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Mar 28, 2008 

Beckham's Crosses Lead L.A. Back To Playoffs

L.A. Galaxy midfielder David Beckham starts his first full season in MLS.


2006 Record: 9-14-7, 34 points (5th in Western Conference).
Head Coach: Ruud Gullit.
In: Carlos Ruiz, Alvaro Pires, Greg Vanney.
Out: Cobi Jones (ret.), Joe Cannon (SJ), Chris Albright (NE), Ty Harden, Gavin Glinton (SJ).

Starting Lineup: Steve Cronin; Chris Klein, Abel Xavier, Greg Vanney, Michael Gavin; David Beckham, Alvaro Pires, Josh Tudela, Landon Donovan; Carlos Ruiz, Alan Gordon.

Strengths: Star power. Besides Beckham's considerable galaxy, Donovan and Ruiz also make L.A. formidable on and off the field. Watch out for a full season of Beck's crosses breaking free Landon and finding Ruiz in the box.

Weaknesses: L.A. let Joe Cannon go to San Jose and GM Alexi Lalas didn't find a replacement. Former Quakes draft choice, Cronin, is going to have to play well, of course, but also because his back-up is even less tested than the starter's four starts.

Outlook: The addition of Vanney to the backline will improve a still deficient defense, but the load of goals the Galaxy will score will make them playoff worthy.

Prediction: 2nd place in Western Conference.

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