Galaxy coach Bruce Arena had indicated that would be the likely outcome in a conference call earlier this week, observing that clubs may now re-sign players involved in the process until 5 p.m. Thursday.
For the Galaxy that is goalkeeper Brian Perk, defenders Andrew Boyens and Temple City’s Bryan Jordan, midfielder Kyle Nakazawa of Palos Verdes Estates and forward Pat Noonan who all had their options declined, but could return to the club next season. Forward Chad Barrett has been on loan to Valerenga of Norway since July and is not expected to return.
Stage Two of the draft is set for next Friday and Arena said the Galaxy could potentially scoop up a player or two, perhaps even including veteran former Galaxy goalkeeper Kevin Hartman, who appears likely not to return to Dallas.
Starting goalkeeper Josh Saunders – capable of marking superb reaction saves, but prone to making poor errors and sometimes guilty of poor judgment – is pondering the offer of a new contract with the club as is cult hero Mike Magee.
One player not returning is late season signing Christian Wilhelmsson, 32, who made five appearances for the club, scoring one goal, but wasn’t as effective a wide player as Arena had hoped.
The Galaxy are also talking to the agents of Brazilians Juninho, 23, a fan favorite with a blistering shot and tireless work ethic, and seldom-seen, oft-injured defender Leonardo, Arena indicated, to see if they will return for 2013.
As for young players, South Bay Force product Oscar Sorto, 18, a right back from Los Angeles will sign a homegrown player contract for 2013, Arena said. He made started three reserve games last season.
Sources say Arena remains interested in South Bay Force alumni Gyasi Zardes, a Cal State Bakersfield All-American the Galaxy hold the rights to.
Real Madrid star Kaka was mentioned, if not exactly discussed during Tuesday’s call, and I’ll have more on that in this coming Tuesday’s column.
On other matters, Arena said:
- He would like to play against “great story” and newly crowned Mexican champions Club Tijuana, but only at Home Depot Center, not on their synthetic turf field.
- Locker room issues contributed to the Galaxy’s poor start at the outset of last season, as well as players continuing to celebrate their 2011 MLS Cup success, until the visit to the White House got that out of everyone’s system, including him.