It should come as no surprise given what transpired on his debut, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic hasn’t exactly reached the heights expected of him in Los Angeles. Yes, his return of three goals and three assists in only 487 minutes is quintessential Zlatan, but the big Swede is also a legend for another reason: winning.
A champion in the Netherlands (x2), Italy (x4), Spain and France (x4), Zlatan’s teams have always excelled, thanks in large part to his individual brilliance. As his relatively meagre annual salary of $1.5 million with the Galaxy attests, he’s not here just to enjoy the Hollywood lifestyle. He’s here because he wants to win, and he can't be happy with the way things have started at the StubHub Center.
Since arriving in Los Angeles, the Galaxy have posted a record of 2-5. They’re in the midst of a four-game slide — one that’s seen them slip to eighth place in the West.
Having played 10 matches, 30% of the Galaxy’s season is now in the books. At this point, the table doesn’t lie. The addition of Ibrahimovic has papered over some of the cracks, but this is largely still the same team that finished at the bottom of the Western Conference in 2017.
The club had the league’s second-worst defense last year, and they were only minimally better than Minnesota United in that regard (an expansion club that set the record for goals conceded in a single season with 70 — LA allowed 67).
That defensive frailty was again exposed on Saturday as Mauro Diaz assisted on three FC Dallas goals — a brace from Roland Lamah and another from Maximiliano Urruti — much to the delight of Dallas athletes Harrison Barnes, Dirk Nowitzki and Dak Prescott.
Gotta couple of @dallasmavs and @dallascowboys VIPs in the house! Thanks for reppin' our colors @hbarnes, @swish41 and @dak! #FCDvLA | #ChallengeAll pic.twitter.com/k1qkddnFTT— FC Dallas (@FCDallas) May 12, 2018
The Galaxy had an opportunity to equalize in the 89th minute with Zlatan standing over a free kick at the top of the box. However, his thunderous effort cracked off the post and out for a throw-in.
.@Ibra_official nearly breaks the post to equalize pic.twitter.com/fi4IXMkCrZ— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) May 12, 2018
Here are the full highlights from Dallas’ 3-2 win.
FCD brought the heat and ended the day with three more points. Full #FCDvLA match recap and highlights: https://t.co/L8PfSvXK13 pic.twitter.com/ggobiwPTM5— FC Dallas (@FCDallas) May 12, 2018