In the history of Major League Soccer, no team has won as much silverware as the Los Angeles Galaxy. Out of 19 MLS Cups, the Galaxy have participated in nine of them, winning five. In addition to their five league championships, the Galaxy have secured four Supporters’ Shields and two U.S. Open Cups, making them easily the most decorated team in MLS history.
While history supports the Galaxy winning everything they can get their hands on, many questions arose after the team saw both David Beckham and Landon Donovan retire in consecutive seasons. Nearly two-thirds of the way through the 2015 MLS season, Los Angeles has answered all of them.
Obviously, you can’t lose two stars like Beckham and Donovan and replace them with nobody, so during this summer’s transfer window, the Galaxy strengthened their squad.
First they brought in Steven Gerrard, a Liverpool legend, who was the Derek Jeter of the English Premier League. Gerrard started with the youth team at Liverpool, worked his way up to captain and became the most decorated player in the club’s history. To say Stevie G’s final sendoff at Anfield was surreal would not do it justice, though now the legendary English midfielder must follow in the steps of Beckham and reinvent himself with the Galaxy.
Next, the Galaxy signed Mexican international Giovani dos Santos from Villareal, a signing that is amongst the most monumental in MLS history. While the average MLS designated player is a past-his-prime European or a South American worth slightly more than the league maximum, dos Santos is a starting international with Mexico, has played for top clubs in Europe, and at just 26-years-old, remains in the prime of his career.
Dos Santos has a special place in MLS history, but during his short time in the league, he has established a special place on the field as well.
Combine these two marquee signings with the star-studded roster already in place in L.A., and the Galaxy may have the best club side in North America. Robbie Keane, the former Tottenham Hotspur player and current Irish international, is making a serious case to repeat as the league’s MVP. Omar Gonzalez and Gyasi Zardes have shown game in and game out why they are regularly selected for the USMNT. However, the role players have really supplied the glue that has held this Galaxy team together.
Sebastian Lleget, the former West Ham reserve, has been a revelation for the Galaxy on the wing. Robbie Rogers and A.J. De la Garza have supplied attacking prowess on the flank and defensive prowess on the back line. Juninho is a rock in midfield with Gerrard. The Galaxy are not just a few stars in a collection of nobodies. They are truly a team, which makes them so special.
Since dos Santos joined the team in August, the Galaxy haven’t just been winning, they’ve been absolutely clobbering teams. Scoring 13 goals over four league games is quite the accomplishment, but doing so when you only let in four is quite another.
Against star-studded New York City FC, the Galaxy appeared to be on a different level. When they visited FC Dallas, a place where Dallas rarely comes home empty-handed, they came home with a win, despite a raucous, hostile crowd. And when Western Conference rival Seattle came to the StubHub Center, the Galaxy put them in their place.
Without a team that can match their star power and camaraderie, Los Angeles has been absolutely devastating the hopes of opposing fans. If the Galaxy can continue this run of form, they will be absolutely unstoppable by any team in MLS, and will likely repeat as MLS Cup champions.