Galaxy Notebook: Poor home form dooms LA, youth star Mendiola returns & more

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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." 

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17 Responses to Galaxy Notebook: Poor home form dooms LA, youth star Mendiola returns & more

  1. OwnGoalKing says:

    Sean Franklin is one of the BIG reason for the poor start. HE was THE reason for the collapse against RSL.

  2. Good Jeremy says:

    Gonzo is. Compare the defense last year with this year’s. All the players but Gonzo are the same and the defense is atrocious now.

  3. Kasey says:

    This is the kind of LAG news I like to see.

  4. chris says:

    F*ck yes Mendiola is the real deal

  5. mattjack says:

    Franklin clearly doesnt want to be the RB nor should he be. He should be a RM/winger so goldy locks is more central thus Franklin makes deep runs like a Theo Walcott player to then cross into the middle for Buddle or Keano to head in. I think him and AJ being out of position the most. Seriously why does the shortest guy on the team think he will win a header against someone 8 inches taller?

  6. LA Bob said says:

    Great to see Gavin get two assists as well

  7. FSegaud says:

    Is he a one name wonder?

  8. Michael F says:

    It’s simple, really. Gonzo is THAT good. All agreed?

  9. Jeff says:

    It’s gonna be a rough season. Last year’s team was built entirely around a rock solid defense, then team pressing. We won a slew of games 1-0. Take away the stout defense and it starts to become expected that LA concedes at some point every game under heavy pressing. Leonardo might remedy things a bit, but with the time to get game-fit and sharp it’s probably not gonna happen soon enough. I just hope we make the playoffs.

  10. abc says:

    Raul Mendiola is a name all fans need to familiarize themselves with. Hopefully he stays in MLS instead of going abroad… for the good of the US national team. If he goes abroad his chances of ever becoming a US citizen drop dramatically. As it is, who knows if he will become one in time or if he will be the next Andy Najar. If I could get politicians involved in speeding up the citizenship process for two kids, it would be Mendiola and Fagundez… too bad there is no political will for such a thing.

  11. Good Jeremy says:

    yep

  12. Is Raul taken? ala Spanish Galacticos?

  13. Mat says:

    The Galaxy are very overrated. Their defense is not good at all with Gonzales. Dunnivant and Franklin are average at best. They have a good attack, but their midfield is not strong. Beckham is over the hill.
    They need to get rid of a DP and recruit one at a position they actually need.

  14. beachbum says:

    yes

  15. Primoone says:

    Franklin has all the ability in the world…the explosive first step…the speed…the athleticism…

    He should quit football and take up something that does not require intelligence on the field. Im willing to bet he would be a great distance runner.

  16. bryan says:

    LAG will turn it around.

  17. Ron Jones says:

    I think it’s fine that we want other players who where not born in the US, to play for the US national team but I think it’s time we start growing our own players. The US u23 that failed to qualify to the Olympics had a few players who could have easily chosen to play for another country, but they didn’t because they know it’s easier to get in the US team then getting into the German,Mexican, or Colombian team. I want a player in my team because he wants to represent it, not because he has no other choice. Joe Corona was called up by Mexico but didn’t play, and I guess failed to catch the Mexican coach’s eye, and was cut from Mexico’s U23 thus joining the US u23. I think we need more players like Shea from FC Dallas.