By Alex Baker
“It’s a bit of a broken record,” admitted LA coach Bruce Arena, who seemed to have reached new levels of frustration and irritability in the post-match press conference.
“We haven’t found the player that can consistently get us goals,” said the coach. “There’ve been plays when the balls gotta end up in the back of the net and it isn’t, and it’s costing us dearly.”
New York’s match-winner came in the 19th minute, courtesy of Joel Lindpere who got off a shot under pressure from the edge of the 18, beating Galaxy keeper Bill Gaudette at the far post to make it 1-0.
Lindpere’s effort was the Red Bull’s sole shot on goal of the match. The Galaxy meanwhile registered a total of five shots on target but were unable to find the back of the net once.
As the catalog of missed chances mounted up the match began to feel like a microcosm of the Galaxy’s season thus far.
“I think it’s getting even more frustrating week after week” said LA midfielder David Beckham. “We had our chances, we didn’t finish the chances off that we had. We got sloppy in defense with a couple of plays. Obviously it’s disappointing to lose at home again.”
Having gone undefeated at home all last season, Saturday’s loss was their third at the Home Depot Center this year.
“It’s something that we were proud of last year, having our home ground as somewhere where it was tough to come and play against us,” said Beckham. “That obviously went the first time we lost this season and it’s continued. It’s something we want to change because we want to make it hard for teams to come here and play and right now teams and individuals are coming here and enjoying it.”
New York were without their star player and leading goalscorer Thierry Henry along with other key players, Rafa Marquez and Teemo Tainio. Still they put in an organized and disciplined performance, managing to defend a 1-0 lead for 70-plus minutes.
The Galaxy built last term’s championship season largely around getting a single goal and shutting down the opposition. However coach Arena bristled at the suggestion that New York had beat them at their own game.
“All this horseshit about 1-0 this or that that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard in my life,” said Arena. “New York would gladly take a 1-0 win tonight. Any time you win by a goal you should be thrilled.”
While the Galaxy’s early-season defensive frailties seem to have been rectifed, they’re currently suffering from a serious problem with converting opportunities on goal; which is surprising considering that on Saturday night they fielded a squad that in addition to Buddle and Keane, included Landon Donovan, Pat Noonan, and Mike Magee.
“In the early going, we made some defensive mistakes for sure,” admitted Arena. “But we’ve produced enough chances to score more goals this year and haven’t gotten it done. Whatever that reason is you’ve got me because there’s been enough chances since early March for us to be scoring more goals.”
With a record of 3-5-1, the Galaxy currently sit third from the bottom of the Western Conference table and desperately need to find their winning ways when they travel away to face Montreal Impact next Saturday.