Mike Gray, LA Galaxy Confidential: All of the above. The Galaxy are off to their worst start in 10 years for a myriad of well-documented reasons. And yet, were we to meet in a huddled bar somewhere, I'd tell you the main factor of the Galaxy's downfall has been an arrogance that appears to have permeated the culture of the club.
MLS might not yet be at the same level as Liga MX, but this is 2017. If your club doesn't have a plan, and they don't have depth, you're going to struggle.
Nine games into the season, LA have no offensive identity, in other words, no plan. The idea was to integrate Los Dos into the senior squad, but unfortunately to paraphrase MLS writer Matt Doyle, the Galaxy are not producing starting-level talent, so that turned out to be a bust.
LA also have zero depth. Curt Onalfo has obviously struggled at the helm, but he shouldn't be held responsible for this cobbled-together roster. Why did the Galaxy trade AJ DeLaGarza knowing there was a high probability Robbie Rogers wouldn't step on the field this year? Why is Jermaine Jones making $600,000? Who decided a 35-year-old coming off an ACL tear would thrive as a defensive midfielder? These were moves with a supreme overconfidence of the team's ability to compete this year.
Let's not even get into the Galaxy's refusal to acknowledge LAFC as competition, which is frankly infuriating. And arrogant.
LAGC: Interesting. From what I've heard inside training this week, there's been a night and day difference with Van Damme's attitude. I would expect him to start, but I certainly wouldn't be surprised if Dave Romney (who was excellent last week) got the nod.
LA are not yet a cohesive offensive unit, but subbing out Van Damme allows the Galaxy to simplify their play and lean on the magic of Giovani dos Santos. LA scored both goals in their comeback vs. the Fire on set pieces, so NYRB will need to lock down on corners.
LAGC: As controversial as the Van Damme substitution was, the common consensus among the Galaxy press box was that Onalfo made the right call. The defense stopped leaking goals, the team was galvanized and Curt legitimated himself as a manager.
With LA's last result, Curt has bought himself some time. I'm not sure what the front office wants, after all this team is in cost-cutting mode and no longer Leiwiki-land, but at a minimum the attack has to start clicking soon or Onalfo could get his walking papers.