In tonight's matchup with the Houston Dynamo, the LA Galaxy had to replace Omar Gonzalez, Landon Donovan, Marcelo Sarvas, and Todd Dunivant. To cover all these holes in the starting XI, Bruce Arena had to get creative with his roster.
The biggest shift is Robbie Keane playing back into the midfield, taking the point of the lance position on the diamond. He'll work with target forwards Rob Friend and Samuel, with Samuel the replacement for Donovan. Friend reprises his role as replacement for Sarvas, and Gargan reprises his role as replacement for Dunivant.
Not only does Kofi Opare get to retain his spot with Omar Gonzalez off on national team duty, but Tommy Meyer returns to the starting XI with Leonardo recovering from finger surgery. Leo did make the match day eighteen.
Bruce Arena has chosen to react to midfield absences by bringing in forwards, showing the amount of faith he has at his current midfield depth. I wouldn't be surpised if tonight's diamond looks more like a 4-3-3. Meanwhile, it may be physically impossible this season for Gyasi Zardes or Robbie Rogers to crack the starting XI.
LA Galaxy subs vs. Houston Dynamo: Rowe, Leonardo, Rogers, Mendiola, Walker, Hoffman, Zardes
Houston Dynamo starting XI: Hall; Sarkodie, Horst, Taylor, Ashe; García, Creavalle, Barnes, Driver; Bruin, Sherrod
Houston bench: Deric, Cochran, López, Ownby, Johnson, Cummings