The Los Angeles Galaxy are often known for their big-name signings: Impact fans will remember David Beckham scoring a long-range free kick at the packed Olympic Stadium several years ago. The Galaxy are a mainstay in the MLS Playoffs, truly the nearest thing to a dynasty that this parity-driven league has ever seen. Having won the MLS Cup in 2011, 2012, and most recently in 2014, the Galaxy are proven winners when it counts the most.
The team they have currently assembled looks no less capable of winning important games. The Galaxy have a ludicrous amount of attacking talent. From Designated Players Robbie Keane and Giovani dos Santos, to youngsters Sebastian Lletget and Gyasi Zardes, to MLS veterans Mike Magee and Alan Gordon, Los Angeles has no shortage of offense. The Galaxy's midfield is equally talented, with Steven Gerrard entering his first full season with the team and the addition of defensive midfielder Nigel de Jong. The Galaxy have even more European additions to the first team, with Ashley Cole and Jelle van Damme arriving from Roma and Standard Liège respectively.
It's LA's attack that could prove to be the most problematic for the Impact, however. With Victor Cabrera and Donny Toia seemingly out with injuries, and Laurent Ciman and Ambroise Oyongo out on international duty, the only defenders at Biello's disposal are Wandrille Lefevre, Hassoun Camara, Maxim Tissot, and MLS rookie Kyle Fisher. For the first time all year, the entire first-choice defense for Mauro Biello is unavailable, which will make the test against a strong LA team even tougher. The likely fullbacks, Camara and Tissot, will see a lot of dos Santos and Emmanuel Boateng, both of whom are capable of scoring goals as well as whipping in crosses. Center defenders Lefevre and Fisher will have to be aware of the constant goal-scoring threat of Robbie Keane, on top of the sneaky speed of Gyasi Zardes. Both of Los Angeles' fullbacks, Cole and Robbie Rogers, are willing and able to get forward into the attack, which will make it once again key for the Impact to be responsible defensively before hitting on the counterattack. The Impact will also have to limit the set piece opportunities afforded to LA, as the patchwork backline for Montreal will certainly be lacking chemistry and communication, on top of the fact that the team allowed a set piece goal last week against Orlando. To avoid the same final result, the Impact will simply have to be more disciplined, especially with van Damme and Gordon ready to pounce. Even with Keane and Zardes away from the team on international duty, the Impact will be in tough against a strong Galaxy squad.
Who do you think will start in defense for the Impact?
Do they stand a chance against the star-studded Galaxy?