Believe it or not, after all of their setbacks and their defeats in 2020, a light has emerged at the end of LA Galaxy’s regular-season tunnel.
Just three days after announcing that they had dropped head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto, interim coach Dominic Kinnear stepped in and helped the Galaxy earn a 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake on Sunday night. In a new league table structure that ranks teams based on a points-per-game ratio, the Galaxy now maintains a small yet attainable chance of stealing one of the last two playoff spots left in the Western Conference.
Already in an unprecedented and problematic year, the Galaxy have dealt with a number of issues due to injuries, a less-than-exciting debut season for striker Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, and a lack of ideas from Schelotto on the sidelines.
And yet, all of that could potentially be washed away in the near future. Assuming they build upon their latest result, could the Galaxy burst into the playoff scene in their final week of the regular season?
Thanks to these three points – and a couple of results working in their favor – Nashville officially booked their place in the 2020 MLS Cup playoffs. Not bad for their first season.
Cruise control for the Sounders. Happily sitting near the top of the Western Conference table, Seattle had no issues in their straightforward win against Vancouver last week.
Late drama in this one. A goal in the 89th minute from Aaron Long was just enough to earn a victory and an invitation to the playoffs for the New York Red Bulls.
Add Sporting Kansas City to the list of teams who recently guaranteed themselves a position in the playoffs. Their narrow win – which included just 38% possession of the ball – pushed them over the postseason line.
A result that made a statement last week for Orlando. The Floridian club has easily looked like a dark horse contender for this year’s MLS title.
Hit with an early setback caused by a red card for Francisco Calvo in the 1st half, the Fire appeared second-best against the Union in the 2-1 loss. Another worrisome result for Chicago.
The beginning of a good week for NYCFC. Just days after sneaking past Eastern Conference powerhouse Toronto FC with a 1-0 win, NYCFC would later march towards a second victory in a row.
Could DC United find a way into the playoffs? Their latest surprise result against the Crew provides some hope for the squad in the final stage of the regular season.
Sometimes all you need is for the other team to do the work for you. An own-goal from the Rapids’ Lalas Abubakar in the 89th minute gifted Minnesota a victory and an eventual invitation to the playoffs.
In a busy week that included two games in just four days, Dallas would eventually clinch three more on Halloween. A much-needed three points for the Texan side.
A thrashing by Portland was the last straw for Galaxy ownership. Schelotto was dropped just one day after his side allowed five goals from the Timbers.
That’s now two wins in a row for the playoff-bound LAFC. After some roadblocks and complications without star player Carlos Vela, LAFC seem to be back on the right track.
Take a bow, Chris Wondoloski. After scoring twice against Real Salt Lake, the league’s all-time leading goalscorer now has a whopping total of 165 goals to his name.
Welcome to the playoff party, Dallas. Three goals, three well-deserved points and bragging rights over their Texan rivals.
Not much to say about this one, other than the fact that Nashville was perhaps lucky to walk away with a draw. The Fire were close to a win after hitting five on target and one against the woodwork.
Talk about an impact substitute. After stepping onto the field for Columbus in the 83rd minute, Krisztián Németh then immediately scored the game-winner in the 84th.
After going through six matches without a win, Atlanta finally stole three points with their 2-0 defeat of Cincinnati last week. Their playoff chances are still alive.
What a Hudson River Derby! Seven goals, two shots hitting the woodwork – and unfortunately the Red Bulls – a rivalry victory for NYCFC.
Manager Oscar Pareja and his men continue to stride forward. Orlando have only one loss in their last 15 matches.
Another seven-goal thriller on Sunday night. Down 2-0 by the 26th minute, the Revolution fought their way back to a mesmerizing 4-3 win.
Shaken up from their previous losses, Toronto bounced back with a 2-0 victory thanks to goals from Alejandro Pozuelo and Ayo Akinola.
A vital win that nearly has the Rapids on the cusp of a playoff invitation. Barring a late collapse in their final week, Colorado should be next in line for the postseason.
The narrow result wasn’t exactly the most entertaining battle, but nonetheless, Portland will remain on top of the Western Conference table. For now.
As mentioned earlier, the Galaxy now have a light at the end of their dreary tunnel. Under new management, there’s reason to believe they might turn things around.
The Galaxy are easily one of the more intriguing stories in the final stages of the regular season. Keep an eye on their next match, where they’ll surely continue their momentum against a Seattle squad that already have a place guaranteed in the playoffs.
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Freelance writer Cesar Hernandez is a specialist in all things American and Mexican soccer. He has written for ESPN FC, The Athletic, The Guardian, FourFourTwo, VICE Sports and several other publications. Along with writing and previous radio appearances on the BBC, talkSPORT and SiriusXM FC, Cesar is also a member of the Mexican Soccer Show podcast. Email: [email protected]More info on Cesar Hernandez
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