If only it was as easy as blaming everything on the fact that Juventus played in a stadium that many of the folks I know call 'Chavez Latrine.' If only I could do that, then writing this post would just be that much easier.
But it isn't mainly because Juve actually played on the same field that the baseball equivalent to Inter Milan calls home. Nah, while it didn't help, it certainly didn't cause Juventus to go from a decent-looking side against Everton to one that was a hot mess against the Los Angeles Galaxy a few short days later.
What's a good way to describe this loss at the hands of the Los Angeles Galaxy? Let's make a list...
Or, you can just go with the popular answer, and just simply go with all of the above.
It was a bad Juventus performance. I don't think there's any way to really work your way around that without coming back to the fact that it wasn't a very good showing by the two-time defending Serie A champs. It was the kind of performance you hope they get out of their system now before the games actually start to count for something in a couple of weeks. This is what Antonio Conte had to say about the 3-1 loss afterwards:
"It's good that this very bad loss happened pre-season, when it doesn't matter. We have to go back and get organized for the season. We understand we're not doing things properly, and we need to go back to the hard work that got us two consecutive Scudetti. We need everybody to wake up, and I put myself as the first one. We have great players, a great roster, but in these last two years, we've always gone beyond our limits with hard work and determination. We need to go back to that. They were in better shape and faster than us."
Yes, it's understandable that the Galaxy were in better shape for the simple fact that they're right in the middle of the Major League Soccer season rather than a month into preseason training like Juventus currently are. But at the same time, no matter what time of the year it is, it doesn't excuse Arturo Vidal from getting his pocket picked in the defensive third of the field or Andrea Pirlo just giving a ball away right outside the penalty area as everybody else just watches..
It's as simple as simple gets: Juventus didn't look like Juventus. The look on Conte's face for the majority of the second half told the story. Il Mister obviously was pissed his team was losing, but also why they were losing. No matter what time of year it is, Conte has a vision for what his team should be and they weren't meeting it.
Again, how much that all of this has to do with it being a game played on the third day of August rather than the first week in December is probably a reasonable thing to consider. But at the same time, you can only tell yourself "It's only August! It's only August!" for so long before you potentially drive yourself mad.
(Don't do that and drive yourselves mad, people.)
Maybe what Juve need to kick themselves out of this apparent short-term rut is a derby over in the States. You never know, it might just do the trick with a little added motivation to not only finish the tour on a positive note before heading back to Italy, but to get a win — and play well in the process — against a team they'll be seeing in a few short weeks when it's actually worth three points in the standings.
Just get the defense that was all kinds of interesting against the Galaxy in order. Get the offense that had only three shots on goal against the Galaxy clicking like it has the potential to do so now that its been upgraded. Get things going like we're used to seeing when the season begins. There, it's that simple.
At least the new black and white stripes look good. So there's that, which is nice.