Special to Sports News Highlights

(SNH) — No club has won the MLS Cup more times than the Los Angeles Galaxy. However, it’s been 10 years since they claimed their record fifth title. 

But, as the Galaxy sport a Western Conference-high 18 points entering this weekend’s match day against Austin FC, perhaps there’s reason to believe this particular group will be the one to end the club’s championship dry spell.

Not so fast. 

Sure, the 2024 Galaxy (5-1-3) are fun to watch for those who like a fast-paced game and plenty of scoring. L.A. enters the weekend having totaled 21 goals, most in the West and second highest in all of MLS.

Five different players have recorded at least two goals, with Dejan Joveljic (six goals) having already matched his career-high MLS total, as Joseph Paintsil (four) and Riqui Puig (three) sit close behind.

The Galaxy, who have missed the playoffs three of the last five seasons, scored three or more goals five times and won four of the last five after hanging on for last weekend’s 4-3 triumph over San Jose. 

Which transitions into why Galaxy fans shouldn’t get too excited about their side’s position two months into the season. 

L.A. led 3-0 and 4-1 against the Earthquakes, but the visitors didn’t fold and made it a one-goal contest with fewer than 20 minutes remaining.  Now, the Galaxy were able to hold on for their third one-goal victory this season, which is all that matters in the weekly quest for three points.

“This league has a way of sometimes reminding you that no lead is a safe lead if you don’t do all the little things right,” Galaxy coach Greg Vanney said.

That said, for as potent as Los Angeles has been in the opponents’ end, it's been nearly as generous on their side of the pitch. Where the Galaxy have conceded 15 goals this season, fourth-most in the West.

Vanney knows his side is essentially playing with fire, but not getting burned at the moment. When digging deeper into the numbers, signs potentially point to the heat being turned up on the Galaxy, in terms of seeing that good fortune subside as the season continues.

L.A. has posted just one clean sheet and its expected goals allowed is the second highest in MLS (16.5) and yielded a relatively high 5.7 corners per match.

“It’s a game, as I said to the guys, that we’ve got to be able to lock down and shut it down, and it needs to be done,” Vanney added.

“Which means we need to be more mature in some of our decisions throughout the course of the game. Make sure we’re good and solid in our possession, that we stay connected as a group and we’re not racing ahead of ourselves.” 

The Galaxy’s ability to score means, at least for the time being and barring an offensive drought, that they likely won’t be out of many matches when falling behind. Even when facing a multiple-goal deficit.

However, the consensus amid league pundits and MLS media types is that it might be too early to treat the Galaxy as serious title contenders.

That makes sense considering how they’re living life in the fast lane.  

Still, these Galaxy are highly entertaining and worth the time spent watching. Whether that leads to more MLS glory for the franchise in 2024 remains to be seen.

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