By the numbers: More reasons the rest of MLS should fear the LA Galaxy


If you lead with the LA Galaxy’s winning streak, you actually understating how hot they are. Since entering halftime down 3-1 to Colorado just over two weeks ago, Bruce Arena’s team has outscored its opponents 18-1, taking 15 straight points while moving into second in the Western Conference. Seattle’s strong spring means the Sounders are still three up on the Galaxy, but as the teams’ July 28 meeting in Seattle showed, even the Sounders have work to do to reach the Galaxy’s level.

After last night’s 6-0 win over Colorado, the Galaxy’s numbers are starting to become particularly gaudy. Not only does the team have MLS’s best attack and defense, but they’re also near the top in a number of secondary indicators – numbers that hint their goals for and allowed are no fluke.

Even at the individual level, there have been a number of standout performances, all of which confirm the obvious: The Galaxy is MLS’s best team, right now.

Though the two months between now and season’s end could paint a different picture, right now, it’s worth taking a moment to marvel. Here are some of the Galaxy’s most impressive numbers:

(All of these numbers are from Opta, via

  • 54 goals, 2.08 per game – Not only are these the high marks in Major League Soccer, but the gap between LA and the pack is growing. After last night’s red card-aided explosion, the Galaxy has six more goals than the league’ next-most prolific team (Seattle, who have also played 26 games). Arena’s is the only team that’s averaging more than two goals per match this season.
  • 40 open play goals – The Galaxy aren’t exploiting set pieces. There haven’t been a rash of own goals or penalty kicks. They’re not even relying on the counter, anymore. (Per Opta, they’ve only score one “Counter Attack” goal this season, which seems low). LA’s 40 open play goals are eight more than the league’s next-highest total (Portland).
  • 27 goals allowed, 1.03 per game – Two weeks ago against Columbus and Colorado, LA’s defense looked vulnerable, but those are the only times this season the Galaxy have allowed more than two goals. Having conceded 27 times in 26 games, LA’s the only team approaching a goal-per-game rate. The only score the team has allowed in its last 430 minutes was an own goal by Leonardo.
  • +27 goal difference – Next best: Seattle, at +13. LA’s difference is twice as good as the league’s second-best total, and with their low goals allowed total, Pythagoras sees an even bigger advantage on the rest of the league.
  • 16.4 shots per game, 6.1 on target – Both marks lead the league by some distance. Seattle is 2.2 shots back in total shots, while the difference between LA and the Sounders in tries on target (.6) would also cover the gap between Seattle and seventh-ranked Vancouver.
  • 10.6 shots conceded per game – Only Kansas City (10.2) is averaging fewer.
  • 82.8% passing accuracy – Another league best total. Six regulars are completing at least 85 percent of their passes.
  • 55.1% possession – At 56.1, Sporting has a higher mark, but consider another point of reference: LA’s total is 1.1 pct. better than the typically possession-heavy RSL.
  • Juninho’s 89.5% pass completion percentage – Only Seattle’s Osvaldo Alonso has a higher mark (90.8), but whereas Alonso has no primary assists and 0.8 key passes (passes that lead to shots) per game, Juninho has three primary assists and averages one key pass.
  • 4.3 shots per game Robbie Keane – Only Clint Dempsey (4.6) has a higher mark. LA’s consistently giving its biggest threat a chance to score.
  • 11 primary assists for Landon Donovan, 3.5 key passes per game – Both marks lead Major League Soccer. Donovan’s three hockey assists (let’s stop using these already) leave him on top of MLS’s charts, two ahead of Robbie Keane.
  • 36 combined goals for Gyasi Zardes, Robbie Keane, Donovan – By themselves, LA’s big three have outscored eight other teams in Major League Soccer.