It seems as if the Swedish striker has already had an amazing impact in the MLS, as he shined on Sunday, recording a hat trick for the LA Galaxy.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic showed off against Orlando City, putting away 2 headers and then a strike to the left side of the net. He looked like his former self when he played for PSG a couple years ago. He was lethal on the offensive end, and helped his team to 4-3 win. Ibra is till proving he has the skill at 36-years-old.
“Even if my age is what it is, I’m still proving it’s not about the age, it’s about how you prepare, how I take care of myself,” Ibrahimovic said. “People were worried [about] how old I am. Don’t worry about my age. Worry when I slow down.”
This has been a fantastic start to the Swede’s MLS career. He has scored 15 goals in only 17 appearances for Los Angeles, and it seems like a whole lot more is in store for the European star. He still possesses all the qualities of when he was playing for higher quality soccer clubs. He received high praise from teammates and coach Sigi Schmid.
As of lately, Ibra has been on a tear in the MLS. He has scored 12 goals in his last 8 games. While doing this, he has helped extend the Galaxy unbeaten streak to 9 games, which has been their longest in the past 2 seasons. It has been a solid run in the past couple weeks for L.A., as they are sitting in third place in the Western Conference with a record of 10-5-7 (35 points).
Even though the Galaxy have been unbeaten for awhile, they have had their fair share of close calls. This happened to be another occasion where the side went down early, then found a way to comeback. The two teams would exchange 5 goals in 30 minutes of play, with OC finding the back of the net, followed by Ibrahimovic’s relentlessness to equalize back for his side.
Eventually the score would be tied at 3-3, and then it was time for Ibra and the Galaxy to pull ahead and steal the show away from Orlando City. Four minutes after scoring the equalizing header, Ibra would take a poor clearance by defender Amro Tarek off of his chest, and launch a shot from his right foot to net his 15th goal of the season in the 71st minute. It would end up being the deciding goal, as the Galaxy would hold onto win.
Even though he has shown off his brilliance for America this season, Ibra announced that he would not be playing in the MLS All-Star Game vs. Juventus on Wednesday. He clearly does deserve the nomination, but decided to not play due to season fatigue.
This means by missing the game, Ibra will also have to miss his next regular season appearance for L.A. It would have been an awesome sight to see the Swedish legend square off against one of his former sides, but in an American All-Star Jersey.