The LA Galaxy always try to stay ahead of the curve. Or at least that’s how it seems. Los Angeles continually makes to biggest signings in MLS and without a doubt will be one of the top teams in the league. From Landon Donovan to David Beckham to Giovani Dos Santos, LA has landed star after star after star.
To stay ahead though, you need to make some radical moves sometimes. LA certainly did that this past week as it moved Omar Gonzales and Juninho to Liga MX for a boatload of cash and tons of salary space. Those two had the highest salaries on the team for players that weren’t under the Designated Player tag. The Galaxy also let Donovan Ricketts and Mike Vayrynen leave the team opening up a $2 million salary hole for the winningest franchise in MLS history to fill.
That should read as bad news for the rest of the league. LA has the unique ability of attracting big names to come and this already star-studded team is clearly looking to get better. This season was viewed a major disappointment as the squad failed to even make it to the Conference Finals.
Now the rest of the league has to be wondering, what will the Galaxy do next? Well for starters, they are linked to former English International Ashley Cole. The 35-year old is without a contract at the moment so LA would not need to spend any of their transfer budget to bring him in. Outside of that, no one is really sure what to expect.
Looking at the current Galaxy roster, they need defensive help. Only two playoff teams allowed more goals than LA did last season. Bruce Arena is going to want to find someone to replace Ricketts at keeper and you can bet that it will be a top goalkeeping option by MLS standards. With Gonzales on the move too, you would expect Los Angeles to fill the void with a young central defender. If LA looks for a homegrown player at that spot look for names like Matt Miazga, John Brooks and Matt Hedges to crop up.
With Juninho out of the picture in Los Angeles and Vayrynen gone as well, the midfield is going to need some work. Finding someone to consistently start alongside Gerrard. LA did a lot of mixing and matching in their midfield last season, but down the stretch, you could just about count on Gerrard and Juninho starting.
Whoever LA brings in to replace Juninho will have a huge role to fill. The Brazilian started more games than anyone else last year for the Galaxy. Right behind him was Gonzales. They two were the center pieces of Arena’s starting eleven just about every week. With both of them gone, you can expect to see a very different style Galaxy team shaping up during the next two to three months.
Sometimes, trying to fix was isn’t broken can be a major problem. However, I don’t think that is the case here. Los Angeles is looking to turn the page on their storied history and start a new chapter. A lot of the key players from that 2014 MLS Final victory are gone. Five of the Galaxy’s starting eleven in that championship game no longer don an LA uniform. The strikers have remained the same but everything has experienced a major shake up. LA is gearing up for another title run but also another shot at creating a dynasty. The Galaxy won titles in 2011, 2012 and 2014. LA is not looking to snag just one more title, they are preparing to dominant the league for a few years to come.