Photo by ISIPhotos.net
BY ADAM SERRANO
During the Los Angeles Galaxy's run to the 2011 MLS Cup title, the Home Depot Center was a fortress, but in 2012, the results have been completely different for the defending MLS Cup champions.
After four matches at home, in both MLS and CONCACAF Champions League play, the Galaxy are 1-3-0 having conceded nine goals. A drastic departure from last season when the Galaxy conceded just 13 goals in all competitions including MLS playoffs and a friendly against Manchester City.
Following the club's 3-1 defeat at the hands of the New England Revolution, Galaxy defender Sean Franklin admitted that club needs to re-discover their killer instinct at home.
“It's frustrating, we knew how good we were last year and we knew that teams feared us last year,” said Franklin. “I think no one fears us this year. Teams are coming into our home and beating us. That's something that we can't do and the positive is that we still have 30-some games left in the season, but we need to get things going right now as oppose to towards the end of the season.”
ACADEMY STAR MENDIOLA RETURNS TO THE FOLD IN RESERVE GAME
Youth star Raul Mendiola returned to the field for the Galaxy on Monday, going ten minutes for Los Angeles in their 4-2 reserve league defeat to Chivas USA.
The two-time USSDA player of the year recently went on a pair of training stints with Spanish side Sevilla as well as English Premiership club Manchester City. Following Mendiola's appearance with the reserve squad, Galaxy youth academy director Chris Klein said that while Mendiola's training stints went "very well", the midfielder is now back with the Galaxy.
"He's someone that is extremely dynamic and is a very good soccer player," Klein said. "He's back and we're happy to have him back we'll see what he can do."
Although Mendiola has made a return to the academy after a stint abroad, Klein admitted that while interest is there for the Galaxy, there is no timeline on offering Mendiola a contract.
"Supposedly he did well [in Europe], but if you talk to him, he wants to be here. This is a player that we've known for sometime and have liked," Klein added. "A lot of time, the timeline is up to them and how [the player] does when he gets the opportunity. We can bring them so far, ultimately, it comes down to a decision from Bruce [Arena]."
The game also featured the first appearance for Galaxy homegrown midfielder Jose Villarreal, who recently recovered from bilateral lower leg surgery.
BARRETT TALLIES TWICE IN RESERVE LOSS
The Galaxy reserves had their struggles against Chivas USA's reserve squad in Monday's 4-2 defeat, but Los Angeles was able to fight back due to a stellar performance from forward Chad Barrett.The Galaxy forward tallied a pair of goals and was unlucky not to get a third late as he helped lead Los Angeles to within striking distance of the Rojiblancos after an initial 3-0 deficit.
The goals were significant for Barrett, who has been on the recovery trail since suffering a dislocated ankle just days before the MLS Cup Final that forced the forward to miss the Galaxy's championship triumph.
"It feels good to be hitting the back of the net in the run of play again, I haven't a lot of that since I got back [from injury] so I'm just getting the confidence in striking it," said Barrett. "The first one was a tap in and we tried to counterattack on the second one and I tucked it low like I should. I would have liked to have three at the end, but it wouldn't have changed the scoreline so I'm disappointed with the loss."