The time has finally come, match week one. What better way to kick off the start of a campaign than at home, facing off against the defending MLS Cup Champions? That’s exactly what’s in store for LA Galaxy when they take on New York City FC on Sunday to kick off the 2022 season. It’s a season in which they have only one objective in mind, a championship. Of course, the season is long, they understand this, but they also know that missing the playoffs and not competing for silverware isn't an option.
LA Galaxy (13-12-9, 8th in Western Conference, missed the playoffs)
Head Coach: Greg Vanney is entering his second year at the helm of the Galaxy. While last year was more about building his roster, this offseason has been focused on making sure the team is ready for the challenges ahead.
Key Additions: Douglas Costa, Mark Delgado, Kelvin Leerdam
Key Losses: Jonathan Dos Santos, Sebastian Lletget
Projected Best XI: (4-3-3) Jonathan Bond; Julian Araujo, Nick DePuy, Sega Coulibaly, Raheem Edwards; Mark Delgado, Samuel Grandsir, Rayan Raveloson; Douglas Costa, Chicharito, Kevin Cabral.
Best offseason move: Douglas Costa. While the attack for the Galaxy wasn't completely lacking — despite hitting a wall late in the season last year — it's always nice when you can add a player like Costa. The Brazilian doesn't just bring the ability to create, and score, seemingly at will sometimes. He also personifies championship mentality, having won league championships at almost every team he’s played on. He brings the kind of pedigree the Galaxy are used to having at the club, and the team are hopeful he can continue that impressive trophy run in LA.
Why you should pay attention: Goals. Lots of goals, drenched in sauce. At least, that’s the hope when you have Costa, Chicharito, and an improved Kévin Cabral in attack. Even with an injury that interrupted his season, Chicharito bagged 17 goals in 21 matches played last year. If he can even maintain those numbers, then this team will be exciting to watch. Throw in Costa, and you have two players that are absolutely the types to try things and attempt bangers from deep outside the box. The young Frenchman, Cabral, had some rough moments as he adjusted to a new team and a new league in 2021, but so far this preseason he has looked more than improved, he looks confident. It wouldn't surprise if this year's MLS Golden Boot winner was on this roster.
Biggest Weakness: LA are an extremely talented team. Not only were they able to keep most of the core players from 2021, but they also made some solid additions to help fill out the roster. Unfortunately, one of their biggest weaknesses is still depth. We saw injuries last season derail the early momentum this team had gathered, and while they do have some added depth in some areas, the concern is still in attack. If one of the key three goes down with any long-term issue, then this team is looking at another rough stretch. The addition of Costa is great, as it gives you another potent goalscorer in the event Chicharito misses matches, but is it enough? Injuries are never good, for any team, but when so much of your team's success is dependent on health, with no viable backup option, then that's dangerous territory in a physical league like the MLS.
Marvel Character this team embodies: Thanos. Everyone wants to be the hero, to be liked, to feel adored by the masses. Unless you play in LA, in which case you're perfectly content with being the bad guys. The Galaxy are such a team. Much like Thanos, this is one of the most powerful teams in the history of the league. Having collected five MLS Cups already — despite not coming close to one in some time — the Galaxy have made no secret of their desire for a sixth. We all saw what happened when Thanos got all six infinity stones, and the same could be said for the Galaxy. Under the direction of Vanney, the team has felt more stable than in recent years, and winning the club’s sixth championship would only make them more powerful. This season especially, this team is coming for that sixth
infinity stone MLS Cup, and they don't care who they have to go through to get it.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.