Real Salt Lake’s opponents on Tuesday are a side we know a lot about. Over the years, we’ve had fantastic rivalries with LA Galaxy, and though that dipped alongside our form over the last three years, there’s still a sense that we could end up big rivals again.
But as things stand, there’s a lot of uncertainty around the Galaxy. They’re missing an important player in Robbie Rogers, they haven’t really replaced Robbie Keane (and might not want to do it outright), and their long-time coach left for national service.
They don’t really have a right back
If this happened at Real Salt Lake, I’d probably be in panic mode. LA’s Robbie Rogers, who had grown into a fine right back in his own right, has foot problems that have kept him out of preseason training, and the club’s ruled him out of the season opener.
Given LA Galaxy traded A.J. DeLaGarza to Houston Dynamo, they’re extremely light back there. I wouldn’t be happy about that if I were them.
Robbie Keane retired!
Glory, glory, hallelujah, right? I was just so, so tired of watching Keane score against us. Will we now see Jack McBean take up that mantle? LAG Confidential thinks so. He’s been scoring goals for LA Galaxy II, and that bodes well for him as a player.
Of course, that doesn’t leave the Galaxy with a true, exciting striker — they’re bringing in Romain Alessandrini as a designated player, but he hasn’t exactly been a world-beater. Sure, he’s been at some important French clubs — Rennes and Marseilles — but that leaves him with only 103 appearances since signing with Rennes in 2012. He’s also been on the edge of the French national team.
I wouldn’t sleep on the Galaxy, but at the same time, without Bruce Arena, are we in for a new-look Galaxy side that doesn’t feature one big-name striker?
The Bruce Arena impact
Let’s be honest with ourselves: Bruce Arena had Jeff Cassar’s number. No matter what change Cassar made, Arena was several steps ahead. And that’s not exactly an unusual thing with Arena, who was one of the best coaches in MLS.
Now? Arena’s with the United States, where hopefully he can do things that don’t annoy everyone while also making the World Cup.
Curt Onalfo could be the Next Great American Coach™, but that’s a massive unknown for the Galaxy. I like our chances this season when we face off.