The LA Galaxy have kicked off against the Portland Timbers in their second preseason game, but more importantly the second starting XI of the year has been posted. With each new lineup there's the chance to compare and contrast, and hopefully the First Kick Weekend lineup will become obvious. So let's compare Friday's lineup to today's:
Friday: Josh Saunders; Todd Dunivant, A.J. DeLaGarza, Tommy Meyer, Sean Franklin; Mike Magee, Marcelo Sarvas, Michael Stephens, Paolo Cardozo; Pat Noonan, Adam Cristman
Tuesday: Josh Saunders; Bryan Jordan, Tommy Meyer, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant; Sean Franklin, David Beckham, Marcelo Sarvas, Michael Stephens; Edson Buddle, Paolo Cardozo
Before starting any analysis, the two main concessions are the players on loan (Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane) and Juninho's return. The midfield pool looks something like this then:
Mike Magee, Marcelo Sarvas, Michael Stephens, David Beckham, Landon Donovan, Juninho, Paolo Cardozo, (Sean Franklin)
In the oil industry we call that a bevy of riches. Beckham, Juninho, Donovan, Sarvas seems the most likely, with Stephens and Magee the first of the bench. Of course with Champions League and Beckham leaving for the olympics, it's not like anyone is going to be stuck on the bench. Up top is also heating up:
Pat Noonan, Adam Cristman, Edson Buddle, (Paolo Cardozo), Robbie Keane
Good old versatile Cardozo. Buddle and Keane has to be the opening night pairing. Noonan works for relief, as does the occasional use of Cristman. Then there's the back line:
Todd Dunivant, A.J. DeLaGarza, Tommy Meyer, Sean Franklin, Bryan Jordan (Leonardo) [Omar Gonzalez]
Essentially the same back line from last year, but with the need to replace Omar Gonzalez for most of the season. First round draft pick Tommy Meyer is being challenged to step into that spot. Did you know Bryan Jordan was a trialist signed by Ruud Gullit? Bruce Arena must have been able to re-sign him for a song after declining his option.
So, give it a shot. What lineup would you trot out for First Kick Weekend?