An original member of the club in MLS’ first season, Greg Vanney wore the Galaxy jersey proudly as a player and helped lay the culture that made the club the gold standard in the league for years.
Unfortunately, that’s not the situation he’s inheriting upon his return this offseason. Vanney takes over as head coach with a big task ahead of him to rebuild this sleeping giant. What can he do in year one?
- MLS Reg. Season: 10th place in Western Conference (22 pts - 1.00 PPG - 6-12-4, -19 GD)
- Audi MLS Cup Playoffs: DNQ
Chicharito’s first season in MLS didn’t go to plan, you’ve already read that 100 times. Mexico’s all-time leading scorer is back for season two and hopes to add to his tally of two league goals. Given his track record as a regular goal scorer at every other of the six clubs he’s played for and some encouraging words over the offeseason, there's reason to believe year two will be much more productive.
Lletget has been overlooked somewhat in Los Angeles in recent years, but the US international quietly had another solid year in 2020 despite the club’s struggles. He’s a building block for this team.
When healthy, dos Santos is a Best XI-level midfielder in MLS. Unfortunately, his health has always been a concern. Just once in his four seasons with the Galaxy has he started more than half of his team’s games.
Young Player to Watch
Feels like this space has been Efra’s for years. His talent and potential is mouth-watering. Is he ready for his true breakout? Still just 18-years-old, Alvarez appeared in 16 of the Galaxy’s 21 matches last year, though mostly from the bench.
- Derrick Williams: The Galaxy’s biggest issues in recent years has been keeping goals out, so that was the offseason focus. Williams was brought in from Championship club Blackburn, with plenty of experience in England and with the Irish national team.
- Jonathan Bond: Another import from England, Bond was signed from West Brom this winter. The goalkeeper has been earning rave reviews in preseason and will hope that form translates to the regular season.
- Samuel Grandsir: At time of writing, Grandsir is the lone key attacking addition for Vanney’s side. The winger broke through at Troyes in France before signing for Monaco, adding six goals and seven assists in the French top flight.
- Cristian Pavon: Pavon spent the last year and a half in Los Angeles on loan from Boca Juniors, but the clubs have failed to agree a deal to keep him at the Galaxy. More seriously, he is currently facing charges for sexual assault in Argentina.
- David Bingham: Bingham was the club’s starting goalkeeper for the better part of three seasons but was out of contract following the 2020 season. He is yet to sign elsewhere.
- Rolf Feltscher: The Venezuelan international right back spent three seasons with the Galaxy before departing this winter, likely opening more minutes for US youth international Julian Araujo.
Projected Starting XI
- Goalkeepers (4): Jonathan Bond, Jonathan Klinsmann, Eric Lopez, Justin Vom Steeg
- Defenders (10): Danilo Acosta, Julia Araujo, Nick DePuy, Marcus Ferkanus, Oneil Fisher, Giancarlo Gonzalez, Jalen Neal, Daniel Steres, Jorge Villafana, Derrick Williams
- Midfielders (9): Efrain Alvarez, Jonathan dos Santos, Samuel Grandsir, Carlos Harvey, Sacha Klejstan, Sebastian Lletget, Jonathan Perez, Adam Saldana, Victor Vazquez
- Forwards (3): Cameron Dunbar, Javier Hernandez, Ethan Zubak
Armchair Analyst’s Breakdown
- Strength: I guess you could say they have a lot of veteran know-how in the form of Chicharito, Victor Vazquez, Sacha Kljestan, Jonathan Dos Santos, Sebastian Lletget and Jorge Villafana. A team with that much experience should figure out ways to win, right?
- Weakness: Lletget, at 28, is the youngest of that group, with everyone else listed having aged out of their respective primes. LA’s roster is an even mix of 30-somethings on the downslope and unproven kids. Of the projected starters, Lletget is the only one who both has MLS experience and is in his 20s.
- Charles Boehm: 11th in West
- Tom Bogert: 10th in West
- Susannah Collins: 8th in West
- Matthew Doyle: 10th in West
- Sam Jones: 9th in West
- Michael Lahoud: 3rd in West
- Joe Lowery: 5th in West
- Jillian Sakovits: 3rd in West
- Greg Seltzer: 8th in West
- Steve Zakuani: 8th in West