While the Los Angeles Galaxy have been insisting they aren’t
concerned about their slow start, David Beckham may no longer feel
that’s the case.
Having been shut out in their last two games and with their
starting goalkeeper still sidelined, the Galaxy try to avoid losing
three straight for the first time in more than four years when they
visit the Montreal Impact on Saturday.
Los Angeles (3-5-1) is struggling to find the back of the net
despite its star-laden lineup. The Galaxy, winless in its last
three with one goal in that span, haven’t lost three MLS games in a
row since a six-game skid Aug. 9-Sept. 1, 2007.
That season was also the last time they failed to score in three
straight contests. Los Angeles matched its loss total from last
season with a 1-0 defeat to New York last Saturday.
“We keep saying we’re not worried about it,” said Beckham, who
has two assists in 2012 after tying for the league lead with 18
last year. “But there’s going to be a point where we need to be
worried about it and we’re close to that now.”
Los Angeles scored 48 goals in 2011, second most in the Western
Conference, but ranks fifth in the West with 11 in 2012. Landon
Donovan, who had 15 goals last season, has two this year and has
gone three games without scoring.
“We’re by no means going to give up and by no means going to
hang our heads,” defender Todd Dunivant told the Galaxy’s official
website. “We’ve got a big game at Montreal … and that’s what
we’re going to focus on.”
While Los Angeles’ high-priced talent is feeling the pressure to
produce, it won’t be easy to score against former Galaxy goalkeeper
Donovan Ricketts, who hasn’t given up a goal in 202 minutes.
Ricketts helped lead Los Angeles to the MLS Cup final in 2009
and was the league’s goaltender of the year in 2010, but he lost
his starting job to Josh Saunders last season after suffering a
broken arm and made only three starts upon returning.
The Galaxy traded him to Montreal (3-5-2) in the expansion draft
and he has keyed the Impact’s respectable start. He made four saves
in each of the last two games, the most recent a 2-0 win over
Sporting Kansas City last Saturday.
“He’d certainly like to get a shutout against us,” Dunivant
said. “Knowing Donovan, he’s going to come to play.”
Los Angeles may be regretting the decision to move Ricketts as
Saunders has missed the last three matches due to a personal matter
and is out indefinitely. Bill Gaudette has filled in during his
absence and has allowed four goals.
The Impact are looking to become the first team to win three in
a row in their expansion season since Seattle in 2009, with the
league having added four teams since. Felipe Martins and Patrice
Bernier backed Ricketts with goals last weekend.
Montreal is coming off a 2-0 defeat to Toronto in the Canadian
Championship semifinals Wednesday.
“We lost, but now that we’re out of the Cup, we have to move
on,” Bernier said. “We have to concentrate on our next game and
we’re lucky it’s coming fast. We can switch things around right