MLS Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, July 7, 2012
(All times Eastern)
Los Angeles (6-10-2) at Chicago (8-5-4), 3 p.m.
Bridgeview, IL (Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Galaxy will try rebound from
successive losses when the club squares off against the Chicago Fire at Toyota
Park on Sunday.
After an abysmal start to the season, the Galaxy looked to be back on track
with three straight wins against the Portland Timbers, Real Salt Lake and
Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
But the reigning MLS Cup champions slipped back into the poor form exhibited
in the first few months of the season, dropping successive results to the San
Jose Earthquakes and Philadelphia Union in disappointing fashion.
The Galaxy held a two-goal lead over the Earthquakes but surrendered three
unanswered goals to lose the California Clasico 4-3. Philadelphia's Michael
Farfan heaped more misery on L.A. by bagging a winner deep into second-half
stoppage time to see the Union claim a 2-1 win at The Home Depot Center on
"We gave the game away [Wednesday]," Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said.
"That's a game we should have walked away comfortably with three points, in my
"Too many chances in the first half that were wasted, poor concentration at
the end of the first half cost us a goal and just an extremely poor effort at
the end of the game to get exposed and to give up the point we worked so hard
The result is largely indicative of the Galaxy's season thus far, often
getting the better of open play but dropping points due to costly mistakes at
"We've lost a bunch of games by a goal, a bunch of games we should have won,"
Arena continued. "We should be a team sitting on 30 some odd points.
"This is not about playing poorly for 18 games, this is about playing poorly
in a couple of spots in 18 games that have cost us severely and [Wednesday],
in my view, there's a bunch of chances we had to take in the first half to
comfortably position ourselves in the game and instead we go to halftime down
Los Angeles heads to Toyota Park at the wrong time as Chicago is in the midst
of a four-game unbeaten run. Most recently, the Fire claimed a hard-fought
point in a scoreless draw with the Houston Dynamo.
Chicago showed a great deal of resolve to hold on to the draw despite managing
less than 40 percent of the possession and playing with temperatures in the
"We wanted to make sure with the players we put in that we played shorter
passes rather than longer passes so we wouldn't get stretched," head coach
Frank Klopas told MLSsoccer.com. "I think it's the same for both teams. We
have trained in this situation in Chicago, but it's difficult when you are
playing three games in nine days."
The impressive four-game unbeaten has seen Chicago stake its claim for fourth
place in the Eastern Conference as the club enjoys a four-point lead over
fifth-place Houston while sitting five points adrift of D.C. United in first
07/06 17:04:37 ET