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Possible lineups for the LA Galaxy against Sporting Kansas City

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You won't believe how many lineups Bruce Arena could plausibly field against Sporting Kansas City.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

We are now 6 games into the 2015 MLS season and the LA Galaxy have managed to field a different starting lineup in all 6 games. Some of this has to do with Bruce Arena, who has stated at practice that he likes to rotate players early in the season.  It also has to do with circumstances out of the Galaxy's control—mainly injuries and international call ups.

As a result, the Galaxy are essentially the hardest team to scout in MLS. This weekend especially, with Robbie Keane and Leonardo questionable, Omar Gonzalez and Gyasi Zardes going the full 90 minutes against Mexico, and the continued positional battle between Baggio Husidic and Mika Vayrynen, Sporting Kansas City has almost no chance of deducing who is going to lineup against them on Saturday.

Let's break down the variables and the possible roster permutations we might see.

The defense

Variable 1: Leonardo

Is Leonardo healthy? He's back in training, but that doesn't necessarily mean he is good to start just yet.

Variable 2: Gonzalez

Can Omar start after going the full 90 against Mexico? We simply don't know.

With two centerbacks who are questionable, I think there are 4 plausible backlines we could see against SKC.

The Attack

Variable 1: Robbie Keane

Keane has a groin strain which he picked up in Vancouver two weeks ago. The common estimation you will find on groin strains is 3 weeks of recovery. Of course, it all depends on the athlete and the severity of the strain, so Keane very well may be ready. Then again, he just as plausibly could sit.

Variable 2: Gyasi Zardes

Gyasi Zardes went 90 minutes in the USA's midweek dos-a-cero performance against Mexico. Does he have the legs to start tomorrow? It's another big question mark to consider.

Variable 3: Vayrynen vs. Husidic

These guys have been fighting it out for a starting position, and Mika's injury in Vancouver makes it hard to figure out who would have started against Seattle if both players were fit.  Well, it seems like  Mika is healthy again, so figuring out which of these guys is going to start makes this guessing game all the more difficult.

Given all this, there are 4 categories of attacking set-ups we could see.

The first is rather straight forward and assumes that everyone is ready to go. If this is the case, then it's just a question of who starts next to Juninho.

The next category are 4-4-2 permutations in which Keane is able to go but Zardes is not and vice versa. There are two of each because we still don't know who is going to start next to Juninho.

The final category are 4-2-3-1's we might see if both Keane and Zardes are unable to go. After Baggio's struggles as the attacking mid in this set-up on Sunday, we almost certainly won't see him there again. This leaves two options-- Villarreal and Vayrynen. If Villarreal plays in the attacking mid spot (although, argubably it would be more of a 4-4-2 at that point) then Husidic would likely play left. If Vayrynen plays the position then Villarreal most likely plays left.

If you count it all up, that's 8 attacking setups and 4 possible backlines combining for 32 plausible lineups.


My projection:

¯\_(ツ)_/¯