LA roster depth key to success

Galaxy have not missed a beat without Donovan and Buddle

No
Edson Buddle, No Landon Donovan. No problem for the Los Angeles Galaxy.

On
a day when teammate Edson Buddle shined for the United States Men’s National
Team against Australia, his Galaxy teammates proved that they are doing just fine without him,
earning a 4-1 victory against the Dynamo.

Throughout the Galaxy’s 12-game undefeated streak, a complete
cast of characters have come up big to catapult the club to the top of the
league standings. During the Galaxy’s impressive 4-1 win over Houston on Saturday, the
replacements for Donovan and Buddle stepped up in a big way with Jovan
Kirovski, Tristan Bowen and Alex Cazumba scoring goals.

The
Galaxy’s depth was the difference on Saturday as the club was able to overwhelm
a Houston club that has played three matches in the last eight days. Houston
quickly wore down in the second half with the Galaxy able to capitalize on
every mistake. The victory takes the Galaxy to a record of 10-0-2 on the season
which is the best in MLS.

Since Head Coach Bruce Arena has taken over for the Galaxy, the former United
States head coach has sought to create a club that can stand the test of the
grueling MLS season.  For Bowen, that approach begins on
the training ground every day.

“Its definitely the competition in practice, Bruce has done a great job in
getting a group of incredibly competitive guys together,” said Bowen. “We know
that we have to fight for our spots and when you get your number called,
everyone wants to go out there and compete and show why you belong on the
field.”

As
the club heads into the World Cup break, an astounding total of 22 of the 24
players on the Galaxy roster have started for the club. With Alex Cazumba’s
goal in the 56th minute, the Brazilian is now the 11th Galaxy player to score
this season. For a team that was criticized early on for being overly reliant
on the play of Edson Buddle, it is a testament to Bruce Arena. For all the
success, Arena is unable to coronate this Galaxy team as the deepest that he
has ever had. 

“I
had a team at D.C. United that had seven international players and some of them
didn’t start,” said Arena. “What helps here is that we have a veteran roster
that do a fabulous job understanding their role and really know how to push the
young players along. It is certainly a much improved roster from the one that I
inherited.”

One such veteran who was instrumental in stepping up for Los Angeles on
Saturday was Kirovski. Scoring a pair of goals, the forward had great
success in linking up with his fellow striker Bowen. The pair had two previous starts together before the
departures of Buddle and Donovan, but looked like a veteran striking tandem on Saturday.

“It’s great to have Tristan because he compliments me so well and he is strong
and every time I get the ball I’m looking for him,” said Kirovski. “We really
have a great group of players here and although Landon and Edson are gone,
we’ve done well.”