Our Competition

Discussion in 'Los Angeles Galaxy' started by skydog, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. skydog

    skydog Member+

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    Some of our MLS competition are making significant improvements to their rosters and may be worthy challengers very soon, even the upcoming year. In particular two fellow Western Conference members Portland and Vancouver are teams to watch. I've put an asterisk or two next to the ones that I think are very likely to significantly add value to their teams.

    PORTLAND:

    With their newest signing Portland now has 3 DP's. They've added a bunch of youth as well:

    **Kris Boyd (DP): 6' 1" 28 yo striker. I've never seen him play but his Scottish leagues scoring stats are outstanding: 164 goals in 296 appearances, or an outstanding .55 g/appearance. True he played for the Rangers who tended to be much stronger than most of the competition, but he also scored for Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest. He will likely be an upgrade over Kenny Cooper.

    José Adolfo Valencia (DP): 6' 1" 20 yo striker, from Colombian U-20 team. Not a prolific scorer though (2g in 38 appearances for 1st division Columbian Team Sante Fe, 5 g in 10 app for 2nd division team, and 1 g in 6 appearances for U20's) so that seems like a red flag to me. He is young but still should be scoring more as a striker. OTOH, you have to be talented to get playing time for a Colombian national team.

    *Hanyer Mosquera: 6'1" 25 yo defender who was a regular starter for La Equidad in Colombias 1st division.

    Andre Jean-Babtiste: Superdraft from U Conn, 6-2" defender, Soccer America Second Team MVP (whatever that means).

    VANCOUVER

    I warned everyone to watch out for up and coming uber-manager Martin Rennie who has taken every team he has coached from the bottom to the top in a single year. May be a tall order in MLS, but there are signs (and signings) he is on the right track. He's adding the following to a team with Chiumiento, DeMerit, Hassli, and Camilo Sanvezzo:

    **Sebastien Le Toux: The biggest inter-MLS coup of the offseason was wresting Le Toux from the Union! What the hell is Nowak thinking? I know Le Toux's contract was up this year but he loved Philadelphia - surely something could be worked out.

    *Young-Pyo Lee: 34, 5'9" Korean soccer legend. Martin Jol once called him "the best left back in Holland." Played for PSV Eindhoven, Tottenham, & Boussia Dortmund.

    *Martin Bonjour: 26 yo 6'3" Argentine defender, most recently played for 1st division Uruguayan team.

    *Darren Mattocks: 20 yo 6'0" Jamaican forward from Akron, 2nd pick of the SuperDraft, finalist for the Hermann Award with 21 goals in 22 matches last year as a sophomore.

    Lee Nguyen: 25 yo 5'8" forward. They got lucky in the weighted lottery and picked up this U-23 player who skipped MLS but then struggled to get playing time in Europe. Did score 12 goals in 24 games for 1st division Vietnamese team in 2010.

    And finally he dumped Pete Vagenas (who is now a goat!) so we know he is on to something, eh? :)


  2. shelbo

    shelbo Member

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    Thanks for the update skydog. Glad someone is paying attention to these things! (Must spread rep, yada yada.)
  3. juniorLA

    juniorLA Member

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    I'm really interested to see how Vancouver does, very, very interested to see Rennie in MLS. He has a reputation for having an eye for talent and he's been trying to gather his old squad back together. He seems very, very confident. That said, a bit strange that they haven't brought in more help on the back line and have SO MUCH attacking talent.
  4. esco300

    esco300 BigSoccer Yellow Card

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    cant Wait for this season to start!!! and yes i agree Portland and Vancouver will be teams to watch out for , finally MLS is adding Young Depth and making this League Stronger and more Entertaining;)


  5. Poling

    Poling Member

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    I am actually really excited to see Boyd play. From what I have read and video's I have seen he can strike a good ball. Will be great for Portland. I don't expect Valencia to make a big impact this year. He is going to be a project with some great upside (rumor is he is having some medical issues; apparently didn't pass his physical last monday and hasn't been training during camp.)
  6. UcIceD2011

    UcIceD2011 Member

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    I'm with you on this. There is this funny article on mlssoccer.com which basically shows what their starting lineup would look like and its like a 4-0-6. They have too much attacking talent right now and will need to get rid of a couple of them to help bring in some talent for the back and in defensive midfield. If they shore up those other positions then I could see them being very good but right now they have only piqued my interest.
  7. skydog

    skydog Member+

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    Well he brought in what should be two very good defenders based on resume with Young-Pyo Lee (experience at Europe's top level) and Bonjour (starting defender for 1st division Argentine team in 2011). You never know how those guys work out though until you actually see them play in MLS.

    You are right about having a lot of attackers and I think he is trying to add yet another forward - the guy who tore up the league for his Railhawks, Etienne Barbara. I noticed as coach of the Railhawks that no players job was safe no matter how well they were playing. He kept bringing in more and more competition for each position and a player who was the star of the team one year would be fighting for playing time or gone the next. That's going to be a lot harder in MLS with all of the trading and contract restrictions, but he certainly seems to be trying to create the same competition for playing time at Vancouver.
  8. skydog

    skydog Member+

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    Who needs a midfield when you have 6 strikers on the field?! The defenders can just boot the ball upfield and then let the attacking corps do the rest! :D
  9. AmericanKaka

    AmericanKaka Member+

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    Our what?
    As a Galaxy fan, I'm not familiar with that c-word.
    Did you misspell "cannon-fodder"?
  10. OC Galaxy Fans

    OC Galaxy Fans Member

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    Great post - thanks!

    Wow, just think about Seattle. They have a hard enough time dealing with the fact that they are not the best team in the league. Now they may not even be the best team in the Pacific Northwest. At least they have cool new jerseys :rolleyes:
  11. Beirut

    Beirut Member+

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    Glad to see a thread like this.

    One interesting move during this offseason is SJ getting Victor Bernardez, an honduran centerback.

    What's interesting about this is that before we drafted Omar in 09, we had been linked to this guy. We'd actually been linked to him for a few seasons. Anyway, with Beckham getting a big contract with us, he was expecting LA to give him a big contract too and when it didnt happen he left to Belgium(I think). I'm interested to see how he does.
  12. dashiel

    dashiel Member+

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    The West is going to be insanely hard this season. Had we done a balanced schedule again we had to be heavy favorites to repeat as Supporters’ Shield winners, but with 3 game series against Seattle, Vancouver, Portland, Dallas and RSL I don’t know, there’s nothing even close in the East.

    I saw someone quip we don’t need relegation, we have the eastern conference.
  13. skydog

    skydog Member+

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    True dat!
  14. Berks

    Berks Member+

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    Agree with other folks and appreciate this thread.

    Although our attacking prowess looks so...so...so...good (I cannot wait to watch us this year), our defense - namely our dmid and our DB situation - still makes me nervous.

    We are not impenetrable until we see how the center of our spine operates.
  15. mparker

    mparker Member

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    Vagenas a goat. I wonder how that sits with the goat fans. I seem to remember Pete saying that he hated Chivas. Then of course there was the SuperClassico trophy incident....

    [​IMG]
  16. cnami3

    cnami3 New Member

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    I wouldn't underestimate Seattle except for the playoffs because they seem to be hexed to fail in the playoffs for whatever reason.
    They're going to have Zakuani back and he was doing really well before he got injured.

    RSL is still a top team despite their antics.

    But I believe the BIGGEST competition is: ourselves.

    We have the capabilities to repeat as Supporter's Shield and MLS Cup winners as long as the team stays motivated, it's easy to have the post championship hang over like a lot of teams tend to do.

    But I hope that Edson and the coaching staff can keep the team hungry and motivated. We will once again have a HUGE target on our backs but if we stay hungry and get after it then we will have a greater chance of repeating, not to mention one of the most important accomplishments in North American soccer history: to make it to the CWC as the first MLS team ever to do so. :D
  17. WarGalaxy

    WarGalaxy Member+

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    Portland:
    I like what Portland did this off season, not just for this season but for future seasons as well.
    Kris Boyd & Hanyer Mosquera will contribute right away. Plus they added youngsters José Adolfo Valencia & Charles Renken. Not to mention they were able to unload the inconsistent and expensive Kenny Cooper for allocation money and a 1st round pick.

    Seattle:
    Lost more then then half of their starting defense (Keller, Riley, Wahl), but were able to bring in some nice pieces.
    Key Additions - Michael Gspurning & Adam Johansson

    Salt Lake:
    Haven't made a big signing this off season, and haven't lost anyone either. Just got healthy.

    Dallas:
    Key Additions - Forward: Blas Pérez. Known for flopping in the box in all the places he's played all over the world. Now looking to bring his antics to the US. Charlie Davis, I think watched this guy's highlight reel.

    Colorado:
    Same as Salt Lake.

    Vancouver:
    Wow. Sebastien Le Toux, Lee Nguyen, and highly touted rookie Darren Mattocks were all key additions. They didn't lose anyone of interest because no one really wanted their available garbage from last year. I think late season CB signing Carlyle Mitchell might have a breakout season paired with Jay DeMerit.

    San Jose:
    Were given Marvin Chavez by Dallas for practically nothing. Maybe that's what he's worth. As pointed out by other posts, Victor Bernardez is a nice CB signing, interested to see what his salary is. Who knows how much Tressor Moreno actually has left, he hasn't been effective for a team in three years.

    Chivas:
    Pour goats, their front office doesn't get it. They let their 2011 1st round pick (4th overall) walk away without getting anything in return (Zarek Valentin). Did I mention that this rookie started every game he played in, 25 in total. Then to top it all off, they traded one of their best players (Justin Braun) to the same team that picked up that rookie (Montreal Impact) in exchange for that rookie's replacement, the lesser talented/ lower ceiling player James Riley. Chivas you just got worked by an expansion team.
  18. Hachiko

    Hachiko The Akita on Big Soccer

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    Cellar!
  19. Beirut

    Beirut Member+

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    WarGalaxy, I like your list but I have to say Colorado is one of the teams with the most change. Simply because of their coaching change. I expect Oscar Pareja to bring in a latin style of play which is completely different from what they had last year. They've also brought in a few players and released a few like Folan(who i think was useless). The west will be TOUGH.

    I have to say though, I think we top the west again. We've lost a few key players but the core is still there. Stability is such a key component to any major team and it's something we have. Here's hoping!
  20. Berks

    Berks Member+

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    One of my questions is: who is going to be at the bottom of the barrel this year? Revs or Chivas? Think Montreal is going to beat both of them out (as in, do better).
  21. Higher Learning

    Higher Learning Member

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    watch out for the Quakes. you also forgot about Simon Dawkins who will be back
  22. WarGalaxy

    WarGalaxy Member+

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    Oh, okay. Sure buddy. Thanks for the tip.
  23. Geneva

    Geneva LA for Life

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    I think the Earthquakes and DC United are going to be bottom of the barrel. Chivas is going to be improved as I have some respect for Robin Fraser, but hopefully they won't actually be good! The Revs have a long hole to climb out of. New York has the chance to suck again.
  24. skydog

    skydog Member+

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    Portland's Valencia is out 6-12 mos after surgery, but I still think wouldn't be surprised to see them close to the top of the WC table if Boyd scores at anything like the rate he did in his home country.

    Vancouver is going to be tough from day 1. Apparently they outplayed Seattle in the scrimmage and were the tougher side, and Martin Rennie is still bringing in new players.

    I don't expect much from San Jose, mainly b/c I don't think Yallop is that great, but who knows? They have Wondo and a new creative midfielder.

    Chivas may have a decent coach now but they still have the most inept front office since, well, ....., Alexi Lalas ran the Galaxy.

    If I had to predict order of finish based on very limited information:

    LAG: defensive weaknesses, but otherwise very strong. Lot depends on Becks staying healthy and Sarvas working out.
    Van: very, very talented group and Rennie will get the most out of them
    Por: play tough, added a potentially prolific goalscorer
    SL: no big roster additions and although Enzo Martinez may prove to be very good and having Morales back is a big deal. If the team can stay healthier than last season with Kreis coaching could end up at the top of the league.
    Stl: really did little to improve their squad overall, their fans will be disappointed
    Dal: no clue how good their additions will be, but they have a good coach
    Col: again, who knows
    SJ: see above
    Chv: see above
  25. jmaestro

    jmaestro Member+

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    If I had to rank it today, I'd say our three main competitors for the Cup are:

    Seattle
    SKC
    NYRB

    Philly is too young, Houston has upside limits, and I don't see anyone else really challenging. Portland will be a tough team this year, but they've got to make the playoffs at least once before they 're real contenders. SKC is only going to be better with a year under their belts, and NYRB are continuing to try and buy a championship. That's going to be a great rivalry, but I'd bet on them to implode again. Seattle is just plain a strong and experienced team and I think they're going to be really tough this year.

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