Have the Los Angeles Galaxy's Wheels Fallen Off?

Jo-Ryan SalazarSenior Analyst IJuly 28, 2010

CARSON, CA - JULY 22:  Tristan Bowen #17 of the Los Angeles Galaxy controls the ball near the touchline in the second half of their MLS match against the San Jose Earthquakes at The Home Depot Center on July 22, 2010 in Carson, California. Donovan scored on the rebound to tie the game 2-2. The Earthquakes and the Galaxy played to a 2-2 draw.  (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

Home cooking be damned!

Bruce Arena's Los Angeles Galaxy must not be taking the CONCACAF Champions League as seriously as they should be.

They say that they are, but I seriously doubt that they are being honest with themselves. It is a disgrace that they have no wishes to be the best team in the confederation, and it's a shame.

Tuesday night's 4-1 loss to the Puerto Rico Islanders—a team that only qualified through a minor sub-confederation tournament and is not even in contention for the playoffs in their own league—epitomized this depressing fact: they are taking the CONCACAF Champions League lightly.

The biggest loser among the G's has to be the most unlikeliest of units: the back line. They picked the wrong time to play their worst football of the year (although it's not completely their fault, see INS and OUTS for a better explanation).

You can't let unknowns like David Foley and Nicholas Addlery get open on the front and not get any help; it's criminal and it will make you look like a fool 100 percent of the time.

In fact, this back line played like a bunch of amateur, over-the-hill deadbeats who have no shot at a winning record if they were to even think of trying out for the Galaxy.

It's straight out of a nightmare in that it reeked of every malediction you can think of in the book...and some.

The scary part about this whole ordeal is that with four months to go in this 2010 Major League Soccer season, we may not have seen the last of this decrepit display.

Granted, the team will do themselves a huge favor by not protecting Josh Saunders at next year's Expansion Draft, but the back line failed to pull their weight in stopping the opportunistic attack of Puerto Rico.

Of course, the midfielders and forwards of Los Angeles are just as culpable. You won't win titles if you can't break apart a defense that puts numbers in the box and dispossesses on a routine basis.

The Chicago Fire may already have an idea on how to stop this Galaxy side. Park the bus, disrupt the communication. Nothing too fancy.

I was particularly disappointed with Chris Birchall. You would think that Birchall would have been on the score sheet for the season by now, but he has just been struggling to produce offensively.

Birchall is starting to be a liability with every blown chance he has had on goal, and he knows it.

And this has to be the very first time neither Edson Buddle nor Landon Donovan were a factor in the match. Every other MLS opponent (save perhaps Toronto) has had to put up with this duo, but both of them were AWOL tonight.

And you cannot go AWOL in a tournament like the CONCACAF Champions League. The Los Angeles Galaxy was absent without leave on Tuesday.

In their place were impostors who made a mockery of the true side's form by letting a bunch of Davids from Bayamon turn this bunch into a group of Goliaths.

The Islanders can afford to lose 3-0 on Wednesday at the Loubriel and still go through via the away goals rule. That's how badly the Los Angeles Galaxy played on Tuesday.

At least the club's front office can breathe a sigh of relief that if they have to issue a refund for this performance, they won't have to give too many and threaten the bottom line.

If the Galaxy's wheels have indeed fallen off, they fell off against Colin Clarke's Puerto Rico Islanders, whose season may have been saved and manager's situation made safe on Tuesday night.

And if we're to be proven wrong, then Arena's men need to head to the island next Wednesday and show the sixth-letter-of-the-English-alphabet up.

With that said, I move on to the...

Ins and Outs

Note to Commissioner Garber: Scrap the MLS All-Star Game

You know, I still don't understand why we even have this atrocious exhibition we like to call the MLS All-Star Game. I have done myself a huge favor in not paying attention to this circus of a show, and focusing my scrutiny on the matches that matter.

Don Garber, you seem to disappoint me. First, you protect Landon Donovan as if he is your long-lost stepchild, and then you have this brain fart of an idea known as the MLS All-Star Game (which is a just a glorified scrimmage against a legit club from across the pond against an overmatched ragtag group of players from one league without any gel for binding) held a day after the Galaxy's 4-1 annihilation by the Puerto Rico Islanders.

Garber, we already have something similar to this. Something which is a whole lot better and which dates back to when this code was first played. Something called "International Club Friendlies."

I don't care if this ragtag group branded the "MLS All-Stars" takes a page from Addlery and Foley and pastes Manchester United 4-1...get rid of the MLS All-Star Game.

It's unnecessary, and it gets in the way of the matches that really matter (i.e. CONCACAF Champions League and International Club Friendlies). Please? Thank you.

Youth Academy Update

The LA Galaxy Youth Academy Under-20s will be in action down in Rockford, Ill., for the Super-20 League North American Finals.

On Thursday, July 29, the G's take on the Brooklyn Knights at 9:00 a.m. CT. At that same time on Friday, July 30, the Galaxy face Triangle FC.

On July 31, the Galaxy conclude round-robin play against CUP at 9:00 a.m. CT. Semifinals that day are scheduled for 6:00 p.m. CT with the final slated for 11:00 a.m. CT on August 1.

Three matches in one week to kick off August

The Galaxy will have three matches in the first week of August. On Aug. 1, they return to league action to face the Chicago Fire at the Home Depot Center.

They will then fly to San Juan in the hopes of rallying back against the Puerto Rico Islanders on Aug. 4 at Bayamon's Juan Roman Loubriel Stadium before their last club friendly of the season, an Aug. 7 match with Real Madrid at the Rose Bowl.

As always, be sure to keep it right here on Bleacher Report and The View from Victoria Street for continuing coverage of the Los Angeles Galaxy.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.