While the USA has been racking up the medals, and London has been drenching in the glory of being the sporting capital of the world, Charlie Naimo's Los Angeles Blues have been wallowing in nothing but defeat.
This has turned out to be another sorry season for the inconsistent Blues, and their inconsistency could potentially cost them a spot in the USL PRO playoffs later this year.
Naimo was out managing a losing effort for the Pali Blues up in Ottawa, Ontario, so it was up to assistant manager Shayon Jalayer to pick up the pieces. They were hoping that new acquisition David Arvizu could jump-start the fading postseason hopes of the Blues.
“Overall, I would say that we’re just a better group now than we were during our last road trip,” Jalayer told LABLuesProSoccer.com's Gunnar Berndt. “In addition to bringing in several quality players, we’ve finally had a good opportunity to recover and regenerate from that tough stretch of games, which means the guys are now eager for a trip like this.
“When you have too many of these back-to-back road matches in a very short amount of time, the tendency can be apprehension and anxiety, and that put us in a much tougher spot last time around. At this point, there is a very good mentality about the team and the guys seem to really be embracing the task at hand.”
Unfortunately for LA, it was more of the same. On Friday, the Blues dropped another 1-0 defeat to the Rochester Rhinos at Sahlen's Stadium in Rochester, N.Y. Tam McManus was the hero for Rochester in the 60th minute.
Saturday brought more inept play and inferior match fitness from Los Angeles, the same that has hindered them for a majority of the year, as the Blues fell 2-0 to the Harrisburg City Islanders at the Skyline Sports Complex in Harrisburg, Pa. Morgan Langley opened the scoring for the City Islanders in the 54th minute and Lucky Mkosana closed the door shut in the 67th minute of play.
Tuesday night saw LA in a must-win situation against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, and they delivered, breaking their losing streak with a 2-0 shutout at Chartiers Valley High School in Bridgeville, Pa. Brian Farber opened up the scoring in the 38th minute, while Maxwell Griffin sealed the victory in the 54th minute of play.
The Blues have the week off before they return to action for a couple of games against Antigua Barracuda FC. These are must-win games for Los Angeles. Anything short of a victory, and their postseason ambitions will essentially go up in smoke.
Kickoff for the Aug. 9 and Aug. 11 matches are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 p.m. ET and will be held at Titan Stadium on the campus of California State University, Fullerton in Fullerton, Calif.
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