The new look LA Galaxy will take the field for the first time in a competitive match on Wednesday, when they open their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series against Liga MX side Santos Laguna at StubHub Center.
There’s no doubting the Galaxy’s talent. The question is whether or not that talent will come together quickly enough for LA to knock off Santos. Bruce Arena drastically remade his roster this winter, with longtime Galaxy stalwarts Omar Gonzalez and Juninho moving to Mexico and European veterans Nigel de Jong, Ashley Cole and Jelle Van Damme and longtime MLS goalkeeper Dan Kennedy arriving in LA. Those four will need to work cohesively with Robbie Keane, 2015 additions Steven Gerrard and Giovani dos Santos and the rest of LA’s roster if the Galaxy are to advance to the tournament semifinals for the second time in club history.
Santos, who brought in defender Jorge Villafana from the Timbers following Portland’s win in MLS Cup in December, haven’t been great in Liga MX this season. They’re currently in eighth-place in the league with nine points through six games, and have lost their last two matches. They’re also looking at a tight turnaround ahead of Wednesday’s game, as they’ll travel to Mexico City to face Pumas UNAM in league play on Sunday afternoon before heading to the States to take on LA.
- LA Galaxy: Can the reloaded Galaxy find CCL glory?
- Santos Laguna: Will Santos make a third run to the final?
"The Galaxy are in transition mode but the talent on the field should be enough to defeat a Santos Laguna side that is not one of the best we’ve seen in CCL." -- Ben Baer
"My gut tells me I’m not winning this pick. But my mind tells me, all the defensive reinforcements the Galaxy brought in over the offseason have not jelled well yet." -- Diego Pinzon
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