2013 L.A. GALAXY SEASON PREVIEW
Fresh off their second MLS Cup win in a row, spirits couldn't be higher for Los Angeles Galaxy fans heading into the 2013 season, where they will chase one of the most elusive feats in professional sports - the three-peat. While the team has experienced its fair share of changes in the offseason, the team should still field one of the most competitive rosters in the MLS and will surely be in the thick of the playoff hunt. The Galaxy will face off in an MLS Cup Final rematch in early May against the Houston Dynamo, and should face stiff competition throughout the year from a much-improved Western Conference with squads that will be eager to knock off the champs.
Although they got off to a slow start, the Los Angeles Galaxy proved doubters wrong during the 2012 season by finishing in fourth place in the Western Conference and going on a stellar run through the playoffs to capture their second MLS Cup in a row and their fourth overall. The Galaxy is one of the charter franchises of the MLS and has proven to be one of the strongest clubs in the league's history.
Unlike in years past, when the Galaxy would make some kind of major offseason splash, the team found a series of solid players that could contribute immediately. The Galaxy saw the departure of superstar David Beckham as well as a number of key players, like goalkeeper Josh Saunders, forward Eddie Buddle and midfielder Christian Wilhelmsson. The team added major pieces with the acquisitions of midfielders Colin Clark and Juninho, as well as goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini and forward Gyasi Zardes. The Galaxy has done an astounding job over the past several seasons building the overall depth of their roster, so many of the team's replacements will come in-house.
The forward position looks to be the major question mark entering the 2013 campaign. While the team has strong starters with Robbie Keane, Jose Villarreal and Jack McBean, superstar Landon Donovan is expected to return to the team mid-season, and depth players like Charlie Rugg and Chandler Hoffman will play large roles in sustaining the team's scoring attack. Midfield looks to be another strong suit for the team, as new starters Colin Clark and Juninho will improve the team's overall lineup, while players like Hector Jimenez, Michael Stephens and Sean Franklin provide impressive depth at the position.
At defender, the steady presences of Todd Dunivant and Omar Gonzalez should provide stability at the position and limit opposing teams' scoring chances. The arrival of Oscar Sorto will provide depth on defense while role players like A.J. DeLaGarza and Leonardo should see plenty of playing time. With the departure of Josh Saunders, the Galaxy hope that Carlo Cudicini can take over the starting goalkeeper role, but he could be pushed for playing time by Brian Perk and Brian Rowe. The Galaxy's roster is stacked from top to bottom with talent and experience, so their blend of new players and consistent veterans could carry them to yet another MLS Cup in the coming season.
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As Good As it Gets This was my first MLS Match in person. I had seen many on television, but this had all the excitement of the premier League Matches that I have attended. Great fun and look forward to many more. August 20, 2011