Donovan, Angel and the high-powered Galaxy attack seeking fireworks in 2011

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Photo by ISIphotos.com


By ADAM SERRANO

Landon Donovan played all over the pitch last season. Whether at forward, in central midfield or out wide, Donovan played a variety of roles for the Los Angeles Galaxy in the club's Supporters Shield run. In 2011, it's likely that he'll be called perform his utilty role once more. 

Donovan has spent considerable time lined up alongside Juan Pablo Angel up top during the Galaxy's preseason; however, when the Galaxy opens the season on Tuesday against the Seattle Sounders, the captain will more than likely take up his usual position on the left side of the midfield. After getting his first real offseason in more than two years, Donovan is motivated to make an impact for the Galaxy at whatever role he is given.

"I'll play a lot of different places this season as will a lot of guys and I'm comfortable with that," Donovan said. "If a certain lineup is working, we'll keep it, but Bruce (Arena) is more about putting players in positions to succeed as opposed to a system coach, so we'll play a lot of styles, positions and systems this year."

Angel was brought in to to replace the departed Edson Buddle as the cornerstone of the revitalized Galaxy strike force. With Chad Barrett and Adam Cristman joining Mike Magee and potentially Donovan, the Galaxy are equiped with depth up top that will be necessary with the team playing more than 40 matches this season between MLS, U.S. Open Cup and CONCACAF Champions League competitions.

In the preseason, Magee and Cristman, who are both expected to see time off the bench, tallied three goals apiece to share the team lead with midfielder Chris Birchall. The depth is a stark contrast to 2010, when the number of attacking options seemed to erode as the season wore on.

Barrett has seen a great deal of time up top for the Galaxy during the late stages of the preseason, even scoring one goal for his new club. At the start of the season, it's likely that Barrett will earn the nod next to Angel, with Donovan being another option if he does not go to his standard position on the left wing.  

Should Donovan be partnered with Angel, that tandem would be one of the most fierce not only in the Western Conference, but the entire league. Angel is hoping that whatever partnership he is a part of is quality, but acknowledges that the forward line requires some more work to reach full effectiveness. 

“We’re working on it. It takes time just to build a partnership," said Angel, who joined the Galaxy through the league's first Re-Entry Draft. "Throughout the year we hope to build that understanding and be good for the team."

The forward charges should be boosted service from the rapidly maturing Juninho, rookie Paolo Cardozo, second-year midfielder Michael Stephens and a healthy David Beckham. With the club striving to make another run at MLS Cup, Donovan is blunt with his assessment of how the team will do in front of the net.

"We're going to score a lot of goals this year."

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20 Responses to Donovan, Angel and the high-powered Galaxy attack seeking fireworks in 2011

  1. ANM says:

    “The forward charges should be boosted service from the rapidly maturing Juninho, rookie Paolo Cardozo, second-year midfielder Michael Stephens and a healthy David Beckham.”

    The order in which you wrote this list of midfielders made me softly chuckle.

  2. Andrew Hsieh says:

    Sure – but at this point Juninho is the main playmaker. Beckham has always been a role player… a world-class one, to be sure, but a role player nonetheless.

  3. scott says:

    i am really conflicted about the Galaxy. i want landon, hejduk, and other players like Juan Pablo Angel, and Bruce arena for that matter to do well but, i really want to see beckham fail. not get hurt, but just fall flat on his face and get benched.

    anyone else feel that way or just me???

  4. tnnelson says:

    as much as Beckham has just not cared at all about playing in MLS, i hope he goes back to the Premier League and does well for a club. that would speak volumes about MLS in the eyes of the rest of the world. as far as MLS has come and as much as it is clearly getting better with every year, Euro-snobs still have no respect for it, and with the introduction of players like Beckham and Henry, they just turn up their noses and say it’s a “retirement league.” if he could go from MLS back to England, that would be a clear message that the level of play in MLS is much better than they think

  5. jcl says:

    “Barrett has seen a great deal of time up top for the Galaxy during the late stages of the preseason, even scoring one goal for his new club.”

    ahahaha

  6. Tres says:

    I’m no big Beckham fanboy or anything, but I don’t want to see him fail.

    This is the first time MLS has a healthy, start-of-the-season David Beckham on its hands. In a sense, 2011 has a chance to be what 2007 and 2008 were supposed to be.

    So personally, I’d like to see the league benefit the way it could have/should have benefited back then, if all that bad luck had not gotten in the way. This is the final chance for that to happen, and I’m not going to wish against it.

  7. john.q says:

    should be exciting. as a side note, my gf bought me, as part of my birthday gift, tickets to the galaxy/redbull game at rba. woohoo!

  8. Shmenge says:

    So they lose Edson Buddle, gain an aging JPA, Beckham is a year older, and now they’re “high flying”?

    Something about the goal math doesn’t make sense unless Paolo Cardozo or Chad Barrett hits for double digits.

  9. Colin says:

    Allen Hopkins is saying that JPA, Omar Gonzalez, Donovan Ricketts, and Steve Zakuani are all out for tonight’s game.

    I knew about Zakuani and Ricketts, but any word on Gonzo’s and JPA’s injuries, Ives?

  10. BBFANCLUB says:

    Donovan and Holden have already highlighted that fact, IMO.

    That said, the crowd you’re referencing will never see the light and will continue to look down upon our country and it’s obvious growing sport

  11. BBFANCLUB says:

    That sucks. First I’ve heard this

  12. Illegal Alien says:

    Link?

  13. Galaxio says:

    Ya, I don’t see the depth up top that they are referring to. Carlos Ruiz or even a player like Carlos Pavon would have been a monster on a squad like this.

  14. Tres says:

    Dang, that really sucks. I was really looking forward to seeing Juan Pablo.

  15. Jeremy says:

    It is nasty in Seattle right now. I sure hope poor Becks doesn’t mess up his hair tonight!

  16. Colin says:

    It’s on his Twitter account – @AllenAHopkins. He said, “Galaxy’s Juan Pablo Angel & Omar Gonzalez are OUT v. Seattle. Donovan Ricketts & Steve Zakuani are also likely to miss #MLSFirstKick.”

  17. Kevin says:

    Tres, well thought out reply. I would normally agree with scott on this one, but I like what you’re thinking.

  18. away goals says:

    I think quite a few of the so-called eurosnobs are taking an interest in mls this year.

    At least I am. And I probably fit into the eurosnob category.

  19. PetedeLA says:

    With a healthy Beckham and Angel to take the pressure off, Donovan should be able to fulfill his potential– which for me is 15 goals. I know he can do it. He just has to be more consistent.

    JPA has become a much better “set-up man” than a finisher in the past year.

    Hopefully Donovan benefits.

  20. ryan says:

    donovan’s consistenly a great player, and a dangerous threat, but as you highlighted, his goal scoring opportunities aren’t very ample. last year he could’ve scored at least 12 goals, yes, but his goal scoring opportunities weren’t always plentiful (and quality). hopefully this year a slight change up front (as you highlighted) will help he be able to fully exploit several quality chances.