LAST YEAR: 15-11-8 (5th place overall, third in Western Conference)
WHO’S BACK: F Robbie Keane, M Landon Donovan, D Omar Gonzalez, M Robbie Rogers, D A.J. DeLaGarza, F Gyasi Zardes, D Todd Dunivant, M Juninho, D Leonardo, F Jack McBean, D Tommy Meyer, G Jaime Penedo, M Marcelo Sarvas
WHO’S GONE: M Greg Cochrane, D Sean Franklin, G Carlo Cudicini, M Michael Stephens, M Hector Jimenez, M Pablo Mastroeni, M Laurent Courtois
WHO’S NEW: M Stefan Ishizaki, F Samuel, F Rob Friend, M Baggio Husidic, F Bradford Jamieson IV, F Raul Mendiola
WHAT’S AHEAD: The Galaxy’s quest to defend back-to-back MLS titles ended early, but a little extra offseason could be a major long-term benefit for a team expected to contend for a championship again this year. Robbie Keane, Landon Donovan, Omar Gonzalez and their crew all got plenty of time to recover from three straight years of punishing play, with Keane undergoing Achilles tendon surgery and Donovan healing up fully from an ankle injury. Coach Bruce Arena continued to retool his inconsistent attack with the addition of Ishizaki, a Swedish veteran who should bring steady play to the Galaxy’s right side. They also added Brazil’s Samuel and Canada’s Rob Friend to make sure Keane and Donovan don’t have to do everything up front by themselves, and Zardes appears ready to make another leap forward. The Galaxy are expecting more out of Robbie Rogers, who should be more familiar with his new team after his midseason arrival. A spotlight will shine on Jaime Penedo, the Panamanian goalkeeper who played well after being acquired late last year. Donovan should become MLS’ career goal-scoring leader early in the season, but his absence along with Gonzalez during World Cup activities this summer will require his teammates to keep the Galaxy moving toward another playoff run.