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Have the LA Galaxy been mostly tired or just poor lately?

We can test the hypothesis this week.

Portland Timbers v Los Angeles Galaxy Photo by Shaun Clark/Getty Images

The LA Galaxy are mired in a five-game losing streak right now, and having the weekend off unexpectedly after their opponent, the Colorado Rapids, are dealing with an ongoing team coronavirus outbreak, could be a blessing in disguise.

During their previous winning streak this season, LA looked sharp, crisp. They could run, they snapped passes at each other. Their execution was good. And then they slid down a hill and haven’t gotten out yet.

I’ve posited that much of their problem has been fatigue. With the Galaxy often playing every three or four days, Guillermo Barros Schelotto tends to play something close to the same XI game after game and it looks like it’s caught up to the team. How else would you explain how the Galaxy were quick in transition when they first returned to the local phase of play, and their speed has gradually slowed down again to where they are one of the slowest teams in the league?

In particular, Cristian Pavon looks to have gone from perhaps the best player in MLS to an underperforming star in less than two months. What’s different? He looks tired. I mean, sometimes the simple explanation is the right one.

I know many Galaxy fans would disagree with this assessment. Schelotto does not set up the team in a way to succeed, many say, or they just don’t have the right pieces on the roster yet to contend like they should. Some say both of those factors are at play, and I think there is some truth there. I think the team still needs to make some signings to upgrade and Schelotto’s limits as a coach may be shown here.

But I also think we need to see how the Galaxy look Wednesday when they host the San Jose Earthquakes in the 1,000th California Clasico (give or take) this season. With a week between games, will LA have some of that sharpness back? Will they speed up the game instead of dragging? If they can, I think fatigue has been a major factor in the recent skid.

So we’ll see. It’s time to test my hypothesis, and seldom do you get a chance for an experiment like this in the sport of soccer, with one variable changing at a time. Will some pure, unadulterated rest help get the Galaxy back on track, or do the issues run much deeper? We’ll find out how it looks when they hit the field Wednesday night.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.