LA Galaxy Season Preview

LA Galaxy Season Preview

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On March 18, 2008

Ah, the stars of LA today in the team-by-team season previews here at Yesterday we reached the halfway line on the season previews.

2007 Record and Finish: 9-14-7, 34 pts., 5th in the west, 11th overall, missed the playoffs by 6 points

Player Movement:

Incoming: Carlos Ruiz (trade with Dallas), Sean Franklin (SuperDraft), Ely Allen (SuperDraft), Julian Valentin (SuperDraft), Brendon McDonald (SuperDraft), Michael Gavin (Supplemental Draft), Charles Alamo (Supplemental Draft), Greg Vanney (trade with DC)

Outgoing: Cobi Jones (retirement), Gavin Glinton (Expansion Draft), Carlos Pavon (waived), Joe Cannon (trade with San Jose), Chris Albright (trade with New England), Ty Harden (retirement), Quavis Kirk (trade with DC), Kevin Harmse (trade with Toronto), Kyle Martino (waived), Kelly Grey (waived)

Questions Going Into 2008

1. Will the mixture of star power and inexperience work?

It pretty much has to this year for first time MLS coach Rudd Gullit. LA has the star power in David Beckham, Landon Donovan, Carlos Ruiz and to a lesser extent in guys like Greg Vanney and Abel Xavier. The Galaxy also has a load of inexperience and from seeing it first hand it isn’t all that pretty. Having Beckham healthy and for a full season will help out more than people think.

I think this team matters more on the feet of Donovan and Ruiz working together and with Beckham more than just what Beckham does himself. If Ruiz can net about 10 or 12 and Donovan can put up his usual numbers this club may have one of the best offenses on our hands to date. However, the defense is old and the midfield isn’t all that great after Beckham.

The inexperienced have to step up and do it quickly. Having a couple guys that know how to step up when called on like the three DPs will help out in the long run.

2. Did the Galaxy give up too much for having three DPs?

I think they did but if you can outscore your oppoenet each night it won’t matter in the end how bad the defense is. LA got older on defense and in the process picked up Ruiz to put the DP tally to three. I know Donovan and Ruiz techincally count as normal players but we all know they are DPs in terms of pay in this league. LA had a slew of draft picks and quite frankly I don’t think Alexi Lalas did his club any favors with those picks.

Rudd Gullit has a lot of work cut out for him but is style of play will and should bring out the best in some of these new guys. Plus if the gamble of Ruiz pays off and he returns to his old Galaxy form then it will be all worth it in the end for the Galaxy.

3. How long before Lalas and Gullit get into it over the roster?

I think its a ticking timebomb here before we see Lalas get the boot all together here from the Galaxy. It needs to happen and it probably will happen before the end of the year. Gullit isn’t the type of coach to put up with nonsense and Lalas is too stupid to just let the man coach and get the right type of players for HIS system.

Lalas hasn’t quite figured that out in this league to be successful you must be able to work well with your coaches as a GM. He hasn’t done that to date and that’s why his job is slipping away from him with every signing he makes.

4. Can Beckham stay healthy?

Well I think this season should be a hell of a lot better than last year in terms of Beckham’s overall health. The Galaxy don’t have a bunch of friendlies or tournaments this year to contend with so that will help out a lot.

As we all know, the healthier the Beckham the better the Galaxy. I think really it is as simple as that. He makes this club so much better than they actually are.

5. Will their depth hurt them in the end?

Obsolutely it will hurt them, by June it will hurt them. From seeing them in person already this preseason and after viewing some of their friendlies they have very little if any depth on their bench. That won’t win games in this league. After watching them blow chance after chance in Dallas I turned to my girlfriend and said this club won’t win seven games this year if they play like that. I honestly believe that too.

Also, no one off their bench worries anyone in this league. That is unless they put Ruiz on the bench and bring him on in the second half. Even that may not worry teams as much as it should any more.

If a defender goes down for instance, which they may since guys like Xavier and Vanney are old, this team will be in serious trouble. If those guys are healthy this club may be alright in defense but if one goes down they will be hurting unless someone steps up.

2008 Season Outlook:

The offense is there for this club and with the way they play they will get plenty of looks at net. Thing is they have to finish their chances when they get them. If things break down in midfield, which they will against good clubs, this team will have to win a lot of matches 4-3 or 3-2 in order to make up for their lack of depth and age in defense.

This team should scare people due to having three DPs and some experience in defense. Thing is no one is afraid of this club anymore in the league. Again, if Donovan and Ruiz get their normal numbers and Beckham gets around the same, then this club will be in the playoffs (probably as a wildcard). Thing is there are some clubs out there that have better offenses and much better defenses that can beat this club up and down the field even with those three playing.

A decent midfield will pick this team apart. A really good midfield like with Houston or New England will tear this team apart.

I have a feeling this club will play to the level of their competition this season. They will play tough against the better clubs and struggle to beat the San Joses and Torontos of the league. Which is why again they will probably win around seven to nine games again this season.