With or without Donovan or a new DP, the Galaxy are championship caliber.

Sure having Donovan and/or a guy like Lampard and Kaka would solidify them as the run away favorite, but really, they don't need them. They have perfected building an MLS roster with the financial restrictions. They do a better job at locating, evaluating, acquiring talented players, and figuring out where they fit on their team than any other team in MLS. The one thing I will say, is that if they don't get Juninho back, then this whole post is moot.

The Galaxy still have, in my opinion, the best player in the league, Omar Gonzalez. They still have the best forward in MLS, Robbie Keane. They'd have the best center mid duo in the league (Juninho/Sarvas). And they still have the back line that set the MLS record for least goals allowed just a few years ago, and they'll be healthy from the start. And they have so much young talent.

Some people might say, that LA isn't as good as I think because they finished 4th in the west, and to that I say, they just took the first half of the season off, and they still cruised to the title, really they were never at risk of being knocked out of the play-offs, except for maybe, after the 1st leg against SJ, but the 1st half of the 2nd leg erased that bad memory, I even for got how that game ended (I assume it was a fluke, like all SJ wins).

As it stands at this very moment, this is what the line-up will more than likely look like. (I'm assuming that if LA wants Saunders back, they'll get him)








Now, I expect Juninho to take on a much more attack oriented role, and Sarvas will be the guy running around winning possession. Not to say Juninho will be lazy, or anything, in fact that's part of the reason I think this team could be slightly better this year is that they'll be more aggressive in the mid-field.

Out wide, I like the way Villarreal and Jimenez compliment each other, and how they each compliment the full-backs. On the left side you have Villarreal who will tuck in lot, providing play-making centrally (which they'll need sans Beckham and Donovan) and allowing Dunivant to get forward and provide quality crosses to some very talented finishers. Jimenez is a classic winger, gets by (MLS) defenders at will. He needs to improve his crossing and passing to truly realize his potential though. The speed they would have on the right side is scary, Franklin and Jimenez have the potential to torment defenses. Villarreal and Jimenez have completely different skill sets, and both address needs that this team would have.

At forward, Keane will be Keane, I expect a lot of somersaults this up coming year. The 2nd forward, there's some indecision. Personally, I'll be rooting for McBean, because his potential is huge. Big, strong, mean, bully. Those 4 words pretty much describes him. Prototypical target forward, he will hold the ball up as well as anyone in this league and I just imagine him holding the ball up and laying it off to Robbie Keane for a goal a lot next year. Plus he's the home grown, local kid. Magee is a clinical finisher ,and I'm sure he'll get his fair share of starts, but what I envision is McBean wearing out the defenders with his physical style, and then Magee coming in as a late game sub and capitalizing on the mistakes the tired defenders will make. Magee has been a starter out wide in recent years, but he's not suited for that role, and with the other options LA has out wide, I can only see Magee getting the start upon occasion outwide for either an injured player, or a resting player.

The defenders, it speaks for itself, the most talented back line in league history. They all play differently styles, but they compliment each other perfectly. De La Garza could start next to Gonzalez over Meyer, but not only do I think Meyer won the job during the play-off run, but also the key phrase in that sentence was "Next to Gonzalez" either of them next to Gonzalez is a great choice.

Really, who will challenge this team?

Seattle? They have to prove it before I can consider them a legit contender, their the Falcons of MLS. What's Montero's goal scoring record in the post-season? 0 for a lot is my guess, and until he gets it right in the post-season, Seattle will struggle.

Sporting Kansas city? I guess, but what I saw this year vs. Houston does not bode well for this team. And I always wonder about eastern conference teams, the top teams last year had bloated records because the east has no depth of talent.

The Energy drinks? The Pink cows always make me laugh. they just never get it, and I seriously doubt they ever will. Too often they just throw a bunch of players out there with no thought about chemistry. When you look at what the Galaxy did with their DP's and roster as a whole, everyone compliments each other, they have chemistry. With the Energy drinks, you don't get that vibe.

San Jose? No. the goonies got their asses kicked in the play-offs last year, and I fully expect the magic carpet ride that was last year to be over for them. Luck can only take you so far, ultimately it's skill that wins out, not thuggish, undisciplined, and unskilled play.

THE ONLY team I think has a good shot would be DC United. They have almost as much young talent as the Galaxy (the difference is that in LA they don't get playing time). And assuming Najar doesn't leave for Europe, and doesn't get suspended in the play-offs, and they sign another quality finisher like they talked about, they could have enough fire power to dethrone LA.

Am I arrogant? Yes. Am I wrong? In this case, no.

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