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Fan Reaction: What Does A.J. DeLaGarza’s Knee Injury Mean for the Los Angeles Galaxy?

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Over the past few months, the Los Angeles Galaxy have looked like possible contenders for another MLS Cup Championship. Unfortunately, defender A.J. DeLaGarza has suffered an injury. This isn't good news. However, things just might turn out alright for the Galaxy.

The Injury

About 30 minutes into the Galaxy-Colorado Rapids match, DeLaGarza challenged Omar Cummings for the ball. During the duel, the defender hurt his knee. The center back spent some time on the field before being stretchered off and replaced by Tommy Meyer. My first thought was that he had a major knee injury and would be out for months. Yet, luckily, it turns out he has a small knee tear.

Not too Bad

Looking on the bright side, it appears that DeLaGarza's injury will only sideline him for a month. This means he should be back in time for playoffs. Unfortunately, after being out for a month, sometimes players are not game-fit.

Center Back Woes

In 2011, we lost Leonardo to a season ending knee injury. After a long recovery, we got a glimpse of the Brazilian defender in two reserve league matches and an Open Cup game. Unfortunately a tough collision put Leonardo right back on the MLS injury report. Now, the Brazilian will be out for the rest of the year. Yet, the biggest blow to our defense was Omar Gonzalez's knee injury in an offseason loan to FC Nürnberg. The Galaxy's 2011 Defender of the Year was back in action in July. After the return of Gonzalez things started getting back to normal. In fact, with our Fab Four defense from 2011, we have posted five shutouts in 10 games.

DeLaGarza's Impact

DeLaGarza may only be 5'9", however, he is a smart player and an integral part of L.A.'s backline for the past two years. In Gonzalez' absence, he had to adapt and learn to play with several different defenders. In addition, he had to step up as a leader. The 24-year-old has started in 30 games this year. Despite the frequent defensive changes, DeLaGarza has been a steady fixture for the Galaxy's defense. He will be hard to replace for this last month in the regular season.

The Replacements

We never really replaced Omar Gonzalez. It wasn't possible. I think you could say the same about DeLaGarza. During the Galaxy-Rapids match, Tommy Meyer stepped in for DeLaGarza. In the 56 minutes he played, he did a good job and helped preserve the 1-1 draw. Along with Meyer, David Junior Lopes, Andrew Boyens and Bryan Gaul are other replacement options. Personally, I think Meyer has shown the most growth and should get the spot.

The good news is we already have a playoff spot. With games against Real Salt Lake, the San Jose Earthquakes and the Seattle Sounders in October, I hope our replacements are up for the challenge. I think we will be fine. However, I hope DeLaGarza is ready to go when the playoffs start.

Melissa Matters is a long time Los Angeles resident and devoted Los Angeles Galaxy fan.

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