* If David Junior Lopes works out, he could really give the Galaxy some flexibility. Part of the problem for the Galaxy is that certain players have to play in certain positions. Last year, Sean Franklin was able to play in the midfield sometimes while AJ De La Garza could play in middle, out wide or take a breather for a game or two. That is a luxury thus far this year as there is nobody to entrust right back to aside from Franklin... and he's not doing that hot either back there. Lopes in the middle could free up Franklin to move to the midfield as a potential Lopes-Meyer or Lopes-Leonardo pairing may do well there.
* Yes, I'm trying to see the optimistic person's point-of-view from the Lopes-Cardozo trade. Not really feeling it though. My guess is they ease him in this weekend but that they will want him to push for a starting spot by next weekend, the April 21 game at Colorado. Bruce Arena told me last year "When you bring in a player you expect him to produce right away."
* Edson Buddle has been "just okay" according to Bruce Arena. This is a far cry from the amazing things many felt Buddle and Robbie Keane would be able to accomplish together. It's fallen off pretty badly that by the fifth game of the season many are clamoring for Chad Barrett to start. I'm in that camp, not because I think Barrett is better than Buddle but because there needs to be shakeup and since Buddle isn't scoring or playing well, start there.
* If you do bench Buddle though does that send an even greater blow to his confidence? And does it disrupt whatever rhythm he has going on? He's not the kind of player to bring in off the bench and expect much from. He's just not. He's better from the start. My guess is that Arena sticks with Buddle this weekend, and if he cannot score against a susceptible defense, then maybe he sits in Colorado.
* If I'm looking at players who have underperformed, I'm also looking Juninho's way.
* And Franklin.
* And De La Garza.
* And.... um, we could go on and on.
* It's not time to start panicking yet as there are still quite a bit of points to contest but the Galaxy needs to start winning games. The team has always said they hold themselves to a higher standard, so playing well but not winning (which they have yet to do this year) or playing with an improved effort from last game but not winning is not good enough. Wins and points are necessary. Good performances with one or zero points are useless.
* One thing I've been kicking around... did last year's team have so much success and cast such a giant shadow that these players are performing poorly because they are trying to match that success? Yes, Omar Gonzalez's absence is a huge one but the team's lack of confidence is what's been so troubling. This team wilts under the pressure, time and again. Teams have killed them from the flanks and torn apart their defense and the shoulders sag right after - heck, they are sagging before that happens. Something's definintely amiss in the confidence department.