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LA Galaxy Season Preview: Countdown To MLS First Kick

The Los Angeles Galaxy have been given the honor of appearing on ESPN a week from today, kicking off the 2011 MLS season against Seattle Sounders FC. Over the course of the next week, we'll be looking at all the story lines from the first week of MLS action; starting with the Galaxy and trying to get a sense of the whole field. Most Galaxy fans should be familiar with the offseason moves that have been made thus far, but just to recap:

Edson Buddle and Mike Magee started at forward Nov. 14 in the Galaxy's last game of 2010. Buddle has left the Galaxy for Bundesliga 2, but Magee remains, and is joined by new acquisition Juan Pablo Angel. Time will tell is the Columbian striker will be joined up top by Magee or Chad Barrett, whom the Galaxy acquired from Toronto FC for allocation money. The available forwards for the Galaxy this season are:

Juan Pablo Angel

Chad Barrett

Mike Magee 

Adam Cristman 

Brian Jordan

Landon Donovan and Jovan Kirovski are also listed as forwards in some cases, but likely will be added to the roster as midfielders. Which is a perfect lead in for the midfielders section. Donovan will be joined by David Beckham in the middle, as the two stars remain the elements the Galaxy build around. Two of the Brazilians from last year return for another go-around, Juninho and Leonardo. Alex Cazumba quietly returned to Sao Paulo in the offseason. The Galaxy have added Miguel Lopez, on loan from Quilmes in the Argentine league. The available midfielders for this season are:

Landon Donovan

David Beckham

Chris Birchall

Juninho

Michael Stephens

Jovan Kirovski

Miguel Lopez

Paolo Cardozo (selected in SuperDraft, formerly of Quilmes)

Hector Jiminez

Dan Keat

Which brings us to the defenders. Frankie Hejduk was probably the most notable offseason addition to the backfield. Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, Gregg Berhalter, Todd Dunivant, AJ DeLaGarza, and the aforementioned Leonardo all return from last season. As far as starters are concerned, the Galaxy experienced almost no turnover south of the forwards, so expect the Galaxy to be able to turn in the same stellar defensive performance they did last year. At times the Galaxy were criticized for playing too defensively, and likely things will seem conservative as the midfielders learn to play with a new star striker. However, in what is likely David Beckham's first full season with the Galaxy, I see no reason why the Galaxy can't turn into a solid goal producing team. 

Tomorrow, a preview of the Galaxy's first game against Seattle Sounders FC.