Bruce Arena still has some questions about his club. (German Alegria/LA Galaxy)

Bruce Arena still has some questions about his club. (German Alegria/LA Galaxy)

We touched base on what Landon Donovan was doing earlier this morning but now it is time to take a dip into the entire LA Galaxy squad for this new season that is upon us.

Bruce Arena’s squad are coming into the new season once again as defending champions. The Galaxy hope to become the first team in MLS history to win three straight titles. To do, so they’ll need to once again navigate the tricky season that will be full of lots of games and more than likely lots of interesting issues.

The Galaxy are now going to be without David Beckham for the first time in a few years, which means someone else will have to step up and be the big star (hello Robbie Keane). There are lots to look over with this Galaxy team and plenty to ask of them as we head into the new season and the CCL quarterfinals.

2012 MLS Record: 16-12-6 (4th in Western Conference), 54 points

[twocol_one]IN:
Oscar Sorto (12/11/12 – Homegrown)
Colin Clark (12/14/12 – Re-Entry Draft Stage 2)
GK Will Hesmer (12/14/12 – Re-Entry Draft Stage 2)
Gyasi Zardes (12/20/12 – Homegrown)
GK Carlo Cudicini (12/31/12 – free)
Juninho (1/16/13 – transfer from São Paulo)[/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last]OUT: 
Andrew Boyens (12/3/12 – option declined)
Bryan Jordan (12/3/12 – option declined)
Kyle Nakazawa (12/3/12 – option declined)
Pat Noonan (12/3/12 – option declined)
Chad Barrett (12/3/12 – option declined)
Christian Wilhelmsson (12/3/12 – option declined)
David Beckham (12/3/12 – option declined)
Edson Buddle (12/14/12 – trade to Colorado)[/twocol_one_last]

Key Questions for 2013

1. What will the Galaxy do without Beckham? I didn’t think this would be a question I would ask to start out the season but the more I look at the Galaxy the more I ponder it. Beckham wasn’t just the big star but he was also a guy that contributed a good amount of offense over the last couple of seasons to the Galaxy. The last two seasons saw Beckham score nine goals and add in a solid 24 assists (15 of those coming in 2011).

Moving forward I believe we’ll see a little more out of Juninho and Marcelo Sarvas. Those two will have to step up in a big way until the Galaxy go out and fill that third DP slot like everyone expects them to this summer. I do think some other young guys like Michael Stephens will also be called to step up as well. But I’m not expecting any of them to be the star that Beckham is here. I’m only concerned about the on the field aspect here.

2. Will the absence of Donovan hurt the Galaxy out of the gate? In a way it will. Anytime a big player is missing for a stretch of games it will do some damage. The Galaxy know it all to well too after last year when they didn’t get Omar Gonzalez back until the summer months. LA was a completely different team with Gonzalez in the back line when he was healthy again. I would imagine the Galaxy will be a big of a miss early on out of the gate without Donovan too. Robbie Keane will be the focal point on the offense. Young guys will have to step up as well.

But the bigger toll on the club will be how everyone accepts the fact that he is sitting things out for another month and is missing all of preseason while he gets his head straight. It certainly doesn’t set a great example for the young players but one could argue that Donovan has at least earned the right to do what he is doing here.

3. Are the Galaxy prepared to lose Gonzalez? I hope it won’t be to injury but I do believe that this summer some clubs will come calling for Gonzalez. LA knows they can turn that allocation money into something good but losing a player like Gonzalez in the defense is very difficult to replace in a quick manner. Tommy Mayer was good when needed last year but he was not great either. Same can be said for A.J. DeLaGarza. LA needs a healthy Gonzalez do succeed in the West but they also need him for the entire season too. What I am saying here is I hope they have a good plan in place for the day that is coming very soon when they decide to sell him.

Breakout Player for 2013

Gyasi Zardes – The young homegrown is as MLS ready as we’ve seen out of a HGP. He’s big, quick and excellent on the ball. As long as he adapts to the MLS game quickly, I think we’ll see plenty out of this young guy this year.

Predictions for 2013

- Slow out of the gates but strong at the finish. Once again I believe the Galaxy will struggle early before finishing strong at the end of the season. Bruce Arena knows all too well that the MLS regular season is not a sprint but rather a brisk jog. He’ll have his team in contention throughout and be in a good position for another run late.

- LA will surprise everyone with their DP signing this summer. I’m not naming names but it won’t be Frank Lampard or Kaka. Neither are coming in my opinion, at least not yet. No, I think the Galaxy will go out and shock some people with their next big signing.

- Arena will make another crafty move late in the season. Just like he did with signing Christian Wilhelmsson late in the season in 2012, Arena will snag another quality veteran player late in the season that will contribute big in the playoffs.