The LA Galaxy lost a disappointing home game Saturday night against Atlanta United, 2-0. Before a sellout crowd of 25,846 soccer fans, the visiting team came out strong, dominating on both ends of the field throughout most of the game.
After missing a penalty shot off the left goalpost, Josef Martinez earned United their first goal, midway into the first half. The missed penalty was the first of three United shots to bounce off the goal post in under three minutes. The third time was a charm, though, as Martinez was able to compensate for his penalty shot miss by tapping in an easy rebound off a Julian Gressel shot after it deflected off Galaxy Defender Daniel Steres.
Atlanta’s speed proved to be too much for the Galaxy for most of the evening as they dominated possession throughout the game. Galaxy suffered defensively without Jonathan Dos Santos, who was a late scratch from the starting line-up, apparently incurring an injury during warm-up. His older brother, Giovanni, joined his team on the field at the latter portion of the second half. His presence seemed to liven up his comrades and Galaxy made a final surge with just a few minutes left in the game. Despite their best efforts, however, Atlanta sealed their victory with a penalty goal late into stoppage time in the final half.
It was a frustrating night for Galaxy fans and players as hopes soared high with Zlatan Ibrahimovic on the field the entire evening for the first time in his MLS career. Since his arrival, the Swede has led the Galaxy’s offense in both scoring and shots on goal. He has scored the team’s last three goals.
Despite, Ibrahimovic’s efforts, though, the evening was still a shutout, marking the third of the season and the ninth since coach Sigi Schmid took over last summer.
“We haven’t been able to step on the field and have all 10 players have a good game at the same time,” stated Schmid after the game. “There’s always been missing pieces.”
Atlanta leads the East with 17 goals, unbeaten for six consecutive games.