To be sure Major League Soccer is a wild ride. It was never going to be easy for D.C. United in Los Angeles, but after a convincing road win on Saturday in Kansas City Wednesday's 4-1 loss to the Galaxy still came as a shock.
There are no excuses for this loss. Both United and the Galaxy were managing rosters through heavy schedules that continue with both teams playing this Sunday. Robbie Keane did not play for the Galaxy and there were four changes to the United side that beat Kansas City 3-0.
An own goal forced by Eddie Johnson, who was getting in position to receive a well-placed cross form Alex Caskey, brought some life to the game in the second half. The problem was the first half when the Galaxy scored three goals including Alan Gordon's tally just two minutes into the match.
1. That was not the real D.C. United. This is not public relations spin. United has offered us a big enough body of work this season to not read too much into a bad night at the office. Since the start of July United has grabbed 18 out of a possible 27 points in the standings. It is also not to suggest United's loss had anything to do with lineup changes. Chris Rolfe, Davy Arnaud, Nick DeLeon, and Fabian Espindola were not in the starting eleven. Espindola and DeLeon entered the game in the second half when a 3-1 score line made getting a tie a realistic possibility. The defeat was about how United played and not who played. It was far too comfortable and easy for the Galaxy from the beginning. Again MLS is a wild ride. Three weeks ago the Galaxy was smarting after a 4-1 road loss to Columbus and now looks ready to challenge Seattle for the Western Conference.
2. Barring injury, Ben Olsen has a decision to make. United next plays at Sunday at home against New York. With Eddie Johnson rested after a two-game suspension, it made sense to start him against the Galaxy over Espindola. So far this season Johnson has started every game he has been available for. Does that trend continue on Sunday or does Olsen go with Espindola and Luis Silva as his forwards?