Will a managerial change bring a different attitude for the LA Galaxy(10-8-10) against the 2016 MLS Cup winners Toronto FC on Saturday? With only six matches remaining, however, time is most certainly not on their side.
“I think everyone knows the urgency of the situation,” interim manager Dominic Kinnear said.
“We don’t have the coach we started the season with; we have six games left, we still have a chance to make the playoffs, and they have to be professional about it, put any emotions aside and get back to working hard to hopefully prepare well and win the game on Saturday.”
As things stand, the Galaxy are merely three points outside the final Western Conference playoff spot, which the Portland Timbers occupy and have not won a match in their previous six. However, the two teams ahead of LA have more games in hand.
This means that even if they win their remaining six matches, those points may still not be enough to get the into the playoffs.
The last time these two teams met was a season ago. Toronto FC thrashed the Galaxy, steam rolling their way to a 4-0 victory with goals scored by Drew Moor, Tosaint Ricketts, and Victor Vazquez.
Do not expect Kinnear’s tried and true 4-4-2 formation when the Galaxy play north of the border.
“The game has changed a little bit. I always had this reputation of being a strict 4-4-2 manager which was far from the truth in my last couple years,” the new boss told the assembled media.
“It all depends on the health of your squad, first and foremost, and what you can and cannot put out there.
“We have been battling injuries over the past couple of weeks, as everyone should know by the players missing on the field.
“The only thing I demand from the players, as any coach does, is when you step across that line, you’re focused, you’re working hard to do one thing: to help your team win the game. And that’s it.”
So how will the team lineup? Ola Kamara and Zlatan Ibrahimovic should still slot together up top. But then it gets interesting once you get into the middle of the pitch.
If Giovani dos Santos and Sebastian Lletget aren’t fit, can Bradford Jamieson play in behind the two strikers? He has the vision and technical ability to do that. And at times, when BJIV has come off the bench, the youngster provided a spark in the attack.
Will there be players stepping up now that they have someone new to impress? Captain Ashley Cole thinks so.
“Players that have not been getting a lot of game time, maybe it’s their chance to step now, train a little bit harder and who knows what the team will be on Saturday,” he said.
“Dom’s a great guy. He was a great number two here, and now it’s his time to shine. Whether it’s six games or who knows?
The lads have got to get behind him and battle, give everything now, because it’s too critical now, and we have to start winning.”
This match will kick off at 4:30 PM PST and you can watch it on SpectrumSN, Spectrum Deportes, and ESPN+.