Michael Stephens sets up for a corner kick against Chivas USA. Credit: LAGConfidential.
After losing all their preseason matches, the LA Galaxy B-squad came out against Chivas USA's A-team and scored three goals before halftime; holding on for a 3-2 win. They still have the preseason tournament in Arizona, and preseason games are meaningless. Still, it was a good showing from a group that could see one or two of their ranks cut by the time this is all over.
Adam Cristman factored into the first two goals. On the first, Cristman was at the top of the box in the 21' and found Pat Noonan to his left. Noonan stutter stepped around his marker, and sent the ball into the back of the net. Ten minutes later, Dan Kennedy misplayed a ball played back to him, and Cristman intercepted then dribbled around him for the second goal. In the 40', it was supplemental draft pick Rafael Garcia who made a great play in the box; finding space and then finding Dan Keat for the third goal.
Chivas was able to come back in the second half for two goals, but the damage had already been done.
"It was a good practice game for our group," said coach Bruce Arena. "Our last couple of games had been good. Today was a good day as far as moving some fitness along. A number of players that hadn't had extended minutes had a good showing. It was another opportunity to evaluate players."
Which is really what it came down to. The Galaxy started Bill Gaudette in goal; T.J. Murray, Bryan Gual, Andrew Boyens, and Justin Davies on the back line; Pat Noonan, Rafael Garcia, Dan Keat, and Hector Jimenez in the middle; and Adam Cristman and Jack McBean up top. A number of those players don't have contracts, and are fighting for their MLS lives.
With Omar Gonzalez on the Injured Reserve (and likely the only player to start the season there) the Galaxy are likely to go into the season with 31 players. With 34 at camp, that means three players are likely to be heading home.
My picks would be Bill Gaudette (three goalkeepers is enough), Justin Davies, and Bryan Gaul (redundant at the forward position). We'll see what happens, it's likely no changes happen until after the Arizona tournament.