The Galaxy's time is running out.
They're definitely in the doldrums, but they only have a few games left if they hope to make a run for the playoffs. Even getting into the playoffs will definitely be something that comes with a little bit of help, and they can only hope to squeak in at this point.
There are a few factors that are in play when it comes to the LA Galaxy and their playoff hopes. If you're a fan of the team and want to follow them piece by piece, you'll need to know the storylines that are going to dictate the rest of the season and perhaps beyond.
Their Record Isn't the Best, They're on the Bubble and Don't Have Many Games Left
So the rankings are out and the playoff race is in full swing. At the time of this writing, there are seven games left, so we're going to have to see how a number of things shake out in order to understand if the Galaxy are going to be included in this year's postseason.
As of right now, the Galaxy stand at 10-9-8, which has them at 6th place in the West. This leaves them just on the outside looking in when it comes to hoping for a playoff spot. There's still lots of time for that to change, but not a lot in the grand scheme of things.
The team will need to begin to gel so that they can show that they are better than their record, and to show that they can not only make the playoffs but compete with the teams that they're matched up with once they get there. This will be more about them convincing themselves, rather than convincing anyone else, as so much of playoff soccer revolves around the team buying in and getting the job done.
We'll have to see where they end up and will need to key in on the team chemistry in order to get some indicators of how they'll perform down the stretch. They're already stuck with the tag of a team that is attempting to sneak into the playoffs, so it's important for them to start earning respect by on the field performance.
August Has Been a Rough Month
The worst part about this situation is that the team fell out of grace at the absolute worst time of the season. The Galaxy haven't won a single match in the month of August, which had them free fall down the rankings all the way to 14th as of the time of this publication.
That was a crushing blow for the team, leaving them behind the 8-ball when it comes to trying to make a run toward a championship. The team's highest ranking this season was at 6, so falling back to 14th was a morale hit, to say the least.
The best moral victory that they were able to notch during the month of August was a draw against Los Angeles Football Club, which signified the Galaxy winning this season's series. They're trying to come back to form, so while this is a cap in the feather of sorts, no one in the organization was interested in moral victories.
They're looking to rack up meaningful accolades, which definitely only come in the form of wins and losses. They have their work cut out for them moving forward, so it's crucial that the team get it together moving forward.
Ibrahimovic is Playing Tough
Though the season has been rough, Ibrahimovic has been a bright spot -- one that they will need to get into and thrive within the playoff landscape.
Most recently, he reached the milestone of 499 career goals. As the season reaches its close, Galaxy fans will definitely be excited to see whether or not he'll get the coveted 500th goal. You can expect the energy of the fanbase to go up a few notches if this happens, and securing such an accomplishment could be just what the team needs as they look for every piece of motivation they can get.
He's been carrying the team on his back,
... But Team Morale is Still Low
No matter how you slice it, the Galaxy aren't playing well right now, when it counts. It'll take some tremendous team leadership and coaching to turn it around.
Wins and losses aside, the Galaxy have had problems staying healthy as well. There's a reason why organizations keep the most skilled professionals on staff, including licensed chiropractors, to treat these sorts of injuries in depth. The season is grueling and guys need to stay as healthy as possible to even hope to make a playoff run, let alone make it deep into the playoffs.
It's unfortunate that the Galaxy happen to have gotten hit with the injury bug right when they need to string together some wins -- something the team hasn't experienced since July 29th.
A single win could turn around the fortunes of the franchise, but based on the play on the field, this currently appears to be easier said than done. While the team technically won the series with LAFC, the coaching staff and players alike downplayed this moment and instead said that they have a lot to work on as the season begins to sort itself out the rest of the way.
Defense is a bright spot, but you've got to score to win, and a couple of timely goals can go a long way toward lifting team morale.
Consider these points so that you can follow the rest of the team's season. There are a number of things that must play out so that you are able to get the most out of your viewing experience for the last few games. The Galaxy is still one of the most visible teams in the MLS, regardless of the fact that they are struggling to make the playoffs. These nuances change little by little as moving pieces change, but you'll need to keep pace each day as news breaks and things change.
Let's tune in to the Galaxy happenings for however much season we have left.