CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena has a number of questions to answer ahead of the March 3 season opener against the Chicago Fire, but one of the most important is, just who will start alongside Omar Gonzalez in central defense.
A.J. DeLaGarza and Leonardo appear to be the primary options with second-year centerback Tommy Meyer suffering from a nagging hamstring strain. Arena has repeatedly told reporters this week that Meyer is "moving along" but his status remains in question. DeLaGarza is likely the safest choice due to his deep understanding with Gonzalez, but should Leonardo get the nod, Arena may opt to place DeLaGarza at the right back position while Sean Franklin is pushed into midfield.
“It’s a strong defensive formation. A.J. is very good [at right back] because that was his old position and Sean is dynamic and more than comfortable [at right midfielder]. I think that the Galaxy defense is as solid as ever [with that formation] and teams will see that.”
Whether or not that particular formation is used, if the Brazilian has his number called for the opener, he believes that he’s fully prepared to get the start.
“We all should be ready to play and start,” said Leonardo. “I consider myself to be ready if that opportunity is given to me.”