By Antonio Flowers
Faced with a win or tie or die Sunday afternoon, the LA Galaxy chose death, as they blew a 2-0 lead and ended their playoff hopes with a 3-2 loss to the Houston Dynamo at the StubHub Center.The Galaxy needed a win or a tie against the Dynamo in order to claim a spot in the MLS playoffs. With the loss in the season finale, the Galaxy finished 13-9-12, seventh in the western conference. The top six teams advance.
While the game was disappointing enough for the hometown faithful who paid to see it, the aftermath was just as bad. On Fan Appreciation Day, the day teams show their respect for the people who help pay their salaries, the majority of the Galaxy players didn’t even step onto the field to sign autographs afterwards.
The Galaxy opened up a 2-0 lead early in the first half, with two goal from Ola Kamara and looked to already have their minds on the playoffs. The early lead seemed to get the Galaxy ahead of themselves and allowed the Dynamo to gain moment and eventually seize control
The Galaxy failed to hold onto a two-goal advantage, watching the game slip away as complacency set in.
The Dynamo’s relentless offense took over after halftime en route to a 3-2 win that left the home side in ruins.
The players were shocked in disbelief as their playoff chances were over. Many players were seen left on the field as the emotions set in.
Since it was fan appreciation day, players were supposed to sign autographs after the game but most didn’t even come out on the field. This left many fans aggravated and they refused to leave the stadium. The police had to intervene as fans yelled and screamed for their home team to come out and sign apparel and memorabilia. The players did not return to the field.
The only two players that came out to sign were Romain Alessandrini and Ashley Cole. Cole is considering retirement as he went around the stadium signing autographs for nearly 20 minutes. Fans chanted “one more year,” repeatedly as he waved goodbye with his son beside him to the rowdy fans.
This game was also pivotal for Zlatan Ibrahimovic as the Galaxy may have seen the last of him. Ibrahimovic signed a one-year contract with the Galaxy on March 23, 2018.
The tale of two halves were the reason the Galaxy couldn’t come back. The first half the body language and energy was palpable. However, the second half the Galaxy couldn’t get over the hump and failed to advance to the MLS Playoffs.
Quioto’s goal really took a toll on the players and sucked the energy out of the Stub Hub Center. The momentum shift played a huge role in this match.
From that point on, the Galaxy were mentally shut down and weren’t focused. You could really tell that the confidence was down and they got into their own heads a little bit.
The Galaxy tried to make a push late but the Dynamo trapped them on the counter to push it to 3-2. The Galaxy couldn’t comeback.
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