Gyasi Zardes’ hard work starting to pay off for Galaxy – Orange County Register

Gyasi Zardes found himself in the one place an attacking player doesn’t want to be – in a scoring slump.

Zardes didn’t score his first goal this season until Sept. 3 against Colorado. It was his first goal for the Galaxy since Aug. 24, 2016.

“Anytime a goal scorer gets a goal, it takes this huge anvil or whatever you want to call it off his back,” Galaxy coach Sigi Schmid said after that game.

Zardes added his second goal of the season Sunday in the Galaxy’s 1-1 draw against Seattle.

“It feels great just to bag in a goal and to get another one in Seattle,” Zardes said. “I’ve been working extremely hard and it is great to see the fruits of your labor coming to reality.

“It’s just a different mentality. We’re working hard in training sessions and it just a different approach to our games.”

The year has been an odd one for Zardes. After a foot injury ended his season in August last year, Zardes was fit enough to join the U.S. Men’s National Team camp in January. A knee injury there required surgery, delaying the start of his MLS season.

He was eventually called back into U.S. duty during the Gold Cup.

“The weight’s been lifted and if you watch practice, he’s scoring more goals,” Schmid said. “He’s more comfortable, he’s getting his feet under him a little bit quicker.

“We’ve done a lot of work with him. (Assistant coach) Dom (Kinnear) is doing work with him also. He’s never been shy about that or afraid of doing that. His character is good. It is great to see him get those two goals and hopefully there’s more to come.”

Zardes will try to keep his scoring streak going Saturday night as the Galaxy host Toronto FC (Spectrum SportsNet, 7:30 p.m.).

He’s also credited the extra work he’s putting in with Kinnear as one of the reasons for his improvement.

“I love working with Dominic,” Zardes said. “There are so many striking drills that he utilizes and has helped me become better and more comfortable in the box, and I thank him for that.”

Zardes and the Galaxy enter Saturday night in ninth place in the Western Conference (7-14-6) with 27 points with seven games remaining.

The Galaxy are on a modest two-game unbeaten streak, which isn’t much, but on the heels of a 10-game winless streak, anytime a point is gained is good news.

“We’re going to play our hardest every day,” Zardes said. “Our fans deserve it, this organization deserves it and we’re going to give it everything each time we…

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