After the Vancouver beating, Peter Vegenas described LA's performance on the post game show as complacent, along with less desirable words like outworked and out-hustled.
I'm not so sure "complacent" is the right word to use. Robbie Keane might have a problem with that, for one. But is this 2015 Galaxy team suffering from fatigue?
During the 2014 MLS Cup playoffs, the LA Galaxy played 497 minutes of extra soccer over a 40 day period. Considering the Galaxy team reported to training camp on Jan. 22nd, just 35 days after the season ended, this effectively means LA had half the off-season rest of some teams.
It's common knowledge that foreign players can sometimes struggle to adapt to the league and the various rigors of a long MLS season. Now look at Stefan Ishizaki, a 32 year old who's played in Europe his entire career and just finished his debut year with the Galaxy. Coincidentally, Ishi has had a poor start to the season. Could fatigue be a contributing factor?
"I think the hardest thing to do after winning a championship is forgetting about it. I think that's the hardest thing to do, is to sort of put that out of your mind and realize that doesn't get you anywhere this year."- Todd Dunivant
Winning MLS Cup last year was such a tremendous achievement for a club already decorated with plenty of history. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Overcoming all the adversity the Galaxy faced to win the cup and allow Landon Donovan to gracefully ride off into the sunset felt like something out of a Disney movie.
But when you put so much heart and soul into a season as the Galaxy players collectively did, it can sometimes be difficult to re-charge the batteries. Obviously the guys want to win. AJ DeLaGarza is saying the right things in training (See: Sean's last piece), and Robbie Keane is certainly doing everything he can to motivate the team, including dropping a few F bombs during that goal celebration.
However, the question remains: With less at stake this year, can the Galaxy maintain that focus and hunger to be the best in MLS?
No Landon and Marcelo fatigue
With a record of 1-2-2 and currently riding a four game winless streak, the Galaxy are off to their worst start in ears. And yet, there seems to be a commonly held belief among fans and pundits alike that LA just has to turn it on halfway through the season.
Yes, you're spoiled. No, you'll be fine - 55-60 points and a 4-seed. RT @PatCassa are us spoiled LA fans in for a long season?— Matthew Doyle (@MLSAnalyst) April 5, 2015
The stats back this assertion up, and it's true the Galaxy usually start off slow. But there's two confounding variables.
1) No Landon Donovan and Marcelo Sarvas
2) The rest of the league is stronger this year
Aside from Colorado, hard to figure out who's good & who's bad in MLS.— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) April 6, 2015
More competitive teams plus more playoff spots means it might be harder for the Galaxy to pick up points during the second half of the season when they could possibly need them the most.
Will the Galaxy be ok? My gut feeling says yes, but with Steven Gerrard having to get acclimated to the team right when LA is supposed to be turning on the jets, the transition may be more difficult than we expect.