Analysis: Are LA Galaxy in trouble after worst start for six years?

LA Galaxy became Major League Soccer’s most successful club when they lifted a record fifth MLS Cup title back in December in what was their third championship win in four years, but is their dominance of MLS under question just four months later?

A rough start to the 2015 season has seen Bruce Arena‘s side make their worst start for six years, in terms of the number of points on the board after five games, as they have recorded just one win so far and that was on opening night at home to Chicago Fire.

The Galaxy have lost back-to-back games for the first time since June 2013 and have failed to find the net in consecutive regular season games for the first time since May 2012, so something is clearly not right.

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MLS is getting more competitive by the year and the 2015 season is already proving to be the most competitive yet, as many expected.

The Western Conference is the strongest it’s ever been and the Galaxy need to focus on trying to beat their conference rivals before they can begin to think about retaining their MLS Cup title.

They have not won any of their three meetings with Western Conference opposition so far this season and need to turn things around quickly.

Table: LA Galaxy statistics after five games since 2009 season

Table: LA Galaxy statistics after five games since 2009 season

The table above shows how bad a start they have made compared to previous seasons. It is only five games, so there is a lot to be played, but making a poor start is never a good thing.

Arena has watched his side score the fewest number of goals through their opening five games in four years and Landon Donovan‘s absence looks to be playing a part in the slow start as the Galaxy have had to start a season without the US legend for the first time since 2004.

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Robbie Keane has won the club’s MVP award for the past three seasons but hasn’t started as well as he would have liked, and as captain the Irishman needs to rally his teammates.

Things don’t get any easier for the reigning champions as they host the Seattle Sounders on Sunday night, though Seattle haven’t started as well as they would have liked either, making this a seriously important clash at this early stage of the campaign.

Seattle and LA dominated MLS last year and were the two sides battling at the top of both the Western Conference and the MLS Supporters’ Shield standings for much of the 2014 season.

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Vancouver Whitecaps and FC Dallas are doing that at this early stage of the 2015 campaign though, and the Galaxy must start turning things around if they are to stand a chance of winning a sixth MLS Cup.

Steven Gerrard’s arrival in the summer should improve the team dramatically and making the playoffs will ensure they have a chance of retaining their crown, so it’s far too early to reach for the panic button.

Traditionally, it takes a few games for the Galaxy to get going (they only won two of their first eight last year on their way to the championship), though supporters will want to stop the rot with a victory against Seattle on Sunday to prevent any panic from setting in as teams around them are already stretching ahead.

Are the LA Galaxy in trouble? What is going wrong for them early on this year?


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