LA Galaxy coach Greg Vanney put his side’s struggles down to a mentality issue after a 3-0 defeat to the Vancouver Whitecaps left them in danger of missing out on the MLS Cup playoffs.
The Galaxy are eighth in the Western Conference after the midweek defeat, which ended a six-game unbeaten run, albeit four of those matches ended as draws.
With only four games of the regular season left to play, the Galaxy could be a big-name team to miss out if they do not get their heads straight, Vanney warned.
“It comes down to execution and I feel like we’ve allowed these opportunities to come into a game where we can execute and move ourselves into a good spot and we don’t get across the line in the way we need to,” said Vanney, whose team might miss out on the postseason for a second successive year.
“Again, it’s a mentality that we have to turn – turning draws into wins and things like that – and it’s time for us to press forward on that. It’s the thing that we discuss a lot with our group: taking that next big step forward to turn possession into attacks, turn attacks into goals, put teams away, move up the table. It’s all the same thing. It’s a mentality.”
Vanney’s sentiments were echoed by defender Derrick Williams, who said: “Our season is on the line now, so we have to do it. If we don’t do it, we don’t deserve it, so let’s go. We’re ready.”
The Galaxy face a Colorado Rapids team that has won their last two matches.
Colorado are two places and a point behind the Galaxy, and coach Robin Fraser said: “It’s been a must-win mentality, we’ve been fortunate to get through the first two and now we have another must-win game.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
LA Galaxy – Riqui Puig
Former Barcelona midfielder Riqui Puig had four shots, albeit only getting one on target, and played two key passes against Vancouver. If LA are to get out of their rut, they need the playmaker to step up and be counter.
Colorado Rapids – Diego Rubio
Diego Rubio scored his 14th goal of the season in Colorado’s win over the San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday. Only Conor Casey (16 in 2009) has scored more in a single regular season in Rapids history.
KEY OPTA FACTS
– The Rapids have not lost any of their last eight MLS matches against the Galaxy (W6 D2), including winning, 2-0, on July 16. Including playoffs, only the Seattle Sounders (2019 – pres.) and the NewYork Red Bulls (2003—06) have ever recorded longer unbeaten runs against the Galaxy in MLS (both nine).
– The Galaxy’s six-match unbeaten run (W2 D4) ended with a 3-0 defeat to Vancouver on Wednesday. The loss ended a run of seven straight matches with a goal for LA who were last shutout in two straight games in September 2021 against Minnesota and Austin.
– The Rapids have won two straight matches, though both of those were at home. Colorado has just one win in its 15 away matches this season (D4 L10) as their seven road points are tied with San Jose for fewest in MLS this season.
– There have been 33 combined goals in the Galaxy’s last seven home matches (20 for, 13 against).
– There have been at least four goals scored in six of those seven matches, including each of the last three.