Galaxy 0 Wizards 2
Lawndale’s Kei Kamara and the rest of the Kansas City Wizards were head and shoulders above Leonardo and the Galaxy Saturday night at Home Depot Center (AP Photos).
Yes, the Galaxy still lead MLS.
But you can’t help but wonder if we’re about to see the biggest Galaxy swoon since blowing a 4-0 lead to lose to the Earthquakes 5-4 on aggregate back in the 2003 playoffs.
“They made plays tonight and we did not,” said Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena, sounding like a broken record. “There were two many guys who did not win their battles tonight and that makes a difference in the game.”
But it was, in truth, more than that.
Lots of errant long-range passes that made you want to set this lot in front of a few videos of Spain from the World Cup so they could see how effective short, sharp passing can be.
Too many bad first touches – I’ve picked on Mike Magee earlier – but tonight it wasn’t just him.
And just plain bad decision-making and ball watching (especially from defenders) with some players trying to do too much and others clearly not doing enough.
Psst, Omar Gonzalez: Davey Arnaud is behind you and scoring the opening goal.
Notable: The Galaxy have lost successive home games in MLS for the first time in two years, but have now lost four straight games in all competitions at Home Depot Center. I’m not sure that has happened before.
Next for the Galaxy: at Chicago on Saturday.
Incidentally, in case you’re wondering it’s unclear whether Juninho will return next week (he apparently has visa issues) and David Beckham is “week to week,” Arena said. It’s unclear when he will return to the field.
Meanwhile, as the Galaxy make missteps, their rivals are beginning to peak:
“I would say this is probably our best 90 minute performance that we’ve had all season long,” Wizards Coach Peter Vermes said. “In the end it yielded the correct result for us so I commend the guys for their work ethic tonight.”
Lawndale’s Kei Kamara created the first goal, his third assist of the season and, of course, he’s also the Wizards leading scorer.
I asked Wizards Coach Peter Vermes to talk about the contribution Kamara has made to the team:
“We have some pretty decent speed on the outsides, especially with (Kei) Kamara and Ryan Smith. “There’s a lot of mismatches on the outside with Kamara, because he’s such a big guy. It’s very rare you have such a big guy that plays on the outside like he does and I think it’s difficult for players to handle him. You saw that on the first goal when he spun (Todd) Dunivant … that kind of created that opportunity.
“Last year when I made a trade for Kei it’s like any player you come across there’s always something said, there’s a reason why he’s being traded and Kei has been a great professional. He has a burning desire to be successful in the game. He listens. There are times, like any athlete (when) he can be a little bit stubborn because he knows he wants to be successful and he thinks ‘this is what I’ve got to do.” But you can always sit down and talk with him and I think every day we train, play a game, he’s getting better and better and better. He has a great career ahead of him for sure.”
And Kamara always wants to put on a show at the HDC:
“I love it. I’ve come home. I played here in my college years (with Division II Cal State Dominguez Hills on whose campus Home Depot Center sits on, of course) the whole team, was watching, my family, my friends, it’s good – (and) the weather is perfect.”
And undoubtedly a helluva lot better than the 25-hour airplane ride to Egypt Kamara embarks upon Monday to play for Sierra Leone next weekend.