- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On February 17, 2010
- 0 Comments
- AJ DeLaGarza, Alecko Eskandarian, Alex, Clint Mathis, David Beckham, Donovan Ricketts, Edson Buddle, Gregg Berhalter, Josh Saunders, Juninho, Landon Donovan, Michael Stephens, Omar Gonzalez, Sean Franklin, Todd Dunivant
We’re a little over half way home in our look at each Major League Soccer club this winter. So far we’ve hammered out Chicago, Colorado, Chivas, Columbus, DC, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, and Philadelphia in out preseason look ins.
So far this winter the LA Galaxy have had a similar offseason that we expected them to have. David Beckham went to Italy to be with AC Milan and Landon Donovan went to England to play for Everton until March. We knew going into the winter months that those things would happen. Unlike last year when there was a lot of bad press about loan moves for Beckham, this year was a little smoother for the two sides.
Aside from that Bruce Arena has made a couple moves since then and even with one draft pick back in January at the SuperDraft he came away with a solid draft grade by me and most people.
Let’s see how the Galaxy are looking right now and what else they need to do to their roster before the season kicks off.
Who they have: Donovan Ricketts, and Josh Saunders.
Notes: No third keeper on the books just yet but I’m sure they’ll have one eventually. It doesn’t matter though as I honestly believe they have one of the best starter/backup duos in the league with Ricketts and Saunders.
We know that Saunders can step in at a moments notice if Ricketts goes down but for the most part Arena has little to worry about in this department.
Who they have: Gregg Berhalter, Todd Dunivant, Omar Gonzalez, Yohance Marshall, Alex, AJ DeLaGarza, Leonardo, and Sean Franklin.
Notes: There were plenty of issues with this group last year, particularly when a team had speed to burn they’d be in trouble. Most folks believe the two Brazilians (Alex and Leonardo) are there to fix that as well as provide depth. Honestly this group is only going to get better considering the amount of youth there. I know Berhalter and Dunivant aren’t young but with guys like Franklin, DeLaGarza and Gonzalez this group should be fine for years to come.
I think they addressed their needs with the two Brazilians too. I haven’t seen much of them yet but a couple folks have told me they’ll fit in fine for Arena in the back. Alex was brought in to fill a left back spot and I’d imagine the Arena and company aren’t as worried about this group as they were two months ago.
Who they have: David Beckham, Clint Mathis, Eddie Lewis, Chris Klein, Dema Kovalenko, Mike Magee, Juninho, Chris Birchall, and Michael Stephens.
Notes: They won’t have Beckham until after the World Cup, we know that much and really that isn’t a big deal as we saw last year. The big deal with this group is even though they added Juninho and Stephens they haven’t gotten any younger. I’m not sure but I am willing to bet this may be the oldest group of midfielders in the entire league right now. Its a risky move to have that many veteran players in one area of the team and at times last year it costed them.
Still as long as all the right parties are healthy and the ones that come off the bench produce they should see similar results from 2009. I love the addition of Stephens through the SuperDraft. He may end up being one of the more underrated picks of this year.
I would have like to have seen some more work done in this area on the wings but between the draft and the addition of Juninho and Mathis they will likely be fine here.
Who they have: Landon Donovan, Edson Buddle, Jovan Kirvoski, Alecko Eskandarian, Tristan Bowen, Alen Gordon, and Bryan Jordan.
Notes: Donovan will be back but after the World Cup will he go again for good may be a big question on everyone’s mind. I think the big thing will be if Buddle can step up when he is gone with the national team leading up to the World Cup and during the it. Buddle is the X-factor here for Arena and the Galaxy, if he produced while Donovan is gone they’ll easily be a factor for the Supporter’s Shield this year, if not it could be a long summer.
They do have plenty of strikers right now on the books but one has to wonder if guys like Jordan, Gordon, Eskandarian and Kirvoski will really all be here at the end of this season. One has to figure at least one of them won’t be. Still all will factor in some way off the bench this year.
I like the moves LA made this winter. In a way I want to say that they’re right on track to where they need to go but something in me thinks they may need to do a another move or two to be safe. This club should contend even without having Beckham for half the year and even without Donovan for some of the year as well. It will be interesting to see if Donovan scores a transfer this summer after the World Cup, if he does it could a big turning point in this club because it would open up a lot of cap space that I know Arena could work wonders with.
Still with Donovan on the roster you have to figure this club will do well this year. I like where this club is going here and they should contend again this year.