Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Busy off-season ahead for LA

LA Galaxy general manager Alexi Lalas has promised that this will be a 'busy' off-season for his club.

"Without a doubt," he said. "It will be easy, because we all recognize we need to improve. The fact is we would be with that mind-set even if we had won MLS Cup. We need to change, we need to get better.

Coach Frank Yallop knows there will be changes, but he is not sure how many.

"There will be changes," Yallop said. "If there are a lot or not, I'm not sure. We'll be looking to bring in players who can make a difference in certain areas. We want to make sure we come back strong next season, whether we add players or move some out.

"We have to do the right things."

For me, one of those right things would be letting Cobi Jones go. As I said after the US Open Cup final, he is a legend and deserves every American soccer fan's respect, but his time has passed. He now drags the team more then he propels them.

The article also brings up Herculez Gomez. Last year at this time, some people were looking at him as a possible MVP candidate, but 2006 was nowhere near as kind to him as 2005. When LA went into their amazing slide early in the season, Gomez seemed to lose himself. His smart touch was gone. However, it seems he is slowly getting it back under Yallop, so cutting him at this point would be foolish.

Since LA is going to base their team around Landon Donovan, they need to look at who will complement him. Gomez has proved that he can do wonders with Donovan, so why waste that possibility. That is unless Santino Quaranta is a better fit.

Quaranta brought something to LA when he moved from DC in mid-season, but I don't think, in it's current state, it fits just right with the Galaxy. Add to it all his injuries and you are taking a risk with him as your point man up top.

If they are looking for someone to get their head on the end of crosses, say from Donovan, I would go with Gomez. Although shorter, it seems to fight more in the box.

Chris Albright should be a close lock on a spot. He fills the defensive 'captain' role well and brings some good ball control to the attack.

Finally, there is goaltender Kevin Hartman. Unless Kasey Keller is looking to come stateside, and he isn't, Hartman should be safe. Even with their bad form this year, LA still managed to concede the second fewest goals in the league (New England was the best at 35, LA gave up 37 and DC stands at 38). Hartman has a 1.14 goals against average during his 28 MLS matches (he is 1.18 over his 10 year career). You are not going to find much better then that.

LA's goal is to find their offense over the next five months. If they can't put that together, 2007 will be another tough year for the club.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about Glen? Is he still in contract with the Galaxy? He might be a good fit with Landon. Before he went to the cup, he did have a couple of goals under his belt.

6:22 PM  

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