September 18, 2019
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Story tips, concerns, questions?

 

By Victor Munoz

When it all seemed that the LA Galaxy had a new face defensively, the five-time champions stumbled in their last pre-season game Saturday, suffering a 3-1 loss to the Colorado Rapids at Dignity Health Sports Park.

In their preceding three games, the team had allowed only one goal. But even absent five key players, including Jonathan Dos Santos and Gio Dos Santos, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who was named Galaxy captain, said there was no reason for the poor showing. He said regardless of whether “player A or player Z” is in, nothing should change the team’s game plan or tactics.

Galaxy head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto said after the game that he was glad the Galaxy’s poor showing Saturday happened before the first home game of the season, March 2, against the Chicago Fire.

 

The Rapids took the lead the closing moment of the first half, as former CSUDH men’s soccer striker Kei Kamara headed it to the back of the net at the 42-minute mark. Diego Rubio’s chip over Galaxy goalkeeper Matt Lampson at  69 minutes extended the lead 2-0.

Galaxy showed a sign of life when Swedish striker Ibrahimović outjumped his compatriot, Axel Sjoberg, to head the ball into the goal in the 77 minutes.

But the joy did not last as  Rubio found the net for the second time in the game to seal a 3-1 victory.

As the newly named captain, Ibrahimović said that while he is no stranger to the role, he is determined to make up for the Galaxy’s subpar campaign last season.

“This nothing new, I’ve been captain before. I feel honored and [with] responsibility,” said Ibrahimović. “He [Schelotto] is making me captain and I’m going to try and give back.”

In the final game last season, the Galaxy needed a win or a tie to qualify for the MLS playoffs but were unable to capitalize in a 3-2 loss to the Houston Dynamo. It was the first time since 2008 that the Galaxy failed to advance to the postseason and only the fourth time since its inaugural season of 2006.

Ibrahimović said he was as unhappy as the fans were to how last season ended, which was a big reason why he decided to return for another year. That, and setting some records:

“Because they say I’m old I am going to break every record in the MLS this season,” he said.

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