Portland 3 Los Angeles 1

No Alessandrini in the lineup today. But would he have made a difference? I'd like to think so.

Sometimes the best defense is a strong offense and without enough offensive threats, the Galaxy's defense is put under pressure. Thus, it is the same old story: toothless attack and eventually the defense surrenders goals.

Pedro and Boateng linked up for the Galaxy's only goal today.


What is LA's "best" XI currently?

Obviously, you want the Dos Santo's brothers on the field and Alessandrini as these three Designated Players are costing the team almost $6 million (?) in salary and are the most talented players. But who do you put around them?

Boateng and Zardes give the team a lot of speed on the wings though their final touch isn't always there. The goal by Boateng is an example of how their speed can be effective as he put away the shot for a goal on this occasion.

Pedro needs to be on the field as he can help distribute as seen in the lone goal for the Galaxy on Sunday.

Thus, JDS, GDS, Alessandrini, Boateng, Zardes, and Pedro should be in every game they are healthy.

But what about the Final Five?

Van Damme, Cole, Jones and Van Anholt are former European league players with skills and experience. However, with Van Damme and Cole having expiring contracts and interest from overseas' clubs, will the Galaxy part with them? Until then, those two are still the best options in any combination of players to play defense.

Of the other defensive players getting minutes, Steres and Romney would fill out the XI on a given day.

Who gets sent out next weekend against NYCFC?

Defense: Cole, Steres/Romney, Jones, Van Anholt
Midfield: Boateng, JDS, Pedro, Alessandrini
Forward: GDS, Zardes