Friday, September 14, 2007

All that's left

Chivas USA's first season was downright abysmal. The club won four games and lost a mind-numbing 22 times. From the first game - a 2-0 loss to D.C. United - right through the last - a 2-0 setback to the MetroStars - Chivas USA enjoyed few peaks and many valleys. Really, though, while that team lost more than five times as many games as it won, not all the losses were blowouts. Chivas lost to the Galaxy by 1-0 and twice by 2-0. Chivas also blew a late 1-0 lead to San Jose by allowing two goals in the final 10 minutes late in the season. Chicago beat Chivas 1-0 that year, and so on and so on. Of course, when they lost by a lot, they looked bad doing so. Chivas I believe had the worst goal differential that year in history because the defense was bad but also because the offense was anemic.

This year's Galaxy season has that sort of feel to it. The Galaxy has four wins so they may still finish with more wins than Chivas USA version 2.5. But the Galaxy has an astonishing 15 losses, almost four times as many defeats as victories. The Galaxy has had some tough losses. Losing to FC Dallas in the home opener was bad while losing to New England 3-2 in May was disheartening, as was dropping a 2-1 result to Real Salt Lake on Sept. 1. Then there was the road losses to D.C. and New York that were close and could have gone either way. The Galaxy, though, has also mixed in some good old-fashioned ass kickings; they lost at Colorado 3-0 and to Chivas USA 3-0 four days before that. Their most recent 3-0 loss was to Chivas USA and although the game was close, 3-0 is 3-0 as Frank Yallop said after the game. The Galaxy's defense is porous and has allowed as many goals to date as they did all of last season.

But the Galaxy can still salvage something from this year. No, it's not the playoffs; that went out the window a long time ago. What the Galaxy can do is avoid finishing with an atrocious record. It's not much, but it's all they have left. These players need to have some pride and try and win some games to walk away this season with some self-respect.

Last year's team was not in the playoffs but mostly everyone walked away with a sense of pride and accomplishment, knowing that they gave everything they had. It's not that this year's team isn't putting forth effort but at some point that effort has to translate into results.

Next year and in following years, the only thing that will be left will be the final record. Nobody will remember that the Galaxy had so many close games, just like nobody remembers the close losses Chivas USA had in 2005. No matter how clubs get there, the bottom line is the only thing that matters.

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