Can Alan Gordon go from super sub to starter?

CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy’s Alan Gordon called the 2014 season “one of the best years of my life.” He returned to the team he started with in 2004, became a father for the third time and won MLS Cup.

Now it’s a new year for the 33-year-old forward, but the ambition remains the same: be a valuable teammate and contribute as much as possible.

The latter might even entail starting up top on opening night alongside Robbie Keane, with Gyasi Zardes seeing time at midfield during the preseason and on occasion in 2014. Gordon, however, won’t fall into that trap and have his hopes dashed should a spot in the starting XI not come to fruition.

“There’s a chance (of starting),” he acknowledged after training Thursday. “I want to be used; I want to be available to be used when they need me to.

“I want the best team to start at the beginning of the season, regardless where I am or Gyasi is. It’s not really a huge concern of mine. I want to be playing, but I want the best team on the field, whatever that may be.”

Gordon, entering his 12th season, was riding the bench when the Galaxy acquired him from the San Jose Earthquakes for allocation money last Aug. 11. The 6-foot-1, 190-pounder went on to appear in 14 games for the Galaxy, including five starts, scored five goals and had one assist. He was particularly effective off the bench; as a reserve he had one game-winning goal and had two game-tying goals in games the Galaxy went on to win. He also played in each of the Galaxy’s five playoff matches.

The native of Long Beach said his approach hasn’t changed this season – be a dependable contributor – and head coach Bruce Arena said “it’s always a possibility” Gordon could be a starter come next Friday night at StubHub Center in the regular-season opener against the Chicago Fire.

“He’s an experienced player who can score goals,” Arena said.

“(Starting) depends on the health of our team and what we think is best going into a particular game.

“He did a real good job for us. I always thought he was a good player and I hated to lose him when we did. He’s a valuable part of our team. I think he can play both roles, as he has in his career.”

Gordon admitted one of his biggest challenges this season will be moving on from last year.

“It was something special,” he said. “The difficulty is putting that behind because you want it to last forever. But leaving it where it is, keeping it as a memory and starting over again is the most difficult thing about being a champion.”