LA Galaxy Injuries: Health Key to Making the Playoffs

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April 29, 2017 - The Los Angeles Galaxy starting lineup for the Los Angeles Galaxy's match against Philadelphia Union at the StubHub Center on April 29, 2017 in Carson, California. The match ended in a 0-0 tie. (Getty Images Sport/Shaun Clark)

Editorial (July 2, 2017) – The Los Angeles Galaxy are the walking wounded. This weekend they lost to the San Jose Earthquakes with amazingly 12 Senior Roster players unavailable between injuries, suspensions, and national team call-ups. Seven players were listed as ‘out’ or ‘questionable’ for the Galaxy on the MLS Injury Report for this weekend. Getting healthy is key if this team wants to make a run to the playoffs.

LA Galaxy Injuries: Health Key to Making The Playoffs

Here’s the full list of LA Galaxy injuries for this week, per MLSSoccer.com:

OUT: D – Robbie Rogers (ankle injury, out for season)
M – Sebastian Lletget (foot surgery 3/24, out 4-6 months)
M – Baggio Husidic (fractured fibula 5/21, out 6-8 weeks)
QUESTIONABLE: GK – Brian Rowe (groin injury 6/1, out 4-6 weeks)
D – Daniel Steres (hamstring injury)
M – Jermaine Jones (MCL sprain 5/6, out 3-4 weeks) –
D – Bradley Diallo (hamstring injury)

Additionally, Romain Alessandrini and Ashley Cole picked up minor leg injuries this week and were unavailable for the match against San Jose. That’s about six players who, based on their performances in 2017, are starters on this team who were unavailable. Combined with Giovani dos Santos playing in the Confederations Cup, this team is severely depleted.

Surviving But Not Thriving

Despite so many things going wrong (a bad start to the season, losses at home, injuries), the Galaxy are in a playoff spot. They’re averaging 1.29 points/game. If this were 2016, that would have them right around the red line. The Portland Timbers missed the playoffs last year averaging 1.29 points/game. Real Salt Lake were the last team in averaging 1.35.

With a congested schedule and everything else going on, this is not terrible. If this is the lowest point they’ll be at the rest of the way, this isn’t bad at all.

The Galaxy could make a big designated player signing this summer. Regardless, they should be making some moves to help improve the team. Head coach Curt Onalfo has given the kids some chances and they’ve made them count. They’re gaining experience that should help the team in October and November.

Reinforcements On The Way

Still, getting healthy is the key to the Galaxy improving. Clement Diop is clearly the second choice keeper right now. Brian Rowe getting healthy will improve the team. Nathan Smith has been inconsistent this year. He’s gotten suspended a few times and is a target for opposing offenses. Bradley Diallo is a better choice there.

Baggio Husidic and Joao Pedro had some good chemistry prior to Husidic getting hurt. Getting him back in August will help the team. At the very least, he’ll provide some veteran depth at midfield. The same thing can be said for Daniel Steres at center back. Dave Romney has had a good couple of weeks. An argument could be made for starting either. Regardless, a healthy Steres gives Onalfo options. That improves the team.

Lletget still has several months of rehab left. But when he returns, he can play in the middle or out wide. That will make Emmaneul Boateng a dangerous super sub. Or it could take some of the offensive load off Pedro.

Cole and Alessandrini were last minute scratches for this weekend. They shouldn’t be out long term. They are two of the most important defensive and offensive players for this team, respectively.

Each of the injured players, other than Jermaine Jones, is as good or better than their replacement and improves the Starting XI overall.

Most of these injuries happened in late May or June. That was right in the middle of an unbeaten streak for the Galaxy. They went 5-0-4 (all competitions) from April 29th to June 21st. They did that without a healthy team.

An injured Galaxy team is able to barely compete for the playoffs. A healthy Galaxy team is one of the better teams in the Western Conference.

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