2012 LA Galaxy Preview

Discussion in 'Thread Archive' started by The Richuation, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. The Richuation

    The Richuation Walk On

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    Goalkeepers

    Depth Chart: 1. Josh Saunders, 2. Bill Gaudette, 3. Brian Perk

    Strengths: In Saunders and Gaudette, the Galaxy have players who have demonstrated success in MLS and CONCACAF Champions League play.

    Weaknesses: Inexperience. Saunders has never entered the season as a No. 1, Gaudette has been out of MLS since 2007 and Perk is just 22 years old and still developing.

    Wildcard: Gaudette isn't in Toronto for the Galaxy's CCL opener, meaning Perk is the No. 2 for that game. Still, expect Gaudette to play a regular-season match here and there in order to spell Saunders.

    READ: 2012 LA Galaxy Preview

    Defense

    Depth Chart: RB 1. Sean Franklin, 2. Bryan Jordan, 3. Justin Davies; CB 1. A.J. DeLaGarza -- Tommy Meyer, 2. Leonardo, 3. Andrew Boyens, 4. Bryan Gaul; LB 1. Todd Dunivant, 2. Gaul

    Strengths: The defensive line’s focus and mentality led to great things in 2011 and will carry the club once more this season.

    Weaknesses: Omar Gonzalez’s long-term knee injury means rookie Meyer will likely get the call to start the season. How the Indiana product handles primetime could determine the Galaxy’s fate, at least in Champions League.

    Wildcard: Leonardo is being primed for an April return and could pair with DeLaGarza once he is fit. The Brazilian was a rising star when he tore knee ligaments after playing the first seven games of 2011.

    SEE: Preseason Schedule and Results

    Midfield

    Depth Chart: LM 1. Mike Magee, 2. Kyle Nakazawa; CM 1. David Beckham -- Juninho, 2. Marcelo Sarvas, 3. Michael Stephens, 4. Paolo Cardozo, 5. Dan Keat; RM 1. Landon Donovan, 2. Hector Jimenez

    Strengths: Central midfield is strong with Beckham, Juninho, Sarvas and Stephens all contending for playing time.

    Weaknesses: Depth on the flanks will be tested. Bruce Arena likes to play Franklin at right midfield, but with defensive depth issues, it’s not likely to happen much.

    Wildcard: Right midfielder Jimenez has seen vast improvement and is the type of player who could be hard to take off the field once he breaks through.

    READ: LA Galaxy 2011 season statistics

    Forwards

    Depth Chart: 1. Robbie Keane, 2. Edson Buddle, 3. Chad Barrett, 4. Pat Noonan, 5. Adam Cristman, 6. Jack McBean

    Strengths: Keane-Buddle could be the league’s most potent strike force. If both players play to their capabilities and stay healthy, they could help the Galaxy score a load of goals in 2012.

    Weaknesses: Keane’s Euro 2012 duty and the Galaxy’s loaded calendar will mean whoever gets the minutes vacated by absences will have to perform.

    Wildcard: McBean is only 17 but added muscle in the offseason; he may not get many minutes early, but has vast upside and could push for time by the end of the season.

    Setting the Scene
    MatchDay 360: LA wins MLS Cup



    The LA Galaxy did it all in 2011 — Supporters’ Shield, MLS Cup 2011, won their CONCACAF Champions League group. The season was the culmination of three years of sustained success and set such a high mark that club officials said the Galaxy’s 2011 team has set the standard for all other MLS teams to try and emulate.

    The only way to improve on their performance this year will be to make a Champions League run. Right off the bat, LA will face a must-win game as they'll play Toronto FC in a Champions League quarterfinal series. How they fare, not just against TFC but in the Champions League knockout rounds as a whole, could determine what sort of team they'll have this year, and whether a repeat of 2011 is likely or even possible.





    BUY GALAXY TICKETS HERE

    In and Out
    IN: D Andrew Boyens (12/12: Re-Entry Stage 2/Chivas USA); F Pat Noonan (12/12: Re-Entry Stage 2/Seattle); M Marcelo Sarvas (12/13: free/Alajuelense); M Jose Villarreal (12/22: Homegrown); D Tommy Meyer (1/12: SuperDraft); M Kenney Walker (1/12: SuperDraft); F Bryan Gaul (1/17: supplemental draft); M Rafael Garcia (1/17: supplemental draft); D Justin Davies (1/17: supplemental draft); F Edson Buddle (2/1: free); M Kyle Nakazawa (2/1: trade from Philadelphia); G Bill Gaudette (2/29: free)

    OUT: D Gregg Berhalter (12/9: retired); G Donovan Ricketts (11/28: trade to Montreal); M/F Miguel López (1/10: loan expired); M Jovan Kirovski (1/23: retired); D Dasan Robinson (1/27: retired); D Frankie Hejduk (1/30: contract expired)

    READ: 2012 LA Galaxy Depth Chart



    Star Attraction: David Beckham




    His future seemed intertwined with Paris, but Beckham chose to remain with the Galaxy for another two seasons. The move will have both immediate and long-term ramifications. Still possessing world-class set-piece and distribution ability, Beckham will make the Galaxy a greater threat in Champions League while helping the club chase Supporters’ Shield/MLS Cup glory.

    READ: Countdown to First Kick: Beckham's Bend

    Unsung Hero: Mike Magee
    LA thrilled about Buddle's return



    After stepping in and playing goalkeeper for more than a half in a 0-0 draw with San Jose in June, Magee’s season took off. Already a gritty blue-collar player, Magee elevated his game and pieced together his finest campaign, scoring 10 goals in all competitions, a career high. Magee has continued to find the back of the net in the preseason, which means 2011 may not be a career year after all.

    Ready for Primetime: A.J. DeLaGarza
    He’s undersized. He’s better suited for a fullback spot. He’s not the prototypical central defender. For as much success as DeLaGarza has enjoyed in his brief career, he still has not received anywhere near enough national attention, largely due to playing in the shadow of defensive partner Omar Gonzalez. Now with a knee injury sidelining Omar Gonzalez through at least August, DeLaGarza will have the chance to show that he can be a leader and star defender on the league’s top team.



    READ: LA's DeLaGarza gets Gonzalez's vote of confidence

    Storylines to Watch
    1. Can the Galaxy keep things in perspective and focus on one task at a time? In 2011, the Galaxy did well to keep their focus no matter what was in their way — Champions League, regular season, the high-profile addition of Robbie Keane. Their focus will once again get tested in 2012 when the season starts. Sandwiched around the first regular-season game of the year, a March 10 home opener vs. Real Salt Lake, is the CCL quarterfinal series against Toronto. LA will have to keep themselves mentally and emotionally sharp.

    2. Can LA start quickly to avoid an early exit in CCL? With such intense matches to start the year, the Galaxy will have to rediscover some of that focus from a year ago and hope it carries over into the new season. Real Salt Lake were in a similar position in 2011, reaching the Champions League finals while piecing together a strong opening to the season, but after losing to Monterrey in the final, RSL’s league form suffered. A similar fate could await the Galaxy unless they keep their focus.

    READ: Arena thrilled young core gets taste of their own hardware

    What He Said
    "We want to improve from last season. We went all the way, won the championship and performed very well — but we want to do it again this season. A lot of hard work is required but we’ve got a group of players willing to do that."

    – LA midfielder David Beckham (pictured right)

    SEE: 2012 Season Preview Archive

    If Everything Goes Right
    If the Champions League does not adversely affect the Galaxy, they're among the favorites to win MLS Cup 2012. The unbalanced schedule will make it more challenging for any Western Conference club to win the Supporters’ Shield, but another run at MLS Cup surely awaits.
     
  2. The Richuation

    The Richuation Walk On

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  3. GovernedSpy

    GovernedSpy Walk On

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    nice one man justin davies has to be the quickest player in mls scary :)
     
  4. Dylema

    Dylema Walk On

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    That attack is just unreal. I mean the worst player is Mike Magee and he's not really that bad in terms of MLS especialky when the other 5 of the front 6 are going to be unbelievable.
     
  5. The Richuation

    The Richuation Walk On

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    A lot of pressure on governed...
     

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