Emotions ran high for Zlatan Ibrahimovic during last Saturday’s 2-0 win against FC Cincinnati.
He knows it, his teammates know it and everyone watching since his arrival from Manchester United knows it too.
“He’s an interesting character, but obviously he wants to get his goals,” Galaxy midfielder Sebastian Lletget told Spectrum SportsNet’s Megan Reza after the game. “We’re all happy with the win. He’s an emotional guy and he seems to show it a bit too much sometimes, but that’s him.”
Ibrahimovic has scored 11 of the Galaxy’s 24 goals this season. Against FC Cincinnati, service to him was off as he was scoreless with just two shots on goal.
Ibrahimovic and the Galaxy face longtime in-state rival San Jose (Spectrum SportsNet, 7 p.m.) in front of crowd expected to exceed 55,000.
“I think in the game, I need to have more patience,” Ibrahimovic said Thursday. “I have a lot of will and I want a lot and I play with a lot of emotions. I want to do a lot of things but sometimes it is impossible to do a lot of things at one time.
“To have patience, the ball will come as long you keep moving, keep creating, keep being focused and being on your toes. Things will come. The guys are trying, they’re doing their best, same for me. Sometimes it goes, sometimes not.”
Ibrahimovic admitted he does put a lot of pressure on his teammates.
“That’s my game, I did everywhere, (Manchester) United, Juventus, Barcelona, (AC and Inter) Milan, that’s the environment I came from,” he said. “I said when I come here, I want a lot. I didn’t come here to relax. That’s who I am. So far, I’ve won 33 trophies, that’s probably more than the whole MLS all together. I know what I’m doing, trust me.
“I always put pressure because I like it. Sometimes you need to have a balance depending on who the individual is. I’m here one year so you adjust, but when you play 25 years on a level that is very intense, very high, it becomes automatic and natural all of these things. Then when you try and do it here, it doesn’t come as direct, so I just have to adjust and have this patience. It is difficult to bring the whole MLS to the level I came from.”
Galaxy coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto said he’s spoken with Ibrahimovic regarding his frustrations.
“He demands a lot because he wants to win,” Schelotto said. “Everyone wants to win. We have good feedback and he knows that day he was frustrated, but I like it. He challenges every day to get better.”
Schelotto vs. Almeyda again
Galaxy coach Guillermo Barros Schleotto and San Jose coach Matias Almeyda have crossed paths before as teammates with the Argentina national team, opponents on the field and on the sidelines in their native country.
In Argentina, they faced twice on the sidelines when Schelotto was at Lanus and Almeyda at Banfield.
“It is a very important three points for us,” Schelotto said. “California Derby …It will be very emotional for us and for them, maybe 60,000 people in the stadium.
“He (Almeyda) started with some doubt, but he’s improving a lot. He’s very smart. It’s a big game, maybe different than the other games and we will be ready to play.”
L.A. GALAXY (10-6-1, 31 points) at SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (6-6-4, 22 points)
Kickoff: 7 p.m. Saturday at Stanford Stadium
TV/Radio: Spectrum SportsNet; KWKW/1330; LAGalaxy.com (English)
Update: After a slow start, the Earthquakes have moved up to sixth place in the Western Conference. San Jose is 3-1-2 in its last six, including a 2-0 win over Houston on Wednesday. The teams met twice last season. The Galaxy won the first meeting 1-0 and the second ended in a 3-3 draw, also played at Stanford Stadium. Zlatan Ibrahimovic opened the scoring less than a minute into the game. The Galaxy led 3-1 after 26 minutes.