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Western Conference Preview

By Jonathan Szekeres




CARSON, CA - DECEMBER 01: Christian Wilhelmsson of Los Angeles Galaxy drinks out of the MLS Trophy after the Galaxy defeat the Houston Dynamo 3-1 to win the 2012 MLS Cup at The Home Depot Center on December 1, 2012 in Carson, California
CARSON, CA - DECEMBER 01: Christian Wilhelmsson of Los Angeles Galaxy drinks out of the MLS Trophy after the Galaxy defeat the Houston Dynamo 3-1 to win the 2012 MLS Cup at The Home Depot Center on December 1, 2012 in Carson, California

2012 record: 16-12-6 (4th in Western Conference, won MLS Cup)

Additions: GK Carlo Cudicini (Free Agent via Tottenham)

Losses: M David Beckham, G Josh Saunders, F Edson Buddle

Overview: They may have stumbled out of the gate in 2012, but the Galaxy righted the ship in the best of ways, winning an MLS cup, their second straight. The David Beckham circus officially left the Galaxy locker room, and His loss is a big one. However, none is bigger than the hiatus of star Landon Donovan, who is set to return to the club near the end of March. He won't exactly be in prime shape after his break, so expect a drop in his numbers. That's where a revitalized Robbie Keane needs to maintain his resurrection, or the team may actually struggle to score goals. On the positive side, center back Omar Gonzalez is healthy, which is a huge boost to the backline. Also, talented midfielder Juninho is on a permanent deal now, a considerable achievement considering the vacancy left by Beckham. It's a very real possibility that the Galaxy will take a sizable this season, especially if Keane can't find the same magic as 2012. They'll still miss the playoffs, but they're no longer a sure fire bet to for a deep run in the post-season.

Player to watch: This is Keane's team, that is, until Landon Donovan returns. He'll be counted upon to replicate his 2012 season and continue to be the fiery leader he has been since his arrival in Los Angeles.