LA Galaxy: All-Time Starting Team
The Los Angeles Galaxy are an original member of MLS and one of its most decorated clubs. They have won five trophies, including 2 MLS Cups (2002,2005), 2 US Opens (2001,2005), and a CONCACAF Champions League crown in 2000. This prestigious honor is contested by clubs from Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, and other soccer mad countries. The Galaxy have had their share of stars from American legends like Cobi Jones and Alexei Lalas and international superstars such as David Beckham, Abel Xavier, and Carlos Ruiz. Here is the all time team for the Los Angeles Galaxy. Enjoy!
Goalkeeper: Kevin Hartman, 1997-2006
Kevin Hartman was the Galaxy's second starting keeper after Mexican national team keeper Jorge Campos. He was the first choice goaltender for LA for ten years, and he is the all time MLS wins leader. In a league game against the Chicago Fire, he had 12 saves. Hartman only received four caps with the national team, but he made his hometown of Palos Verdes, California proud by being named MLS goalkeeper of the year in 1999 and being on both MLS Cup champion teams. Hartman was traded to the Kansas City Wizards, and he is currently the starting goalee for third place FC Dallas.
Defender: Robin Fraser, 1996-2000
Robin Fraser was the first great defender to play for the Galaxy. He had already played professional soccer for eight seasons before he was drafted in the first round of the MLS Draft. Fraser instantly made an impact on Major League Soccer, and he was named to the inaugural All Star team. Four of his five seasons, he was named to the MLS Best XI. Fraser parlayed his domestic league success to earn 27 caps on the national team and play in the 1999 FIFA Confederations Cup. A skinny, but tough player, Fraser was one of the Galaxy's first stars and was named MLS Defender of the Year twice in this career. After being released by LA, he played five more MLS seasons and was captain for the Columbus crew. Today, he is an assistant coach for Real Salt Lake.
Defender: Tyrone Marshall, 2002-2007
Tyrone Marshall was the heart of the defense as starting centerback for both Galaxy MLS Cup teams. He made the All Star team in 2003 and 2005 and had five assists his debut season. His versatility to play on the back line and also push up, netted him four goals in his Galaxy career. In addition to his duties with Los Angeles, Marshall is an 11 year veteran of the Jamaican national team and has played in two Gold Cups. He currently plays on the Seattle Sounders, still on the first team.
Defender: Danny Califf, 2000-2004
Danny Califf was a first round pick of the Galaxy and immediately started in the center of the defense. He was the starting center back on LA's US Open, Champions League, and MLS Cup teams. However, his promising career in Los Angeles was cut short when he was hurt and only played ten games in 2004. Because of this, the Galaxy traded him to San Jose where he thrived and was named to MLS Best XI. Califf was probably Galaxy's best homegrown player since Cobi Jones, but he was let go too early. He is currently captain of expansion side Philadelphia Union after a stint in Denmark.
Defender: Chris Albright, 2002-2008
While with the LA Galaxy, Chris Albright transformed from a timid attacker to a rugged right footed defender. Originally drafted by DC United, Albright came of age in Los Angeles. He was a fixture at right back and peaked in 2005 when he was named to MLS Best XI and won an MLS Cup. Albright's accomplishments with the Galaxy led to him being the third LA player to represent the USA in the World Cup. He also demonstrated scoring panache in Los Angeles, having multiple goals in three separate seasons. However, Albright has gotten older and was traded to New England. He is now the starting right back for Red Bull New York.
Midfielder: Cobi Jones, 1996-2007
First and foremost, Cobi Jones is the only Galaxy player to have his number (13) retired. He has played in three World Cups, including 1994 cup in America. Because of his national team experience, Jones was picked up as a free agent on the first LA Galaxy team. He scored 14 goals in his first two seasons with Los Angeles, but in 1998 he took MLS by storm, scoring 19 goals and 13 assists and was named to the Best XI. After playing on three runner up squads, Jones picked up the 2002 MLS Cup as captain after making the World Cup quarterfinals with the national team. However, after that season Jones began to decline, scoring 13 goals in his last five seasons compared to 57 in his first seven. Jones' natural hospitality attracted superstars like Alexei Lalas, Landon Donovan, and David Beckham to the Galaxy. After a splendid retirement ceremony, Cobi was kept on as Bruce Arena's top assistant. His dreadlocks, leadership, and clutch goals will never be forgotten.
Midfielder: Peter Vagenas, 2000-2008
Where Peter Vagenas lacked in raw talent, he made up for in heart and smarts. A local boy from Pasadena, who won a national championship, Vagenas was drafted by the Galaxy and immediately made an impact on their central midfield, scoring in his debut against New England. Not an All Star, Vagenas was mostly known for his efficient runs and clutch goals, including a game winner against hated rival Chivas USA in 2004. His best season was 2005 when he captained the Galaxy to their second MLS Cup. After the coming of Beckham, Vagenas lost playing time, and he was picked by the Seattle Sounders in the expansion draft. He continues to be a fixture in the midfield for Seattle.
Midfielder: David Beckham, 2007-Present
Beckham is on this list, mostly for the exposure he's brought to the Galaxy. He's all but lost his form as England's former captain. While I was looking for pictures of him, only 10% were in a soccer kit. The first designated player, David Beckham brought other international stars over the pond like Cuahtemoc Blanco, Juan Pablo Angel, and Thierry Henry. Even though he missed most of his debut season, Beckham's two assists against DC United led the Galaxy to the Super Liga Final where they lost to Pachuca. In his next season, he scored five goals and made the All Star team. After yet another injury, Becks played with Milan on loan, but returned for the playoff push, scoring two goals in 11 matches and playing in the MLS Cup. This season, he has been injured and not played a minute. Beckham is a great ambassador for the game, but his six Premier League titles, Champions League crown, and BBC Sports Personality of the Year don't make up for his sorry play on the pitch.
Midfielder: Landon Donovan, 2005-Present
Landon Donovan is the true face of the LA Galaxy. After winning two MLS Cups with San Jose, Donovan was signed by the Galaxy and promptly led them to an MLS Cup in 2005. He has been an All Star six times and played in two World Cups during his time in Los Angeles. A winger/striker hybrid, Donovan has scored at least 12 goals in four of his five Galaxy seasons. He has been on the MLS Best XI three times and was named to the MLS all time team. This season, Donovan is leading MLS in assists with his new striker partner and USA teammate Edson Buddle. As a captain and designated player, the all time leading scorer in United States national team history is the best player to suit up for the Galaxy.
Striker: Carlos Ruiz, 2002-2005 / 2008
The Guatemalan Landon Donovan has had his share of championships (2) and accolades with the Galaxy. One of the best pure strikers in CONCACAF, Carlos Ruiz left his his native club CD Municipal and immediately led MLS in scoring (24), helping Galaxy win their first MLS Cup. With a strong backline behind him, and the playmaking of Peter Vagenas and Cobi Jones, Ruiz was named to three All Star teams and scored 50 goals for Los Angeles. He holds the MLS record for postseason goals (15). In order to acquire Landon Donovan, the Galaxy sold Ruiz to FC Dallas. Carlos Ruiz currently plays for Aris FC in Greece and is retired from the Guatemala national team.
Striker: Edson Buddle, 2007-Present
A late bloomer and a diamond in the rough, Edson Buddle has shone for country and club. After an up and down career with Columbus Crew, New York Red Bulls, and Toronto FC, Buddle was traded to Los Angeles and was a backup for Carlos Ruiz and Alan Gordon. He had shown potential for Columbus scoring 42 goals in limited appearances but had yet to make an impact for Los Angeles. However, he beat out Ruiz and scored two hat tricks for the Galaxy which earned him the praise of teammate David Beckham. With a natural scoring right foot, Buddle has become LA's premier striker and leads MLS with 12 goals this season. His pure striking ability allowed him to make the 23 man roster for the 2010 World Cup where he appeared in one match. Edson Buddle has a very bright future in MLS