Monday, February 18, 2008

A foundation

I'm trying to write my weekly soccer column for the Press-Enterprise right now. I'm writing about the Pan Pacific Championship, but the focus there isn't on the games themselves but rather the tournament and what the Galaxy feels is important to get from said tournament.

Another part of the PPC that won't make my column is what we can expect to see from the Galaxy this year. So far, the Galaxy's preseason games have consisted of closed-door scrimmages. No fans, no media, nobody knows what happened except for the players and coaches themselves. So this in essence will be the first opportunity for all of us to see the 2008 Galaxy in action.

Now, the beginning of this season is a stark contrast to last year. In '07, it was all about making sure the team hit its stride when Becks arrived. Now, it's about preparing for the season just like other clubs. The main pieces are seemingly in place now and it's about trying to lay down some sort of foundation to hit the season running.

I'll be interested in the games mostly to see what to expect from the Galaxy this year. I guess my main points of interest will be seeing who comprises the backline, and where David Beckham lines up.

I never really thought last year's midfield worked, with Kyle Martino out left and Beckham in the middle (for the few games he played) alongside Peter Vagenas and whoever was healthy out right.

I'd like to see Chris Klein out right for all 30 games this year. Klein is best at that position and can offer more there than he can at the back, where played out of necessity a year ago. Klein on the right with Beckham and Kelly Gray in the middle isn't bad. I also don't see Martino as a true left midfielder, but is he a better option there than whoever else the Galaxy has?

But we won't know what Ruud Gullit's tendencies are until we see some actual games against actual teams. I guess we'll start to get some answers soon. So that's one positive from the PPC.

1 comment:

Nathanhj said...

Randolph has the makings of a guy who could play a left winger role, especially with good seasoning and tutelage. He's at least a half-season away from that and his crosses need to get better, but once Jazic is back from injury, the left back depth would be great enough to push Randolph into Martino's spot full time.

You know for a team with so many midfielders, one wonders how the Gals got stuck with such an awful mess there. I don't see any obvious set choices. If the back line wasn't so bad I might even consider a 3-5-2 just to get Klein, Donovan, and Beckham all together in the middle (assuming here that Donovan isn't up top - I think he's better as a roving attacker placed just behind the strikers).

Glad this isn't a problem I have to deal with in my day job.