Los Angeles Galaxy Season Preview

Los Angeles Galaxy Season Preview

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On March 2, 2009
  • 2009 Season Preview, Bruce Arena, David Beckham, Eddie Lewis, Edson Buddle, Landon Donovan, Omar Gonzalez, Season Previews

Eddie Lewis will be called on a lot this year for the Galaxy. (Getty Images)

Back for another week of 2009 season previews here. Today we head out to Hollywood to preview the LA Galaxy. The Gals missed the playoffs again last year due to a horrible defense that allowed a MLS best 62 goals.

The offseason has been spent with loads of chaos surrounding loan deals with David Beckham. But in the process Bruce Arena has redone the roster with plenty of grit in hopes of getting back to the playoffs.

2008 record and finish: 8-13-9, 33 pts., tied for last in west and league, failed to reach the playoffs.

Offseason Player Movement:

Jovan Kirovski (trade with San Jose)
Donovan Ricketts (via transfer from Village United – Jamaica)
Leonard Griffin (via signing from Portland Timbers – USL1)
Stefani Miglioranz (trade with Columbus)
Dema Kovalenko (trade with RSL)
Mike Magee (trade with Colorado)
Omar Gonzalez (SuperDraft)
Todd Dunivant (trade with Toronto)
Yohance Marshall (undrafted signing)

Scott Bolkan (retired)
Jeremy Barlow (waived)
Joe Franchino (waived)
Alvaro Pires (waived)
Greg Vanney (retired)
Peter Vagenas (Seattle Sounders FC – Expansion Draft)
Eduardo Dominguez (waived)
Ante Jazic (trade with Chivas)
Steve Cronin (waived)
Mike Randolph (waived)
Brandon MacDonald (waived)
Ely Allen (waived)
Troy Roberts (waived)

Unsigned Draft Picks:
Josh Boateng
A.J. DeLaGarza
Kyle Patterson

Questions going into 2009:

1. How will this club handle the Beckham soap opera in year three?

In a way this is year number three for Beckham and the Galaxy. Year one was in a way a half year and year two was a full year. This time around things are really different. It should be his third and final year as reports suggest Becks will come sometime in the summer and leave after the season to Milan for good.

I think the Galaxy though will handle this mess even better than before though this year with Bruce Arena at the helm. He showed late in the year last season that he could handle the mess and all that came with it. As you see, he is actually building this club to meet his needs and not Beckhams. I think in the past Alexi Lalas and company were trying to meet Beckham’s needs on the field rather than actually improving the roster to make the club good in a salary cap system.

The circus will still be with this club no matter what in 2009.

2. Did Arena make the best moves for the club over the winter?

One thing is certain, Arena went out and got plenty of MLS proven guys and a couple decent parts to go with it this winter. The defense got a massive upgrade over last year’s bunch that saw 62 goals (nearly a little over 2 goals a game!). In the process he got rid of plenty of guys that just didn’t cut it in MLS or were too old to work with.

He took what Alexi Lalas and Ruud Gullit left him with and ripped it up into something that should be very interesting once Landon Donovan is in uniform. With Donovan the offense is what it was a year ago and now with a midfield and a defense that actually makes sense the Galaxy could be tough to stop.

3. Player to lookout for in 2009.

For the Galaxy to be better defensively in 2009, a lot rests on Dema Kovalenko. If he plays up to the same level he was at a year ago with RSL, he will make the impact that I think could place the Galaxy in playoff contention this season. Kovalenko has that kind of impact and I really believed he was a key part in getting RSL to the playoffs a year ago. To me he isn’t a break out player but definitely a x-factor.

Look at the 2009 Schedule:

Its a very doable schedule for this bunch. If they get through the madness that is Beckham this year they could easily play this schedule out with success. May, July and August seem like rough months with loads of road games but other than that this club doesn’t have a lot of extra games to worry about.

The only big thing they will deal with is no Beckham until July (a plus really) and the lack of Donovan through the year with national team callups.

2009 Season Outlook:

I like the work Bruce did on this club over the winter. He got rid of a lot of wasted space and added some actual talent. Sure some is old but I think it will pay off because of the experience the club has all together. Dealing with the Beckham mess will be one thing for the year but if anyone can put it beside them it is Bruce Arena.

I think the club still has a lot to prove to reach the playoffs this year. It won’t come easy in the west but I do see this club being much improved on all sides of the ball this year. They will be competitive in the west but a lot still has to fall in place for a playoff contention club here.