The Gold Cup Is Here
From June 15th to July 7th, the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup will take place this summer. Which means National teams like the United States (US), Mexico, and other countries from North America and Central America will call up MLS players to represent their national teams. The LA Galaxy are on the hunt to make the MLS playoffs and will have to continue its season without some key players during the Gold Cup. How will this impact the Galaxy’s season and their hopes of making the MLS playoffs?
The Gold Cup will last four weeks, with group matches followed up by knockout stages to determine the winner of the tournament. During these four weeks, the LA Galaxy will have to play three matches without four key players on their current roster.
Costa Rica has called up Galaxy defender Giancarlo Gonzalez. Mexico called up two Galaxy players, Midfielder Jonathan dos Santos and Striker/ Midfielder Uriel Autuna.
The Galaxy are losing two key midfielders, a position where they are struggling. Especially with Roman Alessandrini recently undergoing knee surgery. Dos Santos has been the anchor for the Galaxy’s midfield position, so playing without him will present a herculean challenge.
Autuna has proven to be a threat with the ball, has created several goal-scoring opportunities, and has played a major role in keeping the Galaxy near the top of the Western Conference.
Moreover, as mentioned above, the Galaxy will also lose defender Rolf Feltscher who was called up by the Venezuela national team to play for them in the Copa America tournament. Feltscher has demonstrated his worth as a reliable defender for the Galaxy back line. It is safe to say that the next few matches will prove quite interesting without these five important role players.
The three matches the Galaxy will have to play during the Gold Cup are against FC Cincinnati, San Jose Earthquakes, and Toronto FC. On paper, these matches should not pose a threat to the Galaxy, as FC Cincinnati is currently in last place in the Western Conference. The Galaxy can hopefully come out of that match with three points.
However, full strength or not, the San Jose Earthquakes will be a difficult game. Being hated rivals, the California Classico always delivers a difficult game for both teams. The LA Galaxy need to come out with a win or draw to stay on pace with LAFC.
Lastly, Toronto FC will be a 4th of July showdown. Toronto FC will be without designated players Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore, as both Bradley and Altidore will also play in the Gold Cup for the United States. While this seems like the Galaxy can come away with several points and further their chances to extend their playoff run, this scenario is not a sure thing, especially in the world of soccer. We shall see if the Gold Cup positively or negatively impacts the Galaxy’s fragile season. Hopefully, it does not ruin a chance for the LA Galaxy to be the first to win six MLS Cups.