LA Galaxy 2016 Campaign
They gathered some European players (Van Damme, Cole, De Jong).
They gathered some MLS veterans (Larentowicz, Magee).
Mix these guys in with the Designated Players (Dos Santos, Gerrard, Keane) and spotlight a few youngsters and some solid role players and make a run at the MLS Cup. And they were running roughshod over a lot of teams. But as the season wore on, injuries piled up and it seemed the team was sputtering on offense and defense.
Though the club has surrendered only 39 goals, the fourth lowest in the MLS, they often look very shaky in the back line.
Thought the club has scored 54 goals, the third highest in the MLS, the most recent games have shown the Galaxy offense to be somewhat sleepy.
Fans are thinking whether Gerrard and Keane, the high priced DPs, should be benched in favor of the younger lesser known - but faster and fitter - players. At the moment, Gerrard and Keane are recovering from injury so the decision has been made for Arena and company. However, in the playoffs, this issue may rear its head.
The situation became so dire that Landon Donovan decided to come out of retirement to see if he could push the sputtering club to another MLS Cup run.
Last year, the wheels completely fell off the Galaxy late in the season as they tumbled down the standings eventually making the playoffs as a road club in the knockout round. And knocked out they were in a rainy Seattle night.
This year, they have locked up third place so the knockout match will be at home.
The regular season finale will be at home against FC Dallas. Dallas would like to win and keep home field advantage throughout the playoffs by having the best record in MLS. However, injuries to Diaz and Acosta will be tough to overcome for Dallas.
As for the Galaxy, they will continue to play their best non-Keane, non-Gerrard line-up which in the end might be their best line-up for the playoffs. On the other hand, since the Galaxy is locked into third place, they may run out the lesser known talents and give their mainstays a rest. Will see what Arena does with the line-up card on Sunday.