A flurry of offseason moves that lead to the LA Galaxy letting go of their experienced stars to usher in a new era full of youth has not gone according to plan. Injuries, inconsistency and international duty have hampered the success of the 2017 MLS season.
A youth-laden squad has struggled for consistency and good play on the pitch and the frustration is building up. The Galaxy was eliminated from the US Open Cup by their San Jose Earthquakes in a very lopsided 3-1 defeat.
Team captain Jelle Van Damme was thoroughly disappointed with his team’s performance according to Adam Serrano of LA Galaxy:
“Everyone has to put themselves in front of the mirror and start stepping up,” Van Damme told reporters after the defeat. “Old, young, experienced, inexperienced, everyone has to look in the mirror and step up. It’s just not good enough.”
Los Angeles was outshot 20-8 and made countless mistakes throughout the match which allowed San Jose to bombard Brian Rowe’s goal. Los Angeles was often a step behind, careless with their passes and they lost numerous 50/50 balls which prompted Van Damme to continue to call out his team:
“You don’t only need your feet, but you need your brain as well to play football,” Van Damme said. “That’s what didn’t happen today. Everyone needs to step it up.”
The Galaxy has fielded a number of young players that were playing with the Galaxy II last season under then-head coach Curt Onalfo. With a number of injuries, Los Angeles has had no choice but to play their younger players, who have not seized the moment consistently.
Onalfo’s predominantly young squad recently went nine straight matches unbeaten in all competitions which offer a glimmer of hope that they can turn around their season. The domestic cup run is over but the season is still up for grabs.