Gal­axy’s home fu­til­ity bills are adding up

Win­less streak now eight, and they have only one win in 12 games at StubHub.

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - By Kevin Bax­ter kevin.bax­ter@la­ Twit­ter: @kbax­ter11


If the Gal­axy are go­ing to make a play­off run this sea­son, they are go­ing to have to win at home.

“The only way you ul­ti­mately get that con­fi­dence is to go out and get a win,” coach Sigi Sch­mid said. “It’s just a mat­ter of reestab­lish­ing that fortress at home.”

They bet­ter get started on that soon, be­cause their for­mer fortress proved once again to be a pri­son Sat­ur­day, when sec­ond-half goals from Jonathan Lewis and David Villa lifted New York City FC to a 2-0 vic­tory be­fore an an­nounced crowd of 25,667.

That ex­tended the Gal­axy’s win­less streak to eight games, leav­ing them nine points out of a play­off berth with 11 games to play. And much of the blame for that lies with their dis­mal record at home, where they have won once in 12 tries.

Yet that num­ber alone doesn’t be­gin to ex­plain the depth of their strug­gles at StubHub Cen­ter. The Gal­axy have led at home once all sea­son — for 75 min­utes in their lone win. That came in April.

And if the Gal­axy don’t win at least one of their fi­nal five home games, they’ll break the MLS record for fewest home wins in a sea­son set 16 years ago by the de­funct Tampa Bay Mutiny.

The Mutiny won two home games in 2001, af­ter which they were ex­pelled from the league.

“That’s un­ac­cept­able,” Gal­axy de­fender Dave Rom­ney said re­cently. “I play the ex­act same way home and away. So I don’t un­der­stand why we’re so bad at home.”

The Gal­axy (6-12-5) can take some con­so­la­tion from their lat­est loss, though, since they played bet­ter in the first 50 min­utes than they have over any sim­i­lar stretch all sea­son.

They threat­ened re­peat­edly in a score­less first half, their most danger­ous chance com­ing in the 40th minute when New York keeper Sean John­son de­flected de­fender Pele van An­holt’s 20-yard blast over the cross­bar with a leap­ing one-handed save.

They had an­other great chance in the open­ing sec­onds of the sec­ond half when mid­fielder Ema Boateng — who played an in­spired game — weaved through five de­fend­ers be­fore putting a left­footed try on goal that John­son turned away with a slid­ing stop. The Gal­axy also got a stout ef­fort from mid­fielder Jonathan dos San­tos, who went the dis­tance in his first MLS start. Brother Gio­vani didn’t play, how­ever, af­ter tweak­ing a ham­string in train­ing last week.

Lewis broke the spell in the 54th minute, drib­bling deep in the Gal­axy end, avoid­ing a poor chal­lenge from Jer­maine Jones, then pulling up to take a long right-footed shot that struck the bot­tom of the cross­bar and dropped over the goal line.

That was a bad sign for the Gal­axy, who have won just twice in 15 games af­ter con­ced­ing the first goal.

Ash­ley Cole nearly got that one back for the Gal­axy in the 69th minute, but his right­footed vol­ley off a John­son clear­ance glanced off the cross­bar and be­hind the goal.

Villa, the league’s lead­ing scorer, then dou­bled the ad­van­tage four min­utes later, beat­ing Gal­axy keeper Brian Rowe with a bend­ing right­footed shot from about 20 yards.

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