Before the 2005 MLS campaign began, Steve Sampson and the rest of the Galaxy coaching staff were excited to see how Alan Gordon's season was going to go. Throughout the preseason, the young striker was one of the team's leading goal scorers, which included a tally against La Liga side Osasuna in the club's tour of Spain.
Just before the season started though, Gordon tore a ligament in his hip, forcing him to miss the first three months of the 2005 campaign.
"It's unfortunate that I got hurt when I did. I was having a good preseason," said Gordon. "I just tried to get as healthy as I could as quick as I could."
According to Gordon, the injury occurred during his senior year at Oregon State. Unfortunately, the injury was misdiagnosed as a groin injury, and for two years, his final with Oregon State and one season with the Portland Timbers, Gordon was rehabbing the wrong part of his body.
That all culminated in hip surgery and a recovery time that kept him out for the opening third of the season. With the number of players missing due to injury and national team call-ups, Gordon has been thrust into the starting lineup the last two games, and the timing of his recovery couldn't be more welcomed by Sampson.
"A lack of depth at the forward position has been an issue for us recently, so we're very happy to have him back. We're trying to give him as many minutes as possible," said Sampson. "As he gets fitter and fitter, and gets his touch and rhythm back, he's going to score a number of goals for us."
Admittedly though, Gordon isn't at 100 percent match fit. Necessity played a larger role in Gordon's return to the field than preparedness. As more and more players get healthy and return from the CONCACAF Gold Cup, Gordon will see his playing time reduced. In reality though, Gordon sees himself as more of an option off of the bench for Sampson's side anyway.
"That's the way it was originally drawn up. Those veteran players who have proven themselves are going to be on the field," Gordon said. "But I'm going to be there ready to go when I'm called upon."
The Galaxy has already seen the return of Jovan Kirovski and Pando Ramirez into the fold, reducing the number of attacking positions available by two. Competition will be stiff for Gordon in training if he wants to keep getting minutes.
However, if Gordon can regain the fitness and form that he showed this winter, it will be impossible for Sampson to deny him minutes down the stretch.
Greg Daurio is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.