After the Los Angeles Galaxy’s 2-0 loss against Sporting Kansas City, players responded to a frustrating performance by going out three days later and playing FC Dallas off the field.
The reaction was part of a commitment that Galaxy players made to each other at the beginning of the season; not to lose consecutive games.
Veteran midfielder Sacha Kljestan spoke of how this simple goal that the team hoped to accomplish was part of the foundation of a successful and ultimately title-winning side.
Well, after a game in which the club probably played their worst half of the season, the Galaxy will once again have to pick themselves up after a frustrating 2-1 weekend loss to Vancouver in which they dropped points from a winning position and respond emphatically on the field just four days later.
The terms are more than favorable for them on Wednesday against Real Salt Lake though.
The team won’t have to travel to Salt Lake City as Vancouver has made the Utah capitol their temporary Covid home.
By the time of the match on Wednesday, the team will have spent six days in Salt Lake getting accustomed to both the weather and altitude that Los Angeles Head Coach Greg Vanney alluded to being a factor for so many Galaxy mistakes in the Vancouver loss.
“Over time, at altitude, in the heat, we haven’t played in 10 days, keep turning over the ball… Those kinds of things turn against you over time; all the little mistakes and losses in possession where we get bullied off the ball or just lose things… Again, those things cost you over 90 minutes,” Vanney shared of the Galaxy’s unusually sloppy play. /
"This was a trap game…you can tell there wasn't that energy that we expected and that we've seen from the #LAGalaxy." @cobijones & @joetutino recap tonight's tough 2-1 loss to #VWFC. pic.twitter.com/dOnOZaLPKW
— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) July 18, 2021
Now on the second game of a three-game road trip, the Galaxy will have another opportunity at winning a game that they’re expected to.
Real Salt Lake only has two wins in their last 10 games, both victories over the same Vancouver side the Galaxy struggled to break down.
But if their game against FC Dallas was any indication, the Galaxy will rectify their mistakes and execute against an RSL side that has let in 12 goals in that 10 match span.
If anyone is looking to exploit RSL’s defensive failings, it’s the Frenchman Samuel Grandsir.
In his last four games played (4 starts) dating back to June 26, Grandsir has tallied three assists and cruelly been robbed of brilliant individual goals after hitting the post in consecutive games.
He has been a constant menace on the right side of the pitch and his ability to open up space by running at defenders has created chances for teammates that they should have done better with.
If they had, the Galaxy might have picked up points against SKC.
The consensus amongst Galaxy fans is that Grandsir is getting better game by game.
He showed Galaxy fans just how committed he is to the team by choosing to stay and play against San Jose while his wife was having their child in France.
#LAGalaxy Greg Vanney on Samuel Grandsir's
"Sam [Grandsir] he just had a baby."
Adds that Samuel Grandsir wanted to stay for this game then plans to fly back home to see his newborn. Vanney also says it shows his commitment to the team.
— Gio Garcia (@GioGarciaLA) June 27, 2021
This dedication has allowed him to play in all 13 Galaxy matches this season and the consistency has sharpened his understanding of how Vanney wants him to play.
Since Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez will most likely be out another game and will miss the RSL match, the Galaxy will need Grandsir and the rest of the forward line to step up as they did against Dallas.
If Grandsir can produce the performance he has over the last four matches, it’s just a matter of time before he finally beats the post and gets rewarded with his first Galaxy goal of the season.
@SamuelGrandsir you’re so close bro!!!!! Keep doing your thing man ?
— José-BOND (@goupdajose) July 18, 2021
More importantly, the L.A. club will have another viable goal-scoring option in a game they must win in order to honor the commitment they made to themselves at the start of the season.