Losing is a different experience for Galaxy's Ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has had to make a lot of adjustments since moving to Southern California six weeks ago.

"People cannot drive cars here," he complained after training Thursday.


But perhaps the biggest change for Ibrahimovic has been the losing. The Galaxy — once again without forward Giovani dos Santos — will go into Saturday's game in Dallas having lost three straight and four of six since Ibrahimovic joined the team. The last time Ibrahimovic was on a team that lost more than two consecutive games was 17 years ago when he was still playing for his hometown team in Sweden.

"It's a new situation for me, absolutely," he said. "But I like the challenge. It's a different challenge. So let's resolve this one also.

"It's OK. I won't complain."

The Galaxy's Zlatan Ibrahimovic scores a disallowed goal in the second half against the New York Red Bulls on April 28.
The Galaxy's Zlatan Ibrahimovic scores a disallowed goal in the second half against the New York Red Bulls on April 28. (Frederic J. Brown / AFP/Getty Images)

The losing streak certainly isn't Ibrahimovic's fault. He has scored or assisted on six of the Galaxy's last seven goals and leads the team in both categories despite starting just four games. But things could be a bit more difficult in Dallas because Dos Santos, who scored goals in the last two games, did not make the trip because of an undisclosed injury.

Dos Santos has missed as many games as he's played in this season and the latest injury could endanger his chances of playing for Mexico in the World Cup. Mexico's preliminary roster for this summer's tournament is expected to be released Monday.

For Ibrahimovic, meanwhile, the frustration grows.

"It is not good," he said after last weekend's loss in Houston. "We can either wake up or continue like this. But if we continue like this, we don't want the same objective. We don't want to win."

The Galaxy (3-5-1) have faced a particularly tough schedule to open the season. FC Dallas, Saturday's opponent, will be just the second Galaxy opponent that didn't make the playoffs last season. Yet Dallas comes in with league lows for losses (one) and goals allowed (seven) this season.

The Galaxy have given up eight goals in their last three games alone.

"It's a collective thing," captain Ashley Cole said. "You have to defend as a team and attack as a team and sometimes we're a little bit off. When we turn the ball over, maybe we don't defend as a unit as much and we seem to be a little bit too spread out at times. We've conceded some silly goals.

"Everyone has to look at themselves and say "can they run more for the team? Can they work harder for the team?' "

But while the defensive struggles have continued the Galaxy have shown signs of waking offensively. After managing just one goal in a three-game stretch in mid-April, the team got four combined from Dos Santos and Ola Kamara in the last two games, both losses. In each game the Galaxy rallied twice from one-goal deficits only to give up the winning score in the final six minutes of regulation.

"Every loss doesn't feel good. But certainly losing on a late goal when you fought to come back and equalize hits you a little bit," Galaxy coach Sigi Schmid said. "We've still got a long way to go in this season and what's important is that we start playing better.

"We need a couple of wins to get it turned around and moving in the other direction. It's still a team that's very confident. It's just a matter of getting the results to back that up."


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