Ashley Cole said it best. The Galaxy left back and captain for the afternoon was candid when speaking to the Galaxy Insider following a morale-sapping defeat to the Portland Timbers on Sunday, acknowledging LA are in real danger of missing the MLS Cup playoffs.
All things considered, its not looking good. With twelve games remaining in the regular season, LA sit 3rd to last in the Western Conference, just one point above expansion side Minnesota United FC and nine points behind the San Jose Earthquakes for the final playoff spot.
Even worse, the Galaxy have been in poor form for some time. Winless in eight straight matches, the attack is a disjointed mess and the back line continues to be a mystery. LA have still only won once at the StubHub Center all season.
And yet, there is hope. The Galaxy’s plot strangely resembles the situation Seattle found themselves in last year. Buoyed by a coaching change with Brian Schmetzer replacing Sigi as well as the arrival of Uruguayan DP Nicolás Lodiero, the Sounders went on a late season tear, winning 8 of their final 13 matches en route to capturing their first MLS Cup.
Let’s take a look at LA’s remaining schedule.
Aug. 13 vs. NYCFC
Aug. 23 at Columbus
Aug. 27 vs. San Jose
Sept. 2 vs. Colorado
Sept. 10 at Seattle
Sept. 16 vs. TFC
Sept. 20 at Atlanta
Sept. 24 at Sporting Kansas City
Sept. 27 at Houston
Sept. 30 vs. RSL
Oct. 15 vs. Minnesota
Oct. 22 at Dallas
For the Galaxy, the future is now. Three of the next four matches are at home, all of which are winnable games.
See that brutal five game stretch in September when LA play four away matches in 18 days, including stops in Atlanta and Sporting Kansas City? If the Galaxy can string together a few results now, they have a real chance to go on the road and steal points in some tough venues, and from there anything can happen.
LA do have some positives going for them: Despite their atrocious home record, the Galaxy are an impressive 5-5-1 on the road. The lineup appears to be fully-loaded, with Romain Alessandrini likely available for Saturday’s match and Jonathan dos Santos possibly starting. Perhaps most importantly, Sigi Schmid is an experienced manager capable of turning LA’s fortunes around.
The question is, will he have enough time?