Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Primed For Success

When Galaxy coach Bruce Arena trotted out a different-looking lineup against Colorado, it wasn't just with Colorado in mind.

Sure, Chad Barrett and Paolo Cardozo did well against the Rapids but playing the likes of Barrett, Cardozo, Bryan Jordan and Donovan Ricketts allowed for the Galaxy to rest up some players for Tuesday's match against Morelia.

The Galaxy will face Morelia in a match that could set the club up well for the remainder of the group stage. If the Galaxy beat Morelia, they will have nine points and could be six points clear of the rest of the group of Motagua beat Alajuelense this week. The pressure would be off the Galaxy, not completely off but things would certainly be a bit less tense in Champions League.

Based on what I've seen in recent games and what Bruce Arena has shown, this is my best shot at a Galaxy Starting XI: Josh Saunders; Todd Dunivant, Omar Gonzalez, AJ De La Garza, Frankie Hejduk; Mike Magee, Landon Donovan, Chris Birchall, Sean Franklin; Adam Cristman, Robbie Keane.

That lineup would be a fresh one. Of the 11 players, five did not play on Friday - Saunders, Hejduk, Magee, Birchall, Cristman. A sixth - Keane - played 30 minutes. The rest - Donovan, Dunivant, Gonzalez, De La Garza, Franklin - are extremely fit.

Off the bench, Arena has some options for goals if it comes to it. Barrett made the trip; Cardozo and Miguel Lopez are here as well. The Galaxy are primed for a strong effort and some planning ahead on Arena's part has done the team well.

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