Toronto FC-Galaxy Preview
Even when things aren't going completely well, the Los Angeles Galaxy remain a confident group that believes it still might be the class of MLS regardless what the scoreline or table says.
Coming off their second defeat in three league matches, the Galaxy probably feel confident they'll bounce back Thursday night against visiting Toronto FC.
For nearly the first two months of the season, L.A. was 7-1-1 and one of the elite teams in MLS. Then the Galaxy dropped four in a row before winning two straight. However, Los Angeles (10-7-1) lost 2-1 at home to New England in its final game before the recent league break.
L.A. bounced back with a 2-0 win at lowly FC Cincinnati out of the hiatus, but took another step back with a 3-0 loss to surging San Jose in Saturday's California Clasico. Though it marked the third time in seven MLS matches that Los Angeles was blanked, star Zlatan Ibrahimovic and coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto still think their side was the better team on some levels - and is overall.
"I think with MLS, it's special," Ibrahimovic, who has failed to score in two straight games, told the league's official website. "(Saturday's) result would say normally we are not good enough, but the opponent is not better than us. I think the whole MLS is equal. It's like 50/50 every game and everything can happen - just like (Saturday)."
Schelotto added: "San Jose was never more than us."
However, Schelotto knows his side must be better if they are to remain among the top clubs in the Western Conference. And even against Toronto FC (6-7-5), which has won the last three meetings with L.A.
TFC, though, is 0-3-2 on the road since a 2-0 victory at Orlando City SC on May 4, and has just one victory over the last 10 league games. Toronto also is without the likes of stars Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore, who are on international duty with the United States at the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Toronto led 1-0 at D.C. United after 19 minutes on Saturday thanks to Nick DeLeon's third goal over a five-game stretch. However, Wayne Rooney equalized on a penalty kick off a questionable foul aided by VAR in second-half stoppage time to keep TFC from earning the full three points for a second consecutive contest.
"The play is definitely starting to move in our direction," DeLeon told Toronto's official website. "We've just got to keep grinding, keep going, stay together and the results will come."
Updated July 2, 2019