There is a light that never goes out
It’s the one behind the UNBEATEN sign at L.A. Galaxy headquarters. Aw yeah!
Even sans Landon Donovan (league-leading 9 assists) and Edson Buddle (league-leading 9 goals, not to mention 2 beauties to give the USMNT a win against Australia yesterday), the Galaxy easily pulled off a 4-1 victory over the Houston Dynamo yesterday.
(Highlights are in Spanish, which I don’t speak or understand outside of a handful of words, but I find not being able to understand the commentary somewhat more enjoyable than listening to most English-speaking MLS announcers.)
The Galaxy are now 10-0-2, having scored 22 goals and only allowing 3. I’m knocking on wood as I write this, although of course I understand that eventually they will lose a game. But at this point, it’s really quite amazing. The consistency of all elements of the squad, the ability to put forth major effort at home and at various places on the road, as well as two of their biggest names having been away for three victorious matches now (plus one friendly which they also won, against Boca Juniors) all speaks to the fact that this is not about a couple of guys doing the work, or a team running on luck. This is about a well-built side with skill and depth, and about a coach who knows what he needs and wants from his players and gets it from them day in and day out. Bruce Arena has put together a truly great team, one in which there are plenty of guys ready, willing and able to step up in the absence of the marquee names. The players have obvious respect for Arena, and they show it nearly every time they walk onto the pitch. Tristan Bowen, Michael Stephens and Sean Franklin among others have been strong and consistent, not just playing well but reacting well to whatever is happening. Arena recently became the 4th coach in MLS history to reach 100 victories, and the way he’s led this team last season and so far this year, it’s no surprise.
Their next match is on Wednesday, at Real Salt Lake, who of course snagged the MLS Cup away from L.A. last year in that damnable penalty shootout. (Fact about me: I hate penalty shootouts. Especially when they lead to a team “winning” the league who ended regular season play at 11-12-7. FFS.) It will be a great test of this team to see how their momentum, and perhaps a hunger for a little revenge, serves them in Utah.