LA Galaxy have to find a balance between urgency and structure if they are to arrest a run of poor results, says Greg Vanney.
The Galaxy are winless in their last five MLS games, and sit fourth in the Western Conference heading into the run-in.
Their last win came on August 14 against Minnesota United, who they face again on Saturday, and after a 1-1 home draw with Houston Dynamo, Vanney conceded his team need to find the right mix as they look to head into the postseason at their best.
“We’ve got to find the emotion and the urgency, and still stay organized and purposeful with what we’re doing,” he said.
“We’re back and forth on that one. We have urgency and intensity but then lose a bit of the structure and what we’re trying to do, and then at times when we have a bit of structure we lack the urgency and intensity in the game, so those two have to get to a balance so that we can find the form that we’re looking for.”
Minnesota, meanwhile, have also won only one of their last six games and have dropped down to eighth in the West, though will still be confident of sealing a playoff berth.
This week, they announced that defender Chase Gasper has signed a new four-year deal.
Head coach Adrian Heath said: “If you look back to when he started for the team, his level of performance has been so consistent. He’s been terrific.
“I always talk about what people put into the football club, he puts something into this football club every single day. Great attitude, great professional, great teammate. We’re so pleased that another player, who we consider one of our own, has decided to commit as well.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Minnesota United – Adrian Hunou
Minnesota has scored just three goals in its last six games, with Adrian Hunou (two goals, one assist) contributing to all three of them.
LA Galaxy – Javier Hernandez
Javier Hernandez scored his first goal since returning from injury in the Galaxy’s draw with Houston, and will be determined to make up for lost time now he is back.
KEY OPTA FACTS
– Playing in his 12th match of the season, Hernandez scored his 11th goal last time out. It ties a club record for most goals scored through a player’s first 12 matches of an MLS campaign, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic (2019), Edson Buddle (2010) and Landon Donovan (2008).
– The last Minnesota goal in which Hunou was not directly involved was scored on August 7.
– Minnesota has never defeated LA Galaxy (D2 L6, including playoffs), losing the last two in a row, including a 1-0 home loss on August 14. The Galaxy are the only team Minnesota has faced more than three times without ever recording a win.
– Minnesota has lost consecutive matches for the first time since losing its first four matches of the season. The four goals Minnesota allowed against Sporting on Wednesday came after conceding just four total goals in its previous six matches.
– The Galaxy have drawn three consecutive matches with 1-1 draws against Houston and Colorado and a 3-3 tie against LAFC, the first time since 2016 that the Galaxy have drawn three straight regular season games.