On July 29, Bruce Arena's Los Angeles Galaxy will look to kick off their 2010 U.S. Open Cup run with a bang against A.C. St. Louis of the USSF D2 Pro League.
A.C. St. Louis, a team founded this season, defeated the NSC Minnesota Stars in the second round 1-0, but they are a team in turmoil right now.
This past week, the club fired manager Claude Anelka and replaced him with Dale Schilly of youth club St. Louis Scott Gallagher.
The club currently sits in the cellar of the USSF D2 Pro League NASL Conference with a 2-7-1 record. Furthermore, a financial power struggle has seen businessman Jeff Cooper take complete financial ownership of A.C. St. Louis.
A player to watch out for on A.C. St. Louis is Mike Ambersley. He was instrumental in their 1-0 victory over the NSC Minnesota Stars on June 22 and has a great striking touch.
Others to look out for include midfielder Luke Kreamalmeyer and Gauchinho (Jéferson Lima de Menezes) and goalkeeper Alec Duffy.
Meanwhile, the Galaxy are enjoying relative stability under the ownership of the Anschutz Entertainment Group and head coach Bruce Arena. The Galaxy sit at 10-1-3 (33 points), good for the best record in Major League Soccer.
With Landon Donovan and Edson Buddle returning to the Galaxy, the biggest question is whether they will play Tuesday.
Buddle leads Major League Soccer with nine goals this season while Donovan's performance at the 2010 FIFA World Cup should carry over quite nicely back home at Victoria Street.
If Arena chooses to rest the Buddlevan Connection, a plethora of other dangerous attackers at the manager's disposal include Tristan Bowen, Michael Stephens, Juninho, Alex Cazumba, Chris Birchall, and Jovan Kirovski. And all of them can score when they have the ball at their feet.
A stingy defensive backfield—led by Omar Gonzalez, A.J. De La Garza, Sean Franklin, Gregg Berhalter, and Todd Dunivant—along with a beast of goalkeeping depth in Donovan Ricketts and Josh Saunders will force A.C. St. Louis to be very creative and opportunistic in their attacks and counters.
It's time for the Los Angeles Galaxy to welcome A.C. St. Louis to some true competition. NSC Minnesota Stars this isn't! Take it to the bank.