Los Angeles Galaxy: Ins and Outs, February 22, 2012

Jo-Ryan SalazarSenior Analyst IFebruary 23, 2012

LA Galaxy
LA Galaxy

Another day, another defeat for LA

Opinion/analysis time. My take on soccer can be boiled down to one simple sentence: if you don't know how to finish, and you don't know how to defend, you don't deserve to win the game.

Such is the case with Bruce Arena's Los Angeles Galaxy—most specifically, Juninho, who gifted a pass in the 82nd minute to give the New England Revolution a 3-2 victory tonight at the Desert Diamond Cup in Tucson.

Now this will not have any impact on Week 1 of the Power Rankings, but this is a result that will drop LA a few places if this took place in the regular season.

To their credit, Edson Buddle and Mike Magee each finished at least one of their chances.The problem is that this took place in the first half, and scoring goals will not mean much if you allow them as well.

The defense was a liability at times last year, and it was more of the same from an opponent that I don't have high expectations for in Jay Heaps' New England Revolution.

Tommy Meyer is being groomed as the next Omar Gonzalez. It was apparently with his start today that he is tipped to replace the injured Gonzo at center back. But he has a ways to go with his positioning and his ability to clear opposing sequences is far from the finished product.

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said Galaxy U-18 Head Coach Eddie Soto to LAGalaxy.com. "Mario had a good week of practice. He made good runs and got himself into position to score a couple of times. I'm not surprised he had a good game."

Rodriguez leads the Under-18s in scoring with four goals in U.S. Soccer Development Academy play.

Both sides' Under-16 teams also played to a 1-1 draw. Kevin Labastida scored for LA in that contest.

Up next for the Galaxy Youth Academy is a match with Pateadores at the Home Depot Center's Field 5 on Saturday, February 25. Kickoff for the Under-18s is scheduled for 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET, while the Under-16s kickoff at 12:30 p.m. PT/3:30 p.m. ET.

In defense of Juninho

Even though Juninho was responsible for gifting New England's 3-2 victory in Desert Diamond Cup play, the fact that the Sao Paulo native is even back with the Galaxy is reason to smile.

“He’s come right back and fit in,” Arena told LAGalaxy.com's Larry Morgan, “the second he walked into the building. It’s good to have him back. We’ll do our best to get him moving with the group and back on the field.

“I think he’ll get himself up to speed in the next couple of weeks.”

And the player himself is just happy to be back playing with the club he helped lead to success in 2011.

“I’m very happy to be back and help make the team stronger," hesaid.

Now if only Juninho can avoid making it a habit to give up ball in their own half...

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