Galaxy still not ready for prime time after 2-1 loss in preseason finale
The Galaxy staged their final dress rehearsal of the preseason Saturday at StubHub Center and it didn’t go well, with a 2-1 loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps raising more questions than answers. Chief among them: Is the team ready for opening night?
That will come March 4 when the Galaxy play host to the Portland Timbers. And that leaves coach Sigi Schmid with little time to smooth out the rough edges on a team he largely remade in the offseason.
Up front the Galaxy, who have a number of dangerous offensive weapons, kept the pressure on Vancouver all night, dominating in terms of possession and shots. But with chemistry remaining elusive, they went 172 minutes over three games — all losses — without a goal before Giovani dos Santos scored on a penalty kick midway through the second half.
In the midfield, Sebastian Lletget is still trying to get fit after missing all but three games last season with a fracture in his left foot. He played 22 minutes Saturday. But Joao Pedro hobbled off the field with an apparent leg injury in the 38th minute and designated player Jonathan dos Santos missed the game with an unspecified lower-body issue.
A team official said the issue is not considered serious and that Dos Santos was held out for precautionary reasons.
Schmid’s biggest concern, however, remains an inconsistent defense that has undergone substantial changes after allowing a franchise-record 67 goals last season. And it has looked alternatively invincible and inept this winter, pitching one shutout but giving up 11 goals in the other four games against MLS competition.
The Whitecaps’ first score Saturday came on a penalty kick, with Kei Kamara slotting a shot over diving Galaxy keeper David Bingham in the 20th minute. Alphonso Davies got the second in more conventional fashion. Left unmarked at the edge of the six-yard box, he beat Bingham with a left-footed shot from a tight angle seven minutes into the second half.
Follow Kevin Baxter on Twitter @kbaxter11