Three Questions with LAG Confidential: Donovan, Keane, confidence and more

George Frey

Josie Becker of LAG Confidential answered some oh-so-pressing questions I had for her about tomorrow's match — including who we might see in attack on Saturday.

With Landon Donovan both doubtful through injury, who can RSL fans expect to see on Saturday? What do they bring to the table?

Donovan's dealing with a leg strain (probably from overexertion) but is hopeful to play Saturday. So he'll play, Saturday. I think RSL fans should expect to see what Kansas City saw last Saturday. Don't change horses in midstream, as they say, and the Galaxy returning to the 2012 back line turned into a quite favorable result. Donovan and Magee on the wings, Juninho and Sarvas in the midfield. Keane probably pairs up with Jack McBean since Villarreal has been away from the team this week, but that's a toss up.

You've started the season off considerably better than last year. Is there a fear that, maybe, RSL could shatter the confidence of LA Galaxy this time around, and we could go on a big run afterward?

Nope, haven't considered that. Confidence isn't a balloon that gets popped resulting in lack of a balloon. You can take some air out it, surely, but the balloon still exists to have air put back in it. Also, it's April. April showers bring May flowers.

You've coped pretty well without David Beckham (and you thought I could go three questions without mentioning his name). Has there been a tactical shift during the offseason that has changed the roles in the midfield? Or is there somebody filling the same sort of role as Beckham?

Beckham physically has been replaced by Sarvas, but tactically it's been a bit more piecemeal. Sean Franklin was added to the midfield to give the Galaxy a bit more width, as one thing the Galaxy lost when David Beckham left was a player who could hold the right side of the pitch and make defenders play his ability to send balls in, which gave Franklin as a right midfielder and whoever was playing wide right midfielder a chance to do damage up top. Now they need a right wide midfielder capable of getting the ball up there on their own. Franklin looks to be heading back to the backline, however, with the return of Landon Donovan. This brings up the second part of Beckham's game, the free kick amazingness. Juninho has taken over free kicks from the field, with Donovan handling corners. However, as neither of them is the all out amazingness that Beckham was, it's a bit of kick-taker by committee.

So that deadliness on set pieces is decidedly less than it was in the past, but speed on the wings is now freed up to run around with the ball to their hearts content.

Bonus, as yours: Expected lineup and match prediction?

Bonus: Cudicini; Franklin, DeLaGarza, Gonzalez, Dunivant; Donovan, Juninho, Sarvas, Magee; Keane, McBean

LA Galaxy 4-1. Hat trick from Keane after a Donovan penalty brings us to 1-1 at halftime.

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