Los Angeles Galaxy mini bios
HEAD COACH: Steve Sampson
After taking over the Galaxy for the final quarter of the 2004 season, he has taken the club to a fifth MLS Cup in 10 seasons. The head coach of the U.S. national team from 1995-98, he steered the USA to France '98, a third consecutive trip to the FIFA World Cup after a 40-year absence. He then became the technical director for the Costa Rican national team for nearly two years in 2002-03, winning the Central American championship in his tenure. His first-class coaching career began at Santa Clara University, where he led the Broncos to a share of the 1989 national championship.
1. Steve Cronin (22 years old),/b>
After spending the 2004 season with the San Jose Earthquakes - where he did not make a first-team appearance - he made his first career MLS start on Sept. 17 in a 2-2 draw with the Kansas City Wizards. Former U.S. under-20 international.
2. Todd Dunivant (25)
Played every minute in every match for the Galaxy on the left side of the back four, one of the real unsung heroes for the club this year after his arrival in an offseason trade with the San Jose Earthquakes. He was also ever-present in his rookie season with the Quakes in 2003, a quadriceps injury limiting him to about half the matches with San Jose a year ago. One of five players to play every minute this season in MLS.
3. Michael Umana (23)
Physical central defender who played for Sampson with the Costa Rican youth national teams. While he saw sparing action with the Galaxy over the season, he was a regular call-up into the Costa Rican senior side which qualified for the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
4. David Johnson (21)
U.S. international at youth levels who joined the Galaxy this season after two years with Willem II in the Netherlands, he did not make an appearance with the first team.
5. Chris Albright (26)
In his seventh season in MLS, he's in his second season as a regular at right back, where he also plays for the U.S. national team. An All-American at forward for the University of Virginia, he began his career with D.C. United before moving to the Galaxy for the 2002 season. Missed two months during the '05 campaign with a knee injury, after which he played some matches wide on the right in midfield.
6. Josh Gardner (23)
Versatile left-sided midfielder whose lone MLS appearance came July 9 at the MetroStars as a substitute. Made two appearances, both as a substitute, for the Galaxy in his rookie season in 2004.
7. Michael Nsien (24)
Signed a developmental contract in September after seeing action with the Galaxy reserves. A left-sided defender at the University of Dayton, he was an international at youth levels for Nigeria.
8. Peter Vagenas (27)
The Galaxy club captain, this year he became more of a driving midfielder in his central role in the Galaxy scheme, hitting for a career-best four goals by May 28. In his sixth season with the Galaxy after he was selected in the second-round of the 2000 SuperDraft out of UCLA, his 29 league appearances this year were a career-high and the most since he played 26 games in 2001.
9. Guillermo Gonzalez (19)
International at under-17 and under-20 levels for the USA, his lone appearance this year for the Galaxy came in the season finale. Has made 13 league appearances for the Galaxy since signing prior to the 2003 season.
10. Landon Donovan (23)
The most recognizable face in U.S. soccer, he returned to the U.S. and MLS before the start of the season from Bayer 04 Leverkusen in Germany, where he spent six months with the Bundesliga outfit after returning from his loan to the San Jose Earthquakes. Missed stretches of the season with national team duty - he this year wore the captain's armband on occasion and is about the first name Bruce Arena puts on the teamsheet - but has again showed his form in the postseason, where his 14 goals are the all-time lead in the MLS Cup Playoffs. Extremely versatile attacking talent, he can play in the hole underneath the strikers or in a wide role, but he has been most effective for the Galaxy as a true striker.
11. Ned Grabavoy (22)
Pesky, versatile midfield player who moved into a starting role down the stretch and into the playoffs. He can fill any role in the midfield and increasingly gained time as the season went on. Made 15 starts last year in his rookie season after he was a second-round draft pick out of Indiana University.
12. Troy Roberts (22)
A tough, physical presence in central defense the Galaxy made him their first-round pick this year (eighth overall) out of the University of California. He made his first MLS start on June 4 v MetroStars and was a regular over the final half of the campaign.
13. Cobi Jones (35)
Still an all-action, energetic wide midfielder, the MLS and Galaxy original appeared in all but one league game this season - his 31 matches played a career-best at 35 years of age. After going scoreless over the 2004 season - his only MLS season without a goal - he ended his drought with goals in back-to-back games in the second and third matches of the season. He is the final player in league history who has spent all 10 seasons in MLS with the same club.
14. Tyrone Marshall (31)
Solid Jamaican international central defender who has anchored the Galaxy back line. Missed three matches to a hamstring injury suffered just before the All-Star break - literally hours after he was announced to play for the MLS All-Stars as an injury replacement. His through ball to Carlos Ruiz gave the Galaxy the lone goal in their only MLS Cup victory in 2002.
15. Ugo Ihemelu (22)
The Galaxy's first pick in the first round of the 2005 SuperDraft (fifth overall), he has been a regular starter in the back four over the course of the season. Mainly in central defense - where he was coming into the playoffs - he has also figured at right back. Nigerian-born, he attended Southern Methodist University.
16. Herculez Gomez (23)
Simply a remarkable run of form over the second half of the campaign for the young striker, who had played all of five minutes in MLS before this season, while also kicking around the D3 Pro League and MISL. He made the first start of his MLS career June 18 at Dallas, and scored his first on July 9 against the MetroStars. He finished his league campaign with 11 goals in 22 appearances - including seven in a six-game run from Sept. 4-Oct. 1 - and added six goals in the Galaxy's run to the U.S. Open Cup championship (and three goals for the reserves). He maintained his first-class record with a goal in the first leg of the Western Conference Semifinals, entering the MLS Cup Final with 18 goals in 28 matches in all competitions.
17. Guillermo Ramirez (27)
A midfielder who loves to get forward into the attack, he was the starter in a wide role at the beginning of the campaign, before later in the year playing in a deep-lying central role. A regular with the Guatemalan national team. Among the league leaders in shots at goal much of the season, he scored just once on the campaign - a penalty kick Sept. 10 v Colorado.
18. Joseph Ngwenya (24)
Very quick attacking talent who can play in a wide role or up top. He returned from sports hernia surgery to become a regular in the lineup over the final two months of the season, starting five of the final seven games as a striker. First-round pick (third overall) in the 2004 SuperDraft out of Coastal Carolina University, where he played with '05 Galaxy draft pick Mubarike Chisoni.
19. Michael Enfield (22)
A hard-working, creative midfielder, his MLS debut came June 18, then he made appearance in four consecutive matches (including two starts) July 4-23. He scored his first professional goal July 4 v New England, an 87th-minute strike that was nearly the game-winner until a stoppage-time equalizer.
21. Alan Gordon (24)
Tall, strong forward signed from the Portland Timbers of the A-League (now USL First Division) at the end of last season - where he led that league with 17 goals. This season he was hampered by a hip injury that limited him to just five league appearances.
22. Kevin Hartman (31)
The all-time leader in goals-against average in MLS, he had his consecutive-game streak snapped at 93 when he did not play in the Sept. 17 match against Kansas City. One of just three 'keepers to have more than 40 shutouts in league history. Began his MLS career in 1997 with the Galaxy, and by season's end was the starter after sharing time with Jorge Campos (and often coming on as a substitute). He has been the Galaxy first-choice between the posts ever since.
23. Quavas Kirk (17)
Speedy forward who was not with the Galaxy this season, instead in the U.S. Soccer residency program in Bradenton, Fla. Played with the USA in the FIFA U-17 World Championship.
25. Benjamin Benditson (22)
Physical defender and native of nearby Tarzana, he made his MLS debut on May 25 against Columbus, but missed the final two-thirds of the season with a sports hernia injury.
26. Mubarike Chisoni (24)
Quick attacking wide midfielder who was drafted this year out of Coastal Carolina University, where he attended along with Galaxy teammate Joseph Ngwenya. Grew up in Zimbabwe with Ngwenya, and the two were college roommates for two years. His lone MLS start came June 22 v Real Salt Lake.
27. Pablo Chinchilla (27)
Veteran defender and Costa Rican international (made his national team debut in 1997), he is good in the air and good distributor of the ball out of the back. Started more than half the matches in central defense. Acquired from Liga Deportiva Alajuelense in his native country before the start of the season.
28. Paulo Nagamura (22)
Young, clever holding midfielder who played his way into the first team over the preseason, and his performance allowed Peter Vagenas to range further afield. A product of the Sao Paulo FC youth scheme in his native Brazil, he was also in the youth academy and reserves at Arsenal in England.
29. Naldo da Conceicao (29)
Powerful striker with experience in Brazil and Switzerland, he was a regular participant and made his share of starts up top before the All-Star break. His lone MLS goal came June 22 v Real Salt Lake, the Galaxy's only goal in a 1-1 draw.
35. Josh Saunders (24)
A third-year professional who spent the entire season on loan to the Portland Timbers of the USL First Division. Has yet to make his MLS league debut.
99. Marcelo Saragosa (23)
Re-joined the Galaxy for a second stint on Sept. 13, after playing the 2004 season with L.A. on loan from Sao Paulo FC in his native Brazil. Very steady and sure holding midfielder, it didn't take him long to regain his starting spot, though he suffered an injury in the first game of the MLS Cup Playoffs.