CARSON, Calif. – The long days of preseason training camp are over. Starting on Sunday, the LA Galaxy will begin playing for keeps.
LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano provides his Three Points to the LA Galaxy’s home opener against the Chicago Fire.
Starting the 2013 season strong has been one of the LA Galaxy’s primary objectives this preseason and LA will look to do so with a fast start against Chicago.
From the outset, expect Galaxy forwards Robbie Keane and Mike Magee to press Chicago’s talented center back tandem of Arne Friedrich and Austin Berry. Keane looks to be instrumental in this tactic, not only by running at the defense, but by dropping back into midfield and generating forays forward with his passing ability.
The forwards won’t be the only weapon in attack as much is expected of left midfielder Colin Clark, who has formed a solid partnership with Todd Dunivant on the side. Clark’s speed in particular will make him a valuable asset against Chicago’s Logan Pause who is transitioning to the right back position.
DISRUPT CHICAGO’S NEW MIDFIELD PAIRING
The Chicago Fire revamped their midfield in 2013 with Jeff Larentowicz and Joel Lindpere taking the reins in the center of the park and unsettling their first league match together will be key to the Galaxy’s aspirations on Sunday.
Both midfielders are noted for their two-way abilities, but throughout the preseason they have had stationary roles with Larentowicz being used as a holding midfielder while Lindpere pushes forward into the attack. However, their tendencies to interchange could opportunities for LA’s Marcelo Sarvas and Juninho to catch them out of position.
Expect LA’s Brazilian pair –particularly Juninho—to place pressure on the Chicago midfielders from the outset. If the Galaxy midfield can disturb their positioning then LA’s attackers should be able to find space behind the Fire defense and create dangerous scoring opportunities.
POTENTIAL NEW PARTNERS IN CENTRAL DEFENSE?
One of the biggest questions of the preseason for the LA Galaxy this year was just who would start alongside Omar Gonzalez. With the season opener looming, it seems that Leonardo may have locked down the spot.
Gonzalez started alongside Leonardo during his last preseason appearance against Club Tijuana on Feb. 21 and formed a solid partnership with the Brazilian during their 45 minutes together. With both defenders standing well over six feet—Gonzalez is at 6-foot-5 while Leonardo stands 6-foot-2—
If Leonardo does start alongside Gonzalez, it could see DeLaGarza moved to right back with Sean Franklin slotting into midfield. This will not be an unfamiliar situation for either as both have started numerous games together –during the preseason and in the last two seasons—on the right flank.
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com