Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
The LA Galaxy are going at the Chicago Fire with a new look lineup from the one that won MLS Cup 2012.
There have been two possible lineups discussed this preseason, one more traditional replacing Landon Donovan with Michael Stephens, and one more experimental with Sean Franklin moving to the midfield, A.J. DeLaGarza moving into his spot and then Leonardo filling in DeLaGarza's spot.
It looks like Arena is not resting on his haunches, mixing things up from the formula that won the LA Galaxy two MLS Cups. However it's worth noting that to start the 2011 season, Leonardo started next to Omar Gonzalez on the back line. It was his season ending knee injury that sprang A.J. DeLaGarza off the bench permanently. Leonardo only got the role because Gregg Berhalter was dealing with injuries and did more coaching than playing in 2011.
Letting Franklin run the wings worked well for Arena last year; with Clark on the opposite side and Juninho and Marcelo Sarvas with the pace to keep up the Galaxy will look to have a quicker attack capable of spreading out a defense.
Two rookies on the bench in Charlie Rugg and Greg Cochrane. Expect one of either Hector Jimenez or Michael Stephens to come off the bench first.
Chicago Fire: Johnson; Anibaba, Berry, Kinney, Segares; Nyarko, Larentowicz (C), Lindpere, Duka; Rolfe, Santos
LA Galaxy Subs: Jimenez, Garcia, Rugg, Perk, Stephens, Cochrane, McBean
Chicago Subs: Tornaghi; Videira, Paladini, Thompson, Atouba, Alex, MacDonald
Television: Time Warner Sportsnet, UniMas (formerly Telefutura) nationally
Weather: 72 and partly cloudy
Referees: Kevin Stott; Brian Poeschel; Anthony Vasoli; Daniel Radford