With less than two months until the new Major League Soccer campaign gets under way, LA Galaxy are looking very strong and may be tough to beat as they seek a record sixth MLS Cup.
Over the years, Galaxy have built one of the most powerful franchises in US soccer history and, with the offseason additions of Ashley Cole and Nigel de Jong, they almost look unbeatable. Bruce Arena has plenty of proven, experienced talent at his disposal and the likes of Steven Gerrard, Robbie Keane and Giovani dos Santos will only prosper with more quality in the squad.
Last season, Galaxy crashed out of the MLS Cup in the first round of the playoffs which was an incredibly disappointing performance by their high standards. Throughout the campaign, they struggled for consistency and their knockout round clash summed up their entire season.
Galaxy showed their mental strength to come from behind twice during the 3-2 defeat to Seattle Sounders, however, they were unable to find a third equaliser after Erik Friberg gave Seattle the lead once again. Ultimately, Galaxy’s defending let them down and that’s hardly surprising considering the lack of balance throughout the squad.
“LA Galaxy vs Houston Dynamo- Western Con” (CC BY 2.0) by YoTuT
Given time, this LA Galaxy side has the ability to dominate the MLS for the foreseeable future. Galaxy have always been at the forefront of American soccer but there has never been one standout side that has stood tall as the best team in the country.
Los Angeles have both the quality and structure to do just that and they will be looking to begin a new era of dominance with a solid regular season and another MLS Cup victory. Bookmakers will be preparing their MLS betting odds for the season but it is difficult to see past the Galaxy.
Many believe that the New York Red Bulls also stand a great chance this season, and who could blame them? The Red Bulls are a well-oiled, efficient franchise both on and off the field. It wouldn’t be a massive surprise to see them feature in the latter stages of the postseason, if not the final of the MLS Cup this campaign.
Bradley Wright-Phillips, who netted twice in a 5-0 preseason victory over Montreal Impact, is one of the division’s best strikers and he has netted almost 50 goals in just over 70 appearances for the New York side. He will be crucial to their title aspirations, especially if both he and brother Shaun combine well throughout the year.
However, it’s looking as though the title might be Galaxy’s to lose. While this statement may be slightly harsh on defending champions Portland Timbers, LA Galaxy are simply too good on paper.
Okay, so football isn’t played on paper but Galaxy have the experience, the nous and the talent to mastermind another MLS Cup success this season. It would be a nice way for the likes of Gerrard and Keane to potentially bow out. After all, they were signed for this exact reason: to win trophies and that is what Galaxy must do in 2016.