Cudicini Stands up for the Defense
CARSON, Calif. - Perhaps it was the result of spending nine days on the road, playing three games and venturing from one side of the North American continent to the other, but LA Galaxy goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini was feeling a bit frustrated Tuesday.
Cudicini, a 39-year-old veteran of the English Premier League, took exception to criticism of the Galaxy's defense following last Sunday's 1-0 loss in New York. On Monday, when asked what the Galaxy has to do to snap out of its recent funk, which includes three loses in the last four games, he stood up for his teammates.
"Every time we lose a game there's something we have to do," he said. "But seeing the games we play, especially in Philadelphia (a 4-1 victory) and New York, there's nothing we have to do.
"I think the team played well, even though in New York we didn't get any points. But the team did OK, especially being the third game on the road. Nothing to complain about, especially the last two performances."
The Galaxy are tied with Colorado, Sporting Kansas City and Columbus for third in Major League Soccer in goals allowed (10) behind only Seattle and New England, both of which have allowed nine.
"To be fair, I think this team is getting a lot of critique, a lot of comments about how we're doing," he said. "I think the defense is doing pretty well. Compare it to the previous two years and, for sure, we've improved.
"I don't really get all this critique I read and I hear on TV about this defense, really. I'm sorry."
The Galaxy have received their share of criticism for conceding late goals, and not just Tim Cahill's goal last Sunday. There was a goal in the 89th minute that gave Chivas a 1-1 draw on March 17. FC Dallas scored in the 87th minute for a 1-0 victory almost a month later.
Cudicini clearly disagreed with the ongoing criticism of the Galaxy's defense.
"I don't think they're fair," he said. "It's as easy as that. How can you critique a defense that is second "in the league? Every time we concede a goal I read and I hear stuff on TV every time. I don't think it's fair. I don't read the same things when other teams concede goals. Why are we the only team where we have problems on defense?
"What I'm saying is we want to improve? Yes, we want to. We have to improve? Yes we do. We want to get better? Yes, but it's part of a team, part of the process that a team has to go through during the season.
"Now that we are already 11 games in, we want to get better, try not to concede silly goals and avoid silly situations. But in soccer, in football that happens, it will happen today, it will always happen.
"Of course you want to try to get rid of mistakes or situations where you can control better, but personally I don't think this defense is doing as bad as a lot of people are saying."
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