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LAFC vs. LA Galaxy: Three Questions

Let’s do something different this time!

MLS: LA Galaxy at San Jose Earthquakes Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Football Club will take on the LA Galaxy Sunday, for possibly the last time in 2020, and to gear up for the big rivalry game, I turned to ... myself to get the scoop on the opponent.

Yes, I cover the Galaxy too, for SB Nation’s Galaxy site LAG Confidential and figured it’s time to get weird. Let’s get weird, then.

1. So what’s happened since LAFC last played the Galaxy?

Well, it hasn’t been great, to be honest. The Galaxy went seven games after the last win over LAFC without a win, six losses in a row. The streak was just snapped, last week with a last-minute winner over the Vancouver Whitecaps, so perhaps things are looking up.

But there’s still some concerns. Cristian Pavón lost his mojo, Chicharito still hasn’t scored since Orlando, the defense has been out of sorts, and the team’s energy has been poor overall. There have been games when they fight but just can’t keep up with their opponent, but all in all something just isn’t clicking. Can they build on the win last week, get another rivalry win, and finish the season strong? It’s really a mystery right now, and the season hangs in the balance.

2. The Galaxy recently made a goalkeeper change. How has that gone?

Pretty well so far, actually. Guillermo Barros Schelotto benched David Bingham two games ago and brought in Jonathan Klinsmann — yes, the son of Jurgen Klinsmann — who they signed in the summer. I thought Klinsmann was going to be a backup, considering he hadn’t played much first team pro games in his career to date, but with the team sliding Schelotto needed to do something and he went with a switch in goal. Frankly, Klinsmann has been solid. The Galaxy got plastered in his first game, a 4-0 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes, but he was credited with keeping it as “close” as it was. Last week, he delivered a clean sheet and played well.

Does this mean the goalkeeper situation is solved? Time will tell. I think Bingham has been a scapegoat but he is also a very inconsistent player and it’s not shocking he had to take a seat. I think a two-game sample size is way too small to make a definitive call on Klinsmann’s career, but much like Pablo Sisniega coming into start for LAFC, the youngster got the nod and looks like an upgrade so far.

3. But seriously, what’s going on with Chicharito?

I really don’t know, honestly. He’s played in seven of the last eight games, his longest run to date in MLS, but he’s not been a factor at all. I think the attack is not really built to feature him — Pavón is either asked to play hero ball, or the team sends in looping crosses over and over again — but he missed a winning goal in the last game completely, just fluffed it, and he has one goal in MLS so far, through 10 games. I think you have to consider he is not in form in addition to the systemic problems.

I’ll be honest, I think Chicharito is a good player and think he gets a ton of abuse for no good reason, or at least not deserving reasons. I’ve preached patience with him since Galaxy fans have already labeled him a bust, in 2020 with a stop-start season, a pandemic, on a new team and with a sputtering attack anyway! But even I have to admit he’s not in a groove and the few looks he does get aren’t hitting the mark.

So I don’t know what will happen. A lot of rumors are flying around but they’re just that, rumors, and like with Carlos Vela there’s a lot of nonsense floating around and I think most of it is bunk. Is this season going to be a writeoff for him? It’s quite possible, we’ll have to see if he can find some spark in the final games of the season.

4. (Bonus) I was expecting more out of you on these.

You and me both.

You can find my answers to my, um, questions about LAFC over at LAG Confidential.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.