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Los Angeles Galaxy Lose Their Wheels Again on Way From San Jose

Jo-Ryan SalazarSenior Analyst IAugust 21, 2010

SANTA CLARA, CA - AUGUST 21:  Chris Wondolowski #8 of the San Jose Earthquakes smiles after scoring against goalie Donovan Ricketts #1 of the Los Angeles Galaxy in the first half on August 21, 2010 at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Bruce Arena's Los Angeles Galaxy needed to get continuity from their 1-0 victory against the New York Red Bulls last week as they took on the San Jose Earthquakes.

Instead, they saw their wheels fall off as they left Buck Shaw Stadium on the campus on Santa Clara University.

A 1-0 defeat came as a result of the one main culprit that has plagued their season as a whole: the defensive back line.

It was another atrocious performance that made you wonder, hey, this team may not win the Supporters Shield and could burn out in the MLS Cup Playoffs. It's been that bad.

And just as bad was the tandem of Landon Donovan and Edson Buddle. Even with just one game per week these two are struggling to get their finishing touch.

Landon and Edson, I'm gonna let you know this: in this league, running on kryptonite is the last thing that you want to do, and yet you do it anyway against your NorCal rivals. Where is the touch? Where is the consistency?

Aside from that, I wanted to go ahead and call out a few more while I'm at it:

Michael Stephens has not been much of a contributor to the team. Ever since the match against the Columbus Crew on May 29, I can't think of a single time where he has made a key contribution to Los Angeles.

A.J. De La Garza should have done better marking Chris Wondolowski in the fourth minute, but Donovan Ricketts clearly blew up his chance to make a key save. Instead he goes off his line and leaves himself vulnerable.

Finally, Mike Magee shattered the chances of LA getting back into this game. He had two opportunities to not only tie the score, but give Los Angeles a lead if he had made the first. And they were from close distance.

I believe it's supposed to be textbook finishing. You're supposed to bury those. How Magee, Donovan, and Buddle failed to bury their shots is beyond me. It makes me doubt if they will hold off the likes of the Columbus Crew or Real Salt Lake in the ongoing race for the Shield.

So there you have it. Horrid back line defense and non-existent finishing. You know, this is becoming the story of the Galaxy's setbacks this season. For all of what this team has accomplished, it's a broken record. They just haven't figured out how to be more crisp in their passing and touches in the attacking third. The backline feels as if they haven't gelled yet, and we are in the home stretch of the season.

But to put this loss in perspective, the Los Angeles Galaxy made two critical mistakes as a team: they underestimated their opponent and they underestimated the importance of beating their opponent.

And the fact that they lost the California Clasico in this fashion just proves my point: on Saturday, the Los Angeles Galaxy lost their wheels on the way back from San Jose.

Better call some taxis to bring the boys back home while you still can, Bruce. They need all the help they can get when the Kansas City Wizards come to town. And you won't find those wheels anywhere in sight. No, sir.

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