Friday, January 15, 2016

Making Moves - Guardians of the Galaxy Edition

You think the LA Galaxy are satisfied with how 2015 went for them? No, Sir. An early playoff ouster and the prospect of no spot in the 2016-2017 Champions League has left the Galaxy obviously eager to atone for their lack of 2015 hardware despite the losses of Omar Gonzalez and Juninho. With Jeff Larentowicz and Dan Kennedy already signed for 2016, the Galaxy made more noise this past week with these three attack-minded moves:

Alan Gordon - Gordon's penchant for delivering in the clutch was enough to get him a National Team call-up for last year's Gold Cup. Despite making just 12 starts over the past two seasons with LA, Gordon has delivered 10 goals (including four game winners), and he's also added five goals in the 2015-16 Champions League to lead all Americans. There are few players in the league with the sustained ability to impact matches off the bench the way Gordon does, so bringing him back is a huge accomplishment.

Mike Magee - 2015 saw the Galaxy get an aged Edson Buddle into 12 regular season matches in which he did not score, or earn an assist. Magee is a clear upgrade even though he himself was held scoreless in 12 matches with the Fire following his return from a hip injury. Magee is just two years removed from a 2013 campaign when he split time between the Galaxy and Chicago Fire and combined to score 21 goals on his way to being named the league's MVP. While likely to see more time as a reserve in LA rather than being relied upon to be a go-to option in the attack, he's still a proven scorer, a clutch performer (8 postseason goals from 2009-2012) and he's shown he can handle playing in LA.

Emmanuel Boateng - Boateng will turn 22 in 2 days, but already has two-and-a-half years of experience with Swedish giants Helsingborgs IF. Boateng, a soccer and track star in high school, spent one season at UCSB before turning pro. He was the 2012 Gatorade National High School Player of the Year, and even graduated high school a year early. Boateng moved to the U.S. from Ghana in 2009. We saw how much the under-the-radar addition of another youngster, Sebastian Lletget, meant for the Galaxy last season, can they catch lightning in a bottle two seasons in a row?

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