It's time for the 11th edition of Ask the Insider.
Today's question comes from Alan Vega Butron Now that we are so close to the playoffs, What tactical and personnel changes will we see from Bruce Arena? and how will this help us come playoff time?
At the end of the MLS regular season, all clubs constantly look for their ways to find tune their style of play ahead of the postseason and the LA Galaxy are no exception.
One potential change that could make the greatest impact is an increased role for Swedish winger Christian Wilhelmsson. A nagging injury has prevented the Swede from really solidifying a place in the Galaxy starting XI since his stellar debut, but in the final two matches of the season, look for "Chippen" to earn further minutes. As I've elaborated at length in the past, Wilhelmsson's inclusion provides the Galaxy with a polished wide threat who has an ability to open up opposing defenses with his speed and crossing abilities. A great role for Wilhelmsson could mean diminished minutes for Mike Magee, who has been playing primarily on the left flank, but could help LA stretch outside backs. Provided that he returns from International duty with Sweden, Wilhelmsson could play a larger role on the flank this weekend against the San Jose Earthquakes--particularly with Landon Donovan still questionable due to a bone bruise.
The Wilhelmsson inclusion could play an important one of one of LA's other likely changes, the question of which player serves as the Galaxy's first attacking option of the bench. Currently, the position is held by forward Edson Buddle, who has yet to find his form after returning from knee surgery this summer. Apart from Buddle, Arena has a number of other options including talented youngster Jose Villarreal, the experienced Pat Noonan or potentially, Mike Magee. The plucky Magee thrived in this role in the past and could see even more minutes as an impact substitute if Wilhelmsson takes ahold of a starting role. But keep an eye on Buddle, who although currently struggling remains a talented option, who may see greater minutes if he can return to his scoring ways.
Thanks for the Question, Alan. You can get your tickets by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For everyone else, remember to leave your questions on the LA Galaxy Facebook page following the club's next match against the San Jose Earthquakes on Oct. 21 for the chance to have your question featured and win tickets to an upcoming Galaxy game.