Steven Gerrard called for LA Galaxy to toughen up their defence after his debut season in Major League Soccer was brought to an abrupt end with a 3-2 defeat to the Seattle Sounders.
The star-studded defending champions - whose $19.5m payroll is the second highest in MLS history - were bundled out of the playoffs on Wednesday after an error-strewn performance at CenturyLink Field. Former Liverpool and England captain Gerrard said the Galaxy's season had come unstuck through a tendency to give away cheap goals to the opposition, placing too high a burden on the team's potent attack.
"For us it just seems like we've got to score three or four goals to get over the line to win games, and that's what we've got to analyse over the winter," said Gerrard, a high-profile signing for the Galaxy in July.
"I know (coach) Bruce (Arena) quite well now having got used to him and I'm sure that's where he'll be analysing. We've got to stop this team conceding goals because we know we're capable of scoring anywhere in the league. I've been in this game long enough to know that if you're going to be successful you can't keep conceding goals."
All three of Seattle's goals on Wednesday came from defensive blunders by the Galaxy, leaving Arena seething with anger after the match.
"Our play in front of our goal defensively was atrocious," the former USA coach said. "We just gift wrapped those three goals. Give them credit - they jumped on the mistakes, but we were shockingly poor. If you're going to give away goals like that, you don't deserve to win, that's for sure."