Galaxy’s home futility bills are adding up
Winless streak now eight, and they have only one win in 12 games at StubHub.
NY CITY FC 2 GALAXY 0
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.