The LA Galaxy saw their season come crashing to an end on Decision Day. Despite putting in their best effort in the 3-3 draw, a last second goal from Real Salt Lake in a separate match meant that they would have to deal with another heartbreak on the regular season finale. It’s something Galaxy fans are unfortunately used to. The way in which the Galaxy missed the playoffs has ignited some strong opinion over how this season went for the club. Many fans feel like this season, as a whole, was a failure. While the expectations around any LA team are high, is it fair to call the season a failure?
Before you can examine a season as a whole, you must first go back to what your expectations were going into the year. Plenty can happen over the course of a season, and that can skew your opinion as a whole. For all the expectations placed on teams in LA, the Galaxy came into the season as a dark house, at best, to make the playoffs. Many writers and analysis had the team finishing anywhere as high as 8th, and as low as 12th, with many falling somewhere in the middle.
The year started off surprisingly well for the G’s. Winners of seven of their first ten matches, and looking good, scoring 17 goals during that time. They finished the month of June as one of the better teams in the conference. They were unable to overcome the Seattle Sounders, who were runaway conference leaders at that point, but they had begun to turn heads around the league.
Injuries and hitting ‘the wall’
Chicharito suffered an injury during the first match of July, which began the slow decline of the Galaxy’s season. However, they were able to withstand the initial blow, and did fairly well to weather the proverbial storm. The real issue was, the team was becoming stagnant. While they weren't going on an extended run of losses, they were going on extended runs without winning. In a conference as tough as the West, especially this season, that was just as bad.
Teams that weren't expected to do much, were suddenly making noise. See the Colorado Rapids, who many had as a team that would be lucky to get into the postseason, yet here they sit, atop the toughest conference in the league come season’s end. The Galaxy were able to string together a decent run of form upon Chicharito returning, but they were never able to replicate their form from the start of the season.
Missing the playoffs = failed season?
Which brings us to the question being asked all over the internet, was this season a failure for the Galaxy? My answer to that is no.
Now, before you rush to click the ‘X’ and close out of this story, hear me out. You want to see a failed season, look no further than up the highway. A team that was picked unanimously to not only make the playoffs, but have the best chance at winning it all. Who then proceeded to finish below the Galaxy, after a disastrous season, and now face the very real possibility of not only their head coach, but marquee signing, walking away from the team. That, is a failed season.
I’ve often said, there is a difference between a disappointing season, and a complete failure of a season. This year for the Galaxy, was the former. Extremely disappointing. After starting off better than anyone expected, the vibe around the team and fans alike was a feeling of renewal. A sense that the Galaxy were finally on the path to being back. It wasn't just missing out on the playoffs, but how they missed out. Hitting the wall, and looking, for lack of a better term, lifeless, for a handful of matches down the stretch. This year was a massive disappointment. Just not a failure.
This team still has an incredible head coach who has proven, with a fully fit squad, can have this team playing top tier soccer. There is some extremely talented youth in Efraín Álvarez and Julian Araujo. Even the likes of Kevin Cabral has flashed potential this season. Not to mention, you have one of the best pure goalscorers in the league, in Chicharito. A player who is still passionate about this team. Who still wants to win it all, and do so with the LA Galaxy. With a foundation like that, the days of disappointment and heartbreak will soon be coming to an end.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!