2007 Preview - Los Angeles Galaxy

2006 record: 11-15-6 - 39 points (5th in the West)
-- missed playoffs.

Key additions: David Beckham (Real Madrid), Joe Cannon (Colorado), Nate Jaqua (Toronto FC)
Key losses: Herculez Gomez (Colorado), Ugo Ihemelu (Colorado), Kevin Hartman (Kansas City), Cornell Glen (released)

After missing the playoffs for the first time in team history in 2006, the Galaxy grabbed worldwide headlines by signing David Beckham away from Real Madrid. In the ensuing chaos that followed the announcement, the Galaxy have managed to sculpt what should be one of the strongest teams in the league this season.

Head coach Frank Yallop has done well to trim the fat from a bloated Galaxy roster and he's managed to bring in a solid forward in Nate Jaqua. Team MVP Landon Donovan will be used as a recessed forward in the new 4-3-3 formation that will see Beckham slotted into center midfield when he arrives in July.

U-20 standouts Nathan Sturgis and Quavas Kirk have returned but will likely have to battle for playing time on a Galaxy roster full of talent. They will also be absent from the roster during the U-20 World Cup this summer.

The weak spot for the G's is their defense. Promising young center-back Ugo Ihemelu was traded away in December. Chris Albright is likely to be called-up this summer for national team duty, leaving aging defenders Tyrone Marshall and Ante Jazic to be the core of the back line. However, the G's finally addressed this weak spot and traded for Shavar Thomas from Kansas City recently.

It will be a season to remember in Los Angeles. They will play quality football from beginning to end and should be a force come playoff-time. A third MLS Cup would be the best send-off for Cobi Jones in his last season.

TJ's projected finish: 2nd in the Western Conference, 4th overall.

No comments: