Galaxy, stuck in the MLS basement, seeks first road win

The Galaxy’s short turnaround from Sunday’s win against San Jose was met with a rotated roster and an eventual loss to Columbus on Wednesday.

Here comes another short period of preparation as the Galaxy heads to face D.C. United on Saturday (4:30 p.m., Apple TV+).

Entering Wednesday, Galaxy coach Greg Vanney wrestled with the decision of leaving the first team intact after playing Sunday and or mixing in reserves. He chose the latter.

“Honestly, it was a difficult decision,” he said following Wednesday’s 2-0 loss to Columbus. “I was mulling it over and processing it. Before we even came into the week, I had sort of a plan going into this week based off of the travel. The short turnaround is going to be on both ends.

“The travel from L.A. to Columbus … a little longer, the day is longer. The guys are recovering from the last game and we’re going into a long week, so I felt like we had some guys who were, in the end, they felt great, which was tough to leave them out, because there were a lot of guys who I left out who felt like they were ready to play, and they felt like they were ready to play, but we have four games in 10 days that we’re trying to also manage.

“Some guys have had little knocks or things that they’ve been managing over the course of time, and so I also need to see what some of our other guys can do for us and how they’re going to contribute to this team during this stretch.”

In the second half, Mark Delgado, Gaston Brugman and Chicharito Hernandez entered the game as substitutes, setting them up for a longer stretch of time Saturday.

“I was trying to also kind of manage our group going into the weekend. So, we’ll try to put the best team together we can for the weekend and we’ll look to take some points or something out of D.C., and then come back and prepare for the next one,” Vanney said. “The other challenge was we had momentum in terms of the last two results, so that became a challenge, too. You’re managing a plan that you’re doing unemotionally before the trip starts and then when you win, your emotion is, ‘OK, I want to stick with this group and put them back out there.’ But, that’s where the calculation becomes difficult.”

Wednesday’s loss was the first midweek MLS game for the Galaxy this season. The depth of the team has been tested with the injuries to Sega Coulilbaly, Chris Mavinga and Douglas Costa.

Regardless of lineups and formations, the Galaxy need to find a way to win. The Galaxy is at the bottom of the league (2-7-3, nine points) and is winless on the road (0-4-2).

“Positive results fix everything,” Galaxy defender Eriq Zavaleta said. “When you win, everyone thinks you’re the best team in the world. And when you lose, everyone thinks you’re the worst. It’s just the reality of the business that we’re in. Positive results along the way, positive momentum along the way are really important. This is a group of players that want to win more than anything and believe in each other more than anything.

“We’ve had some bad moments go against us, and I think we’ve found a way and a rhythm throughout the last few weeks that we can build off of. Until you start seeing guys who aren’t frustrated and who don’t care anymore, then I say to them, ‘Believe in us.’ We believe nothing is lost yet this season. We’re not happy, we’re not satisfied with where we are and we’re going to continue to get better. We’re going to continue to watch film and every single player who steps on that field is going to give everything they can for the crest.”

Galaxy at D.C. United

When: 4:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Audi Field, Washington, D.C.

TV: Apple TV+

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