After coming off one of the worst season in franchise history, the Los Angeles Galaxy find themselves in facing a difficult task early in their season. In their home opener against Portland, the Galaxy came away with a 2-1 win but saw midfielder Romain Alessandrini fall to a hamstring injury. In their second game against New York FC, midfielder Giovanni Dos Santos went down with a hamstring injury in their 2-1 loss.
The loss of star midfielders Alessandrini and Dos Santos, will test coach Sigi Schmid mettle as one of the best coaches in MLS history. Schmid will find it difficult to replace his two best players from last season especially Alessandrini who led the squad in goals and assist. Yet Schmid does have talented players who can help the squad, and themselves in with this opportunity.
The Galaxy have a few players who can ease the loss of two talented players in Sebastian Lletget, Baggio Husidic, Servando Carrasco, and Joao Pedro. All four players are capable players who bring their own strengths, but Schmid must find a way for the replacement players to quickly build chemistry and understanding with the starters. For Lleget, Husidic, and Pedro building chemistry will be easier as they have experience playing with most of the starters and being in Sigi Schmid's formation.
When looking at the options available to Schmid, Lletget seems like the obvious choice to replace one of the injured players. He has been playing for Los Angeles since 2015 and was a member of the squad last season so he has played with many of the players on the field. The only problem is Lletget is not ready for 90 minutes as he is returning from a Lisfranc injury last season.
Sigi Schmid could play Lletget as a starter or bring him off the bench, and if he goes with the latter then Baggio Husidic would be the player rotating with Lletget. Husidic has won the MLS title as a member of the Galaxy squad and is a well known veteran who plays calm and collective in the midfield. Joao Pedro joined the squad last year to be a vital player in the midfield has yet to play a single minute this season. The surprise pick could be Carrasco who was brought in as reserved player and is seen a future player for the squad.
Whoever Sigi Schmid chooses to replace Alessandrini and Dos Santos with will need to erase any thoughts of trying to reproduce the same style and quality those two players bring to the field. Schmid should be able to get the best of any player he chooses and that in turn will help the squad earn points as they look to return to the playoffs and a chance at a sixth title. Yet whoever gets could must be ready to answer as the season just started and this is their first opportunity to show the coach and fan base they can help the franchise win titles.