The Loons started off the season 2-0, but they were handed their first loss of the season by the Los Angeles Galaxy last Saturday 2-3. The Loons were on a break this week, so we re-watched the game to see what went wrong. The game was not pretty, and Minnesota United had the chance to secure a comeback, but in the end they came up short. Here are a few things that went wrong against the Galaxy.
Lackluster Defensive Performance
Right from the first whistle Minnesota played like they were on game three of a road trip, well...because they were. Even though they were still in California, playing three games on the road in a row can be tough. The defense was sluggish at the start, and gave up two goals in the first half. The first penalty was controversial, but the defense could have avoided being in the position in the first place.
Time of possession played a big role in the game. The Galaxy possessed the ball 62% of the time to the Loons 38%. The defense needs to do a better of getting the ball to the scorers out front to create more shot opportunities.
The formations and spacing the defense went with was confusing to say the least. When the Galaxy would push the ball up field, they had had plenty of space to make easy passes. These easy passing lanes lead to easy shots in the box, so they Loons will need to tighten up the defense before next week.
Slow Start For The Offense
To state the obvious, the Loons started the game slow. The spacing was off, and the wingers looked out of place. The Loons have to come out of the gate ready to play and take advantage of early opportunities.
Our forwards would push the ball up, but would find themselves all alone against the Galaxy defense. The first half struggles resulted in only a few shot opportunities resulting in no goals. The LA Galaxy are a good team, and the Loons have to keep up if they want to win. It did not feel like the Loons were ready to go.
The offense was not all bad, a goal on a cross for Gregus put the Loons within one but the defense gave up a goal 5 minutes later. Ángelo Rodríguez scored another goal in 87th minute to give the Loons 2 goals. Minnesota United has scored 2 or more goals every game so far. Keeping up the scoring will be key as the season goes on and the opponents get tougher.
Looking Towards The New England Revolution
Next up for the Loons are the New England Revolution. The Revolution have struggled so far this season and have yet to win a game. The Loons will need to take advantage of their struggling defense and convert the shot opportunities that are going to come. On defense they need to close their gaps in the formation and not give up open shots, and get the ball to their scorers.
The Loons and Revolution play Saturday, March 30th at 1:00pm.