Jul 27, 2012, 10:55 AM EDT
Now that clouds have lifted around L.A. Galaxy Valley, now that things have moved into a much better place, figures inside the Home Depot Center are starting to open up about what went so wrong in the spring.
Mike Magee isn’t at the top of the Galaxy’s player personnel food chain, but he’s a solid MLS veteran. In fact, the 10-year pro has performed in just two MLS markets – the biggest two, New York and Los Angeles. So he knows something about the place where locker rooms and high-dollar men meet.
So when Magee says this, it resonates:
It was bad. We downplayed it a bit, but it wasn’t like us. There’s a lot of veteran guys and guys like myself that just weren’t performing. We’d all look at each other, and the worst part was we weren’t fighting for each other.
Make no mistake, the Galaxy were shockingly ineffective, beginning their title defense with just three wins in its first 13 games (a 3-8-2 record).
I always say, locker room chemistry is an underrated element of sports. Here’s a case where good chemistry just went sour, for whatever reason.
The reversal came, according to Magee, when the namey names (you know them: David Beckham, Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane) took the blame and encouraged accountability – even when it meant the commoners of the roster calling out the royalty.
When things were sliding, Magee said, “It was kind of maybe walking on eggshells or thinking you couldn’t say something to somebody because you were a younger player. The big-timers on the team stepped up and said, ‘If I mess up, you better say something.’ ”
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