enough ability to take things from bad to worse in a big hurry.
Jul 6, 2015, 3:43 PM EDT
The Turkish international has turned down a move to the Premier League in order to join European champions Barcelona.
Jul 6, 2015, 3:22 PM EDT
Like the heavily-redacted Garcia report, you can’t help but think we won’t have details until we’re watching the court cases and trials of the arraigned.
Jul 6, 2015, 2:19 PM EDT
The striker has signed a three-year deal with the second division side.
Jul 6, 2015, 1:46 PM EDT
The Cosmos B can afford to trot out Nash, considering they are 8-0-1 with a plus-34 goal differential under head coach Alecko Eskandarian.
Jul 6, 2015, 1:09 PM EDT
Plenty of other names are having a waltz through the gossip mill.
Jul 6, 2015, 11:01 AM EDT
Pirlo says an American arrival has been in the cards for a while.
Jul 6, 2015, 10:21 AM EDT
Your move, NYCFC.com. Surely the MLS side is not pleased by the “leak” of the widely-speculated signing, but we bet it’s pretty jazzed to have Pirlo.
Jul 6, 2015, 9:51 AM EDT
Plenty more flag-waving winners, emotional players, and post-World Cup couple smooches leap off the Women’s World Cup wire. Shall we look at a few?
Jul 6, 2015, 9:17 AM EDT
The U.S. women are World Cup champions for the third time thanks to a full team effort that belied its star-first reputation.
Jul 6, 2015, 8:23 AM EDT
CONCACAF lawyer Sam Gandhi’s tone hits all the right conciliatory notes, something that FIFA has been unable to do it in its response under Sepp Blatter.
Jul 6, 2015, 7:57 AM EDT
Despite the love heaped on Clyne and Ryan Bertrand last season, Alderweireld was perhaps only second to Jose Fonte in the Saints’ defensive performance pecking order.
Jul 6, 2015, 6:24 AM EDT
McIlroy looks highly unlikely to be teeing it up at St. Andrews in 10 days time.
Jul 6, 2015, 3:06 AM EDT
The U.S. women always said they would peak at the right moment, and they did exactly that.
Jul 6, 2015, 2:41 AM EDT
Japan came out shockingly flat in the World Cup final, conceding four goals in 16 minutes.
Jul 6, 2015, 1:54 AM EDT
Carli Lloyd said she wanted to be the best in the world. On Sunday, she proved it.
Jul 6, 2015, 1:19 AM EDT
Final: Portland 1-0 San Jose
Jul 6, 2015, 12:31 AM EDT
Take a look at the aftermath of the United States’ World Cup win over Japan.
Jul 6, 2015, 12:03 AM EDT
Abby Wambach longed for a World Cup title for over a decade. On Sunday, she finally lifted the trophy.
Jul 5, 2015, 11:10 PM EDT
Former Manchester United midfielder Nani is prepared for a fresh start in Turkey.
- Official: Andrea Pirlo announces his arrival at New York City FC (video) 8
- GLORY IN PHOTOS: Our favorite shots from the USWNT’s winning evening in Vancouver 1
- CONCACAF lays out reform plan post-scandal: “People are right to be skeptical” 1
- Carli Lloyd proves she’s the Women’s World Cup hero she always knew she would be 1
- Mission accomplished: Abby Wambach gets her World Cup title 1
- United States wins third Women’s World Cup title, beats Japan on record-smashing day 25