Tactical Analysis: Where will Wilhelmsson fit in the Galaxy attack?

05 September 11:24 am

Tactical Analysis: Where will Wilhelmsson fit in the Galaxy attack?

By Adam Serrano

With the LA Galaxy announcing the signing of Christian Wilhelmsson on Wednesday, the question that arises is just where will the Swede fit into the Galaxy's starting XI.

A winger with the ability to play on both flanks -- he was stationed on the left for 45 minutes during Tuesday's Reserve League match and the right for the remainder--, Wilhelmsson brings quite the European pedigree with a lengthy international career with Sweden and stops at clubs like Italian giants Roma and Spain's Deportivo La Coruna. With a resume like Wilhelmsson's it is no doubt that the Swede has arrived in Southern California to fight for a place in the Starting XI, but it may be difficult for him to acquire one immediately. 

When the club is in full strength, the Starting XI looks a bit like this, with a few potential changes including Marcelo Sarvas moving to either flank and Hector Jimenez sliding in on either flank for Sarvas and Mike Magee... 

------------------------Saunders---------------------

Franklin---DeLaGarza---Gonzalez---Dunivant

Sarvas----Beckham-------Juninho----Magee

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

However, in my opinion, the Galaxy will likely move to this lineup with the inclusion of the Swedish International...

------------------------Saunders---------------------

Franklin---DeLaGarza---Gonzalez---Dunivant

Sarvas----Beckham-------Juninho----Wilhelmsson 

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

While this does drop Magee to the bench role, it keeps Sarvas on the field with Juninho as the pair has formed a highly effective trio with Beckham as of late. Meanwhile, it allows for Wilhelmsson to influence the attack and use his dribbling skills to create opportunities for the likes of Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane  For a player who has been praised for his ability to be a direct winger -- including in this analysis from the tactics website Zonal Marking about his substitute appearance against Ukraine during Euro 2012 -- the chance to be paired alongside a capable defender like Todd Dunivant, should allow him to become more active in the attack.  However, that being said, I would not be surprised to see Bruce Arena opt to place Wilhelmsson on the right flank thus allowing Magee to continue to earn minutes on the left while Sarvas drops to the bench. 

What is the best formation for Wilhelmsson? Where do you see him fitting in?

Share your thoughts and formations below.