This isn’t your father’s LA Galaxy team Real Salt Lake will face on Saturday. Or maybe it is, if he’s actually a fan of the team, but still — those players you remember? They’re probably all gone. Retired. Left.
Save, of course, one of them: Giovani dos Santos. And you know what? We won’t see him at all, thanks to a timely injury. Who, then, are LA Galaxy this year? Well, let’s look.
A European core
At LA Galaxy’s core are two groups: European and American centers. You’ll know a handful of the American-based players, but largely, these are homegrown players that have come through a sneakily good academy system. On the European side are players not necessarily of European origin, but with largely European experience.
- Played all of his career in France before joining the Galaxy, Alessandrini came through Marseille’s youth program before playing at Gueugnon, Clermont Foot and Rennes — and then joining Marseille as a professional.
- He’s a winger, and in his two matches so far (he’s only not played four minutes so far), he took eight shots.
- We don’t really have to talk about Boateng, because you’ll remember his impact against Real Salt Lake last year. But just think about that for a second and get scared, I guess.
- In his one MLS season so far, Boateng scored two goals. Both of them came against us, because of course they did.
- Boateng was actually U.S.-based in high school and college before joining Swedish outfit Helsingborgs IF for several years.
- A veteran of the English Premier League, Cole played at Arsenal as a youth before being a standout in the undefeated 2003-04 season for the club.
- Cole later joined Chelsea, playing there regularly after a controversial transfer.
- In 2014, Cole joined AS Roma, where he played only 11 games. He joined the Galaxy for the 2016 season.
Giovani dos Santos
- Though he was born in Mexico, dos Santos got his start at Barcelona’s academy, and he went on to play for the legendary club for two years at the top level.
- He went on to feature occasionally for Tottenham Hotspur for four years, while being sent on loan at times during that spell.
- Before joining the Galaxy, dos Santos played for Mallorca and Villareal in Spain.
- He’ll be out this week through injury.
- Diallo actually has more experience for LA Galaxy II than for any European side, but he got his start at Marseille as a youth in 2000.
- He suffered an ACL injury last year that cost him most of his season, but he was still deemed ready for a first-team contract.
- We know a lot about Jones, who played across Germany through his professional career but has been with the U.S. National Team from 2010 forward.
- Jones eventually ended up in Turkey before joining New England Revolution in 2014, Colorado Rapids in 2016, and LA Galaxy this year.
- Lletget is actually from San Francisco, California, but it was West Ham United that gave him his first professional contract.
- The American is still young — only 24 — and signed for the Galaxy in 2015.
- This Joao Pedro — there are a lot of them — is João Pedro Almeida Machado. He’s Portuguese.
- Pedro played for Vitória Guimarães from 2005 as a youth to 2017, when he joined LA Galaxy.
Jelle van Damme
- One of the veterans on this Galaxy team, van Damme joined the Galaxy at the start of the 2016 season.
- van Damme played all over Europe, featuring for Ajax, Southampton, Anderlecht, and Standard Liege, among others.
- He’ll be out for this match, having received a red card for two yellows in last week’s match.