Tuesday’s Column: Chivas, Galaxy Hurting Heading into MLS season

A planned season preview turned more into an extended injury report. Read the column here.

Other Galaxy injuries not mentioned in the column include those to bit part players Leonard Griffin (who will also miss the season opener with a left abdominal strain) and Stefani Miglioranzi, who is listed as probable with a right knee bruise.

And just to illustrate the turnover on the Galaxy’s roster, the team observed that 13 of the 25 players currently on the Galaxy roster were not with the club for the final game of the 2008 MLS regular season.

Left over from my conversation with Bruce Arena Monday were some of the most candid comments I’d heard him make over the Galaxy’s struggles to sign players in light of their almost maxed out salary cap:

“We’ve been in a bit of limbo with our salary cap because of some of the unknowns with Landon and David. Our hands have been tied a little bit with trying to make considerable improvements in our roster, so that’s been a little bit of an issue. … That’s impacted our ability to make some changes and that handcuffed us a little in the (aborted) Osman Chavez deal. We weren’t able to make that signing because of that.”

Both the Galaxy and Chivas USA gave players the day off Monday, but the likes of Edson Buddle and Alan Gordon were out on the training ground continuing their rehab from their respective injuries. I took the opportunity to ask Gordon what he thought of the entire David Beckham “will he stay or will he go?” soap opera and his delayed return to the Galaxy from AC Milan:

“It’s good to have him (coming) back – he’s a quality player – everybody is seeing it right now. He’s still got it. It’s a matter of putting the pieces together to make it work for the team and make him work for the team. When he comes back he’s got to be on board so the team can be successful. We need him. It will be good as long as he has the right attitude, which I think he will… If we can be organized by the time he gets here, it can be a good thing.”

I also asked Gordon about his personal goals for the season:

“I want to score more goals than I got last year. I want more playing time than I got last year. Last year I got five goals in about half a season worth of minutes – so if I get more minutes I’m going to get more goals. I had a lot of chances last year that could have gone either way. If I finish those chances I could have a good year.

“I’ve had a good preseason I felt I’ve worked my way into Bruce’s favor. Obviously Edson had a good season last year, Landon is going to be up there so there’s competition (for places), but I think that’s good. There’s no bad blood between me and Edson. We’ll both get time and maybe we’ll (get) time together.”

As a bonus, here’s a story on former celebrity Galaxy fan Drew Carey turned Seattle Sounders co-owner.

I’ll be away from the computer most of the day, so expect minimal blogging.

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group soccer columnist and blogger Nick Green writes at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at www.insidesocal.com/soccer and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at www.insidesocal.com/beer. Cheers!
  • Nell

    I just don’t buy it completely that the Beckham/Donovan situation impeded the signing of Chavez, especially with Beckham only costing $200,000 towards the cap this year. Maybe with that money, plus use money that’s wasted on the likes of Kirovski and Migs, to bring in Chavez.

    I still think the Galaxy’s salary cap problems come from unwisely spending what they’ve got left over from Becks and Donovan than actually tying up so much money in those 2 players. Because the Galaxy aren’t the only team to have 2 big salary players, yet we struggle more than the others to put a quality side out there.

  • Ed

    Landon and David haven’t been unknowns for a couple of weeks….The Galaxy got allocation money and salary cap relief for losing Beckham for half the season…They didn’t want to pay Chavez, but they have washed-up players like Kirovski and Miglioranzi flooding the roster…

    The front office is still incompetent.

  • Ben

    I wonder if I calculate wrong…

    Salary Numbers are taken from MLS Players Union Website (total compensation, ie higher number rounded up).

    Salary cap is thought to be 2’300’000 $ (or even a bit more).

    The total cap hit of the team currently is $1,859,000 according to my calculations.

    Which would leave 441k cap space without taking into consideration:

    allocation money (which we still should have some for finishing so bad).

    Sanneh (who won’t make that much).

    Beckhams cap hit will only start when he’s back and be 200k.

    The only possible mistake I can find is Donovans’s cap hit.

    Would be interested if you spot a mistake in my calc.

  • Studs Up

    Wow, mostly the older guys are injured. Maybe the preseason was too long for them. But I am curious about the chances of Tristan and Izzy getting some playing time. Specially Izzy since he’s been on he books for over two years now and making decent money. Is he another Memo Gonzales in waiting?