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Mailbag: On Guillermo Barros Schelotto and staying sane in shutdown

Some LA Galaxy talk and some not-Galaxy talk.

MLS: Los Angeles Galaxy-Javier Chicharito Hernandez Press Conference Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Mailbag time! I asked for random questions, didn’t have to be LA Galaxy-related, on my personal account, but I got a good Galaxy question, so we’ll do a bit of both.

I was excited when the Galaxy hired GBS. Now? ... meh. No creativity on attack, hasn’t fixed the back. Got any thoughts? - Steve Davis

Thanks, Steve. Love your work on FC Dallas broadcasts. Here goes.

I think the “meh” belief is right. With a two-game sample size in his second season with the Galaxy, it’s not entirely fair to make full sweeping conclusions about Guillermo Barros Schelotto just yet. He does need more time with the team playing games before we can make any definitive calls here.

But I think the timeline for a grace period might be closing, if the Galaxy struggle when MLS resumes. Last year, there was a refrain that Schelotto and Dennis te Kloese needed time to craft a coherent roster, and that makes sense.

We’re barely out of that stretch, but aside from adding Chicharito (a big one!), Sacha Kljestan and Emiliano Insua, the roster is largely the same from last year.

So that puts the spotlight back on Schelotto, and with LA going 0-1-1 this season, with a sour loss at home to the Vancouver Whitecaps, projected to finish at or near the bottom of the Western Conference this year being the last game action for them, the scrutiny is increasing. Schelotto seems truly locked in on crossing as the primary attacking strategy, which seems out of place in the current state of the sport and frankly doesn’t seem to fit with the current personnel. To me, this is the big concern.

In contrast, the defense seems pretty decent through two games? Consider the opponents, I know, but a goal a game conceded is pretty good. It’s not perfect, but Insua has been solid and fellow newcomer Nick DePuy has been a bright spot on a season that hasn’t had too many so far for LA.

I think barring Ron Jans-style racism controversies, all MLS coaches will get the benefit of the doubt whenever the games restart, since the season will effectively have to start all over in terms of working with players as a team and building up chemistry and match fitness. If LA make the playoffs, Schelotto is likely safe until next year.

But if things are shaky for a real run of games in whatever the 2020 season turns out to be, I wouldn’t be shocked if Schelotto’s seat burns up. He still has a chance to settle and build a legit contender, but the year and change doesn’t show an effective style of play generally, and the attacking concerns in particular have to be a real worry at this point. To be determined.

Next up:

What’s one thing, big or small, that’s keeping you sane during this time? - Pardeep Cattry

Thanks Pardeep, big fan of your work as well.

I am a total noob, but I started getting into yoga in recent months. One thing about it has worked in my favor — I’ve been learning how to do it at home, with apps on my phone. Since I hadn’t ventured out to go to a class yet, I can keep my routine of doing it in my bedroom just about every day.

Again, I’m new at this, but yoga is helping my body, but it also gives me a part of my day where I can relax and focus on me for a few minutes. I’m working pretty much the same as normal, so I don’t have extra downtime (not complaining), I’m a mother and we recently got a puppy, so I keep very busy everyday. Getting a chance to stretch and pose, take some deep breaths and settle myself, has been a huge help in getting through the days and not getting too high or too low while being stuck at home.

One more, this one also from Pardeep:

A soccer stadium you’d like to visit (you know, when going outside is normal again)?

More like which soccer stadium don’t I want to visit, haha. But seriously, I’ve been to pretty much all the main venues in Southern California, but not much beyond that. I’d pretty much love to take in a game in Europe, literally don’t care where, it would just mean we’ve been able to get out and I’d get to go to Europe for the first time.

One random pick more locally is the Philadelphia Union’s stadium, now called Subaru Park. Have heard mixed things from it, but the stadium next to the water with a giant bridge in the background makes it one of the most interesting environmental touches around the league. Based on the other side of the country, I’d love to go to a Union home game one day.

Thanks for your questions! We’ll do another mailbag before long. If you have questions for next time, feel free to leave them in the comments below!