Who starts on opening day for the LA Galaxy?

18 February 8:55 am

Who starts on opening day for the LA Galaxy?

By Adam Serrano

Landon Donovan is returning to the LA Galaxy in late March, that much is assured, but when the MLS regular season starts on March 3, just what lineup will Bruce Arena trot out against the Chicago Fire.

Based on five preseason games and with two still remaining—against Club Tijuana on Feb. 19 and Colorado Rapids on Feb. 22— these are the lineups that I see as the most likely for opening day.

Option 1:

------------------------Cudicini---------------------

Franklin—Gonzalez—DeLaGarza—Dunivant

Stephens-----Sarvas---Juninho-------Clark

-------------Magee------Keane-----------------

One of the major questions of the preseason remains just who partners with Omar Gonzalez in central defense. Both Tommy Meyer and A.J. DeLaGarza have started alongside Gonzalez this preseason and have enjoyed success alongside the reigning MLS Cup MVP.

This formation allows midfielder Michael Stephens to move out to the right side of midfield while Colin Clark is stationed on the left side.  Clark has been very influential going into the attack in four starts on the left side and seemingly has a lock on the position. Meanwhile, Stephens remains his energetic self and has formed a solid partnership with Sean Franklin that provides an attacking presence but also bite on defense. 

Up top, Mike Magee is expected to start alongside Robbie Keane. The Galaxy’s forward line has been depleted as of late after an injury to Gyasi Zardes has put the rookie forward on the shelf until April while Jose Villarreal remains on international duty with the U.S. U-20 and may not return in time for the season opener. 

Option 2:

----------------------Cudicini-----------------------

DeLaGarza—Gonzalez—Meyer—Dunivant

Franklin-----Sarvas---Juninho-------Clark

-------------Magee------Keane------------------

This starting lineup allows Arena to place both Meyer and DeLaGarza on the field at the same time while pushing Franklin up into right midfield. Both DeLaGarza and Franklin have held manned these positions in the past, but both admit that they are more comfortable in the defense.

And when Donovan returns to action, which is likely to happen sometime in April?

Following LA’s scoreless draw with K-League side Gangwon FC, Arena told reporters that Magee is likely to play more time in the midfield once the team reaches full health, which leads to this possible squad:

 ----------------------Cudicini---------------------

Franklin—Gonzalez—DeLaGarza—Dunivant

Magee------Sarvas--------Juninho-------Clark

--------------Donovan------Keane----------------

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What is your ideal lineup? Who do you want to see start for the Galaxy on opening day? Or once Donovan returns?

Share your thoughts below…