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Five questions for the LA Galaxy ahead of 2015

How does the Galaxy move forward in the post-Landon Donovan era?

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Pre-season is well underway in Carson, and spirits are high at training. (Winning a MLS Cup will do that) The team visited the White House, Bruce is doing hilarious interviews, Gyasi Zardes just had a man of the match performance for the US Men's National Team vs. Panama. Times are good for now.

Once the season kicks off however, the Galaxy have some issues to address.

Will LA suffer from a MLS Cup hangover?

No one can deny the heart and resilience of the Galaxy squad, nor the competitive fire of captain Robbie Keane. But even the most competitive athletes are prone to burnout. 

It doesn't help the Galaxy are an older team and their legs are carrying a lot of extra miles heading into a busy year that includes CONCACAF Champions League group play.

The big challenge for Bruce's men: How do LA continue to stay hungry and want another title more than rivals like Seattle or New England who are going to be absolutely desperate to lift the cup?

Can Steven Gerrard make an impact in 2015?

A pretty damning indictment of NYCFC and the Frank Lampard saga is a Jason Kreis quote from last year, back when Kries was expecting Lampard to arrive at the club in time for pre-season.

"For me, players that enter in the middle of the season are typical fails," Kreis said. "The chances for those players to really contribute meaningfully in a second half of a season in MLS are very, very small."

It's an accurate statement that sums up the dilemma LA are facing this summer with Gerrard's arrival. Not only is it difficult for new signings to get acclimated to the league, but trying to integrate them into the squad halfway through the season and making it work can be a formidable challenge.

The good news? With all his experience playing for Liverpool and the England National Team, Gerrard appears more able than most to adjust quickly and hit the ground running. And if Liverpool manager Brendan Rogers reduces his playing time in the second half of the season as scheduled, that could go a long way towards keeping Gerrard fresh for LA.

The bad? Gerrard has started 19 of 21 games for Liverpool, and went all 90 minutes in a mid-week FA Cup tie vs. Bolton.

What will new (and old) faces bring?

Andre Auras performed well for Los Dos last year, but can he make the transition to the 1st team? There's also the intriguing case of Martin Del Campo, a UC Davis center back and projected top-five draft pick who had already signed with the league, only to not be selected at all after a poor combine. (According to Del Campo, he had strep throat but choose to rough it out without telling anyone)

It's nice to see Edson Buddle again, but with 10 forwards in camp, how many can LA afford to stockpile?

How do the LA Galaxy replace Landon Donovan?

Technically it's a trick question. You can't replace the greatest soccer player America has ever produced, to paraphrase President Obama.

Who will claim the left midfield spot? Sean has the full rundown, but Ignacio "Nacho" Maganto and Bradford Jamieson IV have spent time at left mid during closed-door scrimmages vs. Cal State Fullerton and the Sounders. Nacho in particular shined vs. Seattle, displaying a soft touch, vision and instinct no doubt influenced by the SuperDraft selection's days in the Gefate youth system.

Galaxy fans should feel optimistic. Similar to the pair of Stefan Ishizaki and Baggio Husidic last year, it's nice for Bruce to have options.

And of course, the Galaxy are 2nd in the allocation rankings.

Are the Galaxy ready for LAFC?

It's a complicated subject, and one LAG Confidential plans to cover in more detail later on. But even though the as-of-yet unnamed club doesn't play in MLS for another two years, with their ambition and embarrassment of influential ownership, it's hard not to get the impression Los Angeles Football Club are for real.

How have the Galaxy responded? With plans to spend 15 million dollars on improving the fan experience at the StubHub Center, which include installing a new 5,100 square foot video board, the largest in MLS.

Even in its early stages, the new scoreboard construction is looking impressive. At the USMNT game on Sunday, it appears the merchandise booths are being converted into stores. Outside the stadium, tailgating is finally allowed!

So far, so good.