The LA Galaxy played a lineup to start their preseason clash against the New England Revolution on Wednesday that was entirely, or nearly so, made up of reserves, possibly LA Galaxy II players in 2021.
The result showed in that respect, a 4-1 loss against the New England Revolution marked by two first-half errors to help the Revs grab two goals, before slow decision-making led to two more goals conceded in the second half.
Still, this was a game for some of the youngsters, reserves and unsigned players to have a last chance of impressing head coach Greg Vanney before the Galaxy start to play first-teamers in the preseason games coming up in Tucson.
And as Vanney admitted, this was also a chance for him to figure out if his approach is working with the group.
“In these types of situations we’re seeing what each of these guys is picking up in terms of what we’re trying to do and understanding their roles within the collective group, and then you’re assessing individuals but also the collective, in terms of how people are fulfilling responsibilities and who’s ready for the big games, and who’s understanding the direction we’re going,” Vanney told reporters in the postgame press conference. “Also assessing myself in terms of how much I’m giving them that they’re picking up along the way so that I can sit down and have individual conversations as I did when I’m a little late [to the press conference] is talking with guys about the individual things and decisions and things that they need to be reading in the game.”
Vanney said he inverted his lineup, essentially, starting what would normally be the 2nd half group on Wednesday and bringing the “starting group” in after halftime. He said aside from the defensive miscues leading to Revolution goals, he thought the starting XI played pretty well overall.
But still, Vanney admits he’s working on how best to get his point across to this new group of players.
“Well, my assessment [on myself] is on how guys are understanding, we looked at defending a slightly different way and the second half to try to take certain things away from them,” he said. “I felt like I maybe unbalanced the guys a little bit, they were overthinking it and they weren’t as as natural and fluid, and I thought they were kind of second guessing themselves in some of the decisions. And when they get on the field and what I’ve said to them when you get on the field you have to read what the game gives you, and you have to problem solve yourself, what we’re giving them as a structure and a concept, but then when the opposition starts to do different rotations and different things we’ve got to be able to adapt within the game as well. So I felt like we struggled a little bit to adapt and we weren’t in our free-flowing thinking mind, I think we were over kind of overthinking it and almost paralyzed in some ways, too, in the decision-making side of things and that led to a little bit of a lack of an intensity and never really catching the speed of it.”
While LA plan to keep adding players, Vanney acknowledged that at this point, the timeline is getting longer on bringing aboard more newcomers.
“It’ll be a challenge [to add more players before the season opener on Apr. 18],” Vanney said. “Just because of the timing to finalize visas and then go through the quarantine protocols, but our hope is somewhere between the first day and hopefully the second or first game and second game we might be adding something. We’ll see. We’re starting to get a little bit more into where we’re at with those guys with additions in terms of announcements and additions and things like that so we’re hopefully we’re getting close.”
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