030213_isi_keanerobbie_mlstq120112013 Tony Quinn/isiphotos.com
Major League Soccer

The Los Angeles Galaxy in One Word: "Patient"

Who will replace David Beckham? When will Landon Donovan return to the squad? The Galaxy enter the 2013 season with some big questions, but don't seem in a hurry to answer them.
BY Matt Thacker Posted
March 03, 2013
2:57 PM
The Los Angeles Galaxy have rarely had to wait for anything.

But this year patience has been the theme. The season opens this weekend and despite all the hype nothing has been finalized regarding which Designated Player will replace David Beckham.

Meanwhile, Landon Donovan will not join the team until late March and may not play until late April after taking a hiatus from the sport.

Perhaps the patience comes after last season in which the Galaxy looked nothing like a playoff team until midsummer but still went on to win the MLS Cup. You could argue this devalues the regular season—and especially the CONCACAF Champions League—but winning the league title is clearly Bruce Arena's priority.

Even without Beckham and Donovan, the midfield remains solid with returning starters Juninho and Marcelo Sarvas at the core. The addition of Colin Clark, and the emergence of Jose Villarreal in the U-20 CONCACAF Championship bodes well for the Galaxy in the middle of the field

With Omar Gonzalez at full health from the onset, and Sean Franklin and A.J. Delagarza providing additional stability at the back, the defense is one of the best units in MLS. No worries there, to be sure.

Robbie Keane was the Galaxy’s best player late last season, but offensive depth looks thin. If a player like Frank Lampard is added in the summer and Donovan returns refreshed, a third consecutive championship is well within reach.

Expected finish: 2nd in Western Conference. Another slow start is a possibility, but by the end of the season, this team should be in the hunt for a top seed in the playoffs.

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