The Bomb Has DroppedBy: DAS | January 31st, 2012
And I’m not talking about Beckham’s 2-year $15 million contract.
I’m talking about Omar Gonzalez. Last month Omar pulled out of the national team training camp for a very exciting loan move to Nurnberg. His very first day there he suffered a season ending injury at the hands–well, feet– of his USMNT teammate Timmy Chandler. Word is he has a torn ACL and will be out 6 to 9 months. Rumors are it could be worse.
This is a terrible tragedy in every conceivable way. Omar has been amazing for the Galaxy ever since his debut. He was on the verge of a big move to Europe and was finally getting called in for the US. This looked like his moment to shine. Yes, we Galaxy fans stood to lose a stalwart presence in our back line, but it would still be great for him and at least we’d get a good transfer fee. Instead, Omar returned home with a crushing injury that has no doubt changed his future and ours.
I feel the pain mostly for Omar. He has been great for us and this is a terrible thing to see happen. I like to see young players start with us and go on to great things. Hopefully Omar still will. But this certainly puts a big bump in the road. For his sake, I hope the recovery goes well and hope the effects don’t linger with him as they so often do for players.
For the Galaxy I think this is nothing short of devastating. What exactly is our back line now? Okay, we have solid wing backs in Dunivant and Franklin. We have a good center back in AJDLG. But then what? I was relieved to hear that it looks like Leonardo will be back for another season on loan so we at least have a starting four. But is there any depth? To be fair, we do have other defenders. But are you familiar with any of them? I think we’re going to get familiar with them in the next few months. WIth CCL, league, and cup play this season though, it doesn’t give me great confidence.
There have, of course, been other big moves this off season. Beckham did re-sign for two years. I was surprised he passed up the money PSG was offering, especially since Paris is so close to his London home. But it looks like the lure of LA is actually good for something. I recognize that he is not the jesus christ of soccer, but I have been a fan since he joined and believe Beckham is still a great player for us. I’m glad to see him back.
We did suffer another great loss this off-season with Juninho returning to Sao Paolo. I had hoped his loan would be renewed or we might buy him outright. He really was a key part of our midfield last season and will be sorely missed.
I think the writing was on the wall though when we signed Marcelo Sarvas from Alajuelense. I know we saw him play in CCL matches last year, but I have no memory of him. Early buzz is good. He sounds like he’ll fit in well to a midfield that incorporates Donovan and Beckham. I still think we’re going to miss our little Brazilian and his sniper like accuracy from distance. But Sarvas sounds like a positive addition and he is also Brazilian. I’m not sure who the fourth starting midfielder will be, but I’m guessing Magee or Stephens. I got on the Mageek bandwagon as soon as they moved him to midfield and would like to see him as a regular starter.
Berhalter, Hejduk, and Robinson all retired, taking our back line from hot tub depth down to wading pool. Miguel Lopez also went back to his home team, but I think there’s no big loss for us there. Kirovski retired too, but again no loss. Thankfully he is coming back as a coach so it will be good to still have him around.
We have a number of new players coming in from the draft. I’m not real familiar with any of them and don’t imagine they are starters, but perhaps we’ll see a few new faces when the season starts.
We do have one new addition I’m interested to see about: Pat Noonan. I remember thinking pretty highly of Noonan years ago when he played for the Revs. I don’t think he’s a starter or a guy whose going to set our world on fire. But I think he may add some depth to the attack and be a calming presence off the bench. His experience could be especially helpful with CCL matches.
I haven’t checked how Barrett is doing in his recovery. Probably all better by now. But I have to assume he and Keane will be the starters. Apparently Cristman will be coming back, though I can’t say I’m excited to hear it.
One more player worth mentioning is Chris Brichall. Apparently he is looking for opportunities back in England. But the transfer window closed today and I didn’t see any news about him, so I’m assuming he didn’t find anything. That doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be back this season, but I’d like to see him return. He fills the Dema role for me and I like to have at least one player like that around if needed. Besides, who else could have given us “Space is high mate.”
Our biggest challenge in 2011 was in the attack. I still think we are anemic there. Keane is great, but Barrett to me is still only okay. He is lethal from 3 feet out, but tends to miss a lot otherwise. And we don’t have a whole lot of depth. I’d love to get someone a little more incisive to pair with Keane. But clearly our biggest challenge now is depth at the back. Losing Omar without bringing in a replacement will hit us hard. Hopefully one of these rookies will pan out. Or maybe there will still be some transfer activity. Guess we’ll have to see.
So, which players are you excited about for the season? Do you think we’ve got another shot at the title or that the loss of Omar and lack of a great attacking pair is too crippling? What do you think of the transfers? Like any rookies? What do you expect from the season?