The Galaxy opened the 2017 season with a 2-1 loss to FC Dallas last Saturday. This week, they’re back home against another tough opponent as the Portland Timbers enter town for a Sunday (4 p.m.; FS1).
Portland opened the season with a dominating 5-1 victory over Minnesota United, Friday.
Galaxy before taking the field in opener against FC Dallas; Photo Credit: Robert Mora and Stephanie Romero
“I thought we controlled the game,” Galaxy coach Curt Onalfo said Tuesday of last week’s opener. “When you looked back on it, we dictated the game on both sides of the ball. So, what I liked it, is that I thought we built very, very well from our goalkeeper out. We created chances out of the run of play in transition and on set pieces, enough chances where you should win the game.
“What I’m not happy about is the goals we conceded. I thought they were soft goals and goals that can be prevented. That part, I wasn’t pleased with, but if you look overall at the performance, a lot of really good things to build on.”
The Galaxy can’t have the type of lapses they had against FC Dallas. Diego Valeri and Fanendo Adi both scored a pair of goals last week.
“I think they’re the best team in MLS at this point,” Onalfo said of Portland. “They’re at full strength, they’re attacking players are playing very well as you could have seen from their 5-1 result. They’re very good defensively as well.”
Poor Galaxy finishing, crucial defensive errors and a general lack of experience at this level overwhelmed the flashes of promise of things to come from Jermaine Jones and a not yet match-fit DP Romain Alessandrini in the home loss to Dallas.
The start of the 2017 season is quickly approaching and the Galaxy might be without two returning starters for the March 4 opener.
Forward Gyasi Zardes, who missed the end of the regular season after suffering a broken bone in his right foot in August, recently had “minor” surgery on his right knee, coach Curt Onalfo confirmed Tuesday.
Zardes originally injured the knee during training camp with the U.S. Men’s National Team, forcing him to miss the two friendlies against Serbia and Jamaica.
“He’s progressing fine with his rehab,” Onalfo said. “Hopefully, he’ll be able to start moving early next week.”
Defender Robbie Rogers is bothered by an ankle injury that has kept him off of the training field.
“He’s still recovering from his ankle surgery,” Onalfo said of Rogers. “I don’t anticipate him to be available to start the season.”
Rafael Garcia has replaced Rogers at right back in each of the two preseason games so far.
The Galaxy 2017 season could hinge on the health of midfielder Jermaine Jones.
Jones, 35, joined the club after a shortened 2016 with the Colorado Rapids. Jones played in just five regular season games last year and four playoff appearances. He totaled three goals and two assists.
He’s played 45 minutes in the Galaxy’s first preseason game and 62 in last Saturday’s game against San Jose.
As he prepares for the upcoming season, Jones said he’s feeling great.
“I really don’t feel 35,” Jones said Tuesday. “When you’re around with the young ones, you feel always young. Then I have five kids at home, they always keep me young too. I would say I’m 29-30, maybe.
“To be honest, I feel really good and I think my numbers always show that I’m still in the shape that I can go.”always feel young.”