Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Galaxy Remain a SuperClub

After winning MLS Cup, earning a place in the Champions League and become the MLS equivalent of a SuperClub, the LA Galaxy had questions to answer at the end of 2011.

The possible departures of David Beckham, Juninho and the confirmed loss of Donovan Ricketts raised questions. Add to that the threat of extend loans from Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane, the Galaxy had quiet cause for concern. However in recent weeks they've done much to quell those in worry.

The club was able to resign David Beckham despite the high dollar amounts offered by Paris Saint-Germain. Beckham has gone on record as saying family played a role in his remaining in America, but he also stated that he's happy here. Count that as a big bonus. Beckham being comfortable and happy will go a long way in seeing the best out of him over the course of his two year deal.

Josh Saunders readily steps in for Donovan Ricketts as Ricketts heads to Montreal. Saunders was stalwart in his 19 games played for the Galaxy during 2011. In that time he logged 55 saves and held a record of 12 wins, 2 losses and 4 ties. The squad was fantastic last year, but more than once Saunders contributed to those wins. He should have little problem being the number one in place of Ricketts.


In regards to the possible loss of Keane, who is rumored to remain in the EPL, the Galaxy were able to secure Edson Buddle. Buddle returns to the team after his one year stint with FC Ingolstadt of the German 2. Bundesliga. Having his services allows him to link back up with the service of David Beckham and Landon Donovan, with whom he connected so well in 2010. Buddle scored 17 goals in 2010 and secured a place on the US Men's National Team in their run through the FIFA World Cup. If Keane does return to the Galaxy then he and Buddle could form a deadly tandem.

It is speculated that Landon Donovan would be staying with Everton, however at the moment that still looks unlikely. Everton simply do not have the money that MLS would ask of them for Donovan's services. That said it is likely that he'll return to the Galaxy.



Ultimately though, the most underrated of players is returning the Galaxy. Juninho, the missing piece of the puzzle has returned to the Galaxy on loan from Sao Paulo FC. The 23 year-old is now back to the team with which he won a championship. More than that though, he connects a midfield that seemed one deft player short of incredible. Juninho brings a defensive bite to the team as well as an attacking flair that Brazilian feet so often do. Combine that with a deadly shot from distance and you've got yet another player to be feared.

Defensively, the club has lost Omar Gonzalez, but they were able to recall Leonardo to help fill the void. Leonardo is replacement, but few are. Credit to Bruce Arena for maintaining such a squad.

Seemingly, the Galaxy won a championship and have seemingly gotten stronger. Edson Buddle is certainly an upgrade over Chad Barrett and Mike Magee remains a regular contributor. If it was not obvious before, it is now: the LA Galaxy are an MLS SuperClub.

Someone call Manchester United. There's an exhibition to be played.

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