Saturday, March 17, 2012

Galaxy Lineup Difficulties

Among the many reasons you can point blame to for the Galaxy's CCL debacle is the lineup choices. Bruce Arena sent out nearly the same lineup for the Galaxy's three games of the year. The following players have started every game: Josh Saunders, Todd Dunivant, AJ De La Garza, Sean Franklin, Landon Donovan, David Beckham, Mike Magee, Edson Buddle and Robbie Keane. In case you're keeping track, that's nine players. All but Magee and Franklin played every minute of the first three games.

Under those circumstances, it's difficult to win games, particularly when the opponent has had more time to rest, which was the case against Toronto FC on Wednesday.

Anyway, despite what Bruce Arena has said about players needing rest, he has shown the opposite. No rest for the weary.

DC United will be the Galaxy's last game until March 31 - they will have a bye week next week. Since they won't be playing on the weekend, the Galaxy will have ample enough time to rest up. Plus, since the Galaxy have not been able to win yet this year, the match against DC will be a bit of a must-win.

Therefore, I don't expect to see much change in the lineup. My guess: Saunders, Dunivant, Meyer, De La Garza, Keat; Magee, Sarvas, Beckham, Donovan; Buddle, Keane.

It's certainly great to have players like Keane and Beckham, but it's also a bit of a curse. You almost have to start them every game. It's tempting to let them sit and rest and get their confidence back but at the same time no matter who else you turn to, you're not going to find a better option on the bench. Additionally, those players handcuff Arena because if the Galaxy are trailing, there's no way Keane or Beckham sit. If the Galaxy are winning, that's fine but if they're not those players will keep playing 90 minutes over and over again

1 comment:

East River said...

This really shoots holes in the idea that the Galaxy are the best team going into ths year. I rate their starting 11 the best, but if Arena cannot afford to use his bench in order to rest certain players thats a serious flaw. What made RSL so good these last two years is their depth. Seattle had dept last year as well. I don't know how the Galaxy plan to handle this fixture congested schedule this year if they don't have bench players they can look to ease the load.