Top Stories

Galaxy cleans house, waives five players

2008 021 

In a sequence of events that would have made Michael Corleone in Godfather II proud, the Los Angeles Galaxy waived five players from its roster, parting ways with several players who saw considerable playing time in 2008.

The Galaxy bid farewell to goalkeeper Steve Cronin, defenders Brandon McDonald, Mike Randolph and Troy Roberts, as well as forward Ely Allen.

The quintet combined for 87 appearances for the Galaxy in 2008, but none did much to stand out from the crowd, at least not in a good way.

The roster cleansing was necessary considering the influx of new faces to the club as head coach Bruce Arena puts his own stamp on the awful roster he inherited. Arena has added veterans Donovan Ricketts, Mike Magee, Dema Kovalenko and Todd Dunivant, as well as promising rookies Omar Gonzalez, A.J. De La Garza and Yohance Marshall. With Landon Donovan a safe bet to return, and some other signings in the works for LA, the Galaxy should be a strong candidate to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2006.

What do you think of the moves? Did any of them surprise you? For non-Galaxy fans, would you like to see your team take a chance on one of the LA outcasts?

Share your thoughts below. 


  1. If Donovan comes back, their offense is OK (even w/o Beckham). I don’t know if they can match last year if Donovan sulks and Buddle doesn’t equal his career year.

    Their defence could hardly be worse. They should be at least marginally better. Don’t know if Sanneh and Miglio are the answer but there was alot of addition by subtraction. Virtually every defender had a career worst year.

  2. I’m not too broken up abut these. McDonald I thought was decent as was Mike Randolph. Roberts had his moments too. But c’mon! Ely Allen?! Really?! This guy was terrible! So was Cronin! I mean absolutely horrid.

  3. Allen was clearly not MLS Calibur.

    McDonald would likely have kept his job if MLS hadn’t shorted the roster.

    Randolf – Same as McDonald. Some obvious ability that will take another year or two to find out if he can play. Numbers game really. He had a good rookie season and a mediocre sophomore. He’ll catch on somewhere, I think. At least he’ll be back in USL.

    Cronin – looked awful at times in front of a terrible defence. Not surprised he was cut but might catch on elsewhere.

    Roberts – Lots of athleticism but just never proved to have the skill or head for the MLS game. Might catch on too but its been four years or so and he never established himself.

    In a twenty-eight man roster, most or all of these guys are employed if not necessarily starters. With USL contracting, I expect a lot of good players will be retiring shortly.

  4. HUGE stretch to say this means they are a playoff team. They added a few 35 year olds and few rookies. I dont think they’ll be worse than last year, but not sure if they are playoff material yet.

  5. I’m with the majority on McDonald; he’s a good player. He couldn’t have been making much so why was he let go? There must be some other reason. Is someone on the way in that we don’t know about?

  6. The reason that LA fans might be in a bit of an uproar about these players getting cut is because the guys who were cut were the guys doing community events, the guys going to schools and spending time with people outside of the galaxy organization. They didn’t have cameras following them to Tom Cruise’s Scientology party or some other high profile event. They were helping kids in the community and because of that we felt connected to them. I ate at Taco Bell and they ate at Taco Bell me because I was hungry and lazy but they ate it out of necessity! They made sacrifices for the team!

  7. I’m growing to dislike my team more and more with every day… I think that letting go of Brandon McDonald and Mike Randolph were poor decisions. They may not have been the best guys on the pitch but they worked hard.

    We’re not going to make the playoffs and we’re going to look hella boring in the process. At least last year with a coach who hated being here we managed to entertain everyone that watched one of our games.

  8. hey amy, there’s this guy named david beckham and another named landon donovan that you might recognize on the LA roster this season. 🙂

  9. Chest Rockwell said most of what I wanted to say. I am a little higher on McDonald’s potential since he was hampered for much of last year with a foot injury and needs solid prep to adjust to the MLS game. He could get picked up.

    Roberts was a long time coming, IMHO. He was a healthy body during the 2007 and 2008 seasons when there really wasn’t anybody else. But he never impressed and was ofter burned.

    Randolph’s crosses always went into the defender. Always. I could count on one hand the number of crosses that made it into the box from him when he was in a game.

    I’m also worried about the d-mids. I think Kovalenko is a fantastic upgrade there, but he doesn’t have anyone to play off of. He’s not a distributor, he’s a ball winner. Miglioranzi didn’t impress in the PPC and as much as I like Josh Tudela, I don’t think he’s the answer yet either. I have no opinion on Leonard Griffin since he’s either ridden the bench or been injured or out of MLS for the past 4 seasons or so. The Galaxy needs a Kyle Beckerman or a Brian Carroll to go with Dema. Hell, I’d even take Logan Pause. As it stands this is now the weakest part of the team.

    Allen never got his groove on in MLS. The game was too fast for his decision-making and his atrocious finishing didn’t help matters.

    I’ve got no opinion on Cronin since I really can’t tell when a keeper is screwing up and when he isn’t. I can tell superlative performers, but on a team like the Galaxy from the last two years, was it Cronin, was it the defense, was it both? I couldn’t tell.

    I would dearly love the Galaxy to pick up a talented d-mid and another central defender in the next month.

  10. One thing I’ll say for Cronin: he was amazing at pulling balls out of the air. More than a few times I wondered if the guy should be a tight end in NFL. Seriously. I suspect he’ll bounce back somewhere and I would not be surprised to see him become a strong keeper over time.

  11. Do L.A. fans even want to win? There are a surprising number of comments here questioning the release of players like McDonald and Randolph, and even Roberts. These players were L.A.’s biggest problem by far. They don’t even belong in this league. That had to be the worst back line in MLS history by far. The only reason Sean Franklin is considered a good prospect is because those guys make anyone look good! L.A. was so bad even picking up players like Magee, Kirovski, Kovalenko, and Sanneh seems like great improvements.

  12. Creige, they only way the could go to the USL and play in the CCL is if they get on one of the Canadian teams or Puerto Rico. And then those teams still have to qualify from their region. As for the Galaxy, they for sure will be better, but so is FCD, San Jose, and TFC. Not to mention Seattle being in the mix. I’m afraid Gal fans are going to be heartbroken once again.

  13. I can’t believe the number of people shocked by any of these moves, aside from McDonald. It’s like Arena was cutting players from a team as deep as Chicago or Columbus. LA was terrible last year. The idea that someone who played a lot is automatically good is ludicrous.

    Cronin showed he’s not an MLS keeper. He was the worst starter in MLS last year. Roberts, meanwhile, didn’t look out of place in one of MLS’s worst-ever defenses. Randolph is very fast, but offers little else. His technique is poor, he has no positional sense, and he’d be LA’s 5th choice left back (behind Dunivant, Miglioranzi, DeLaGarza, and Griffin). Allen, to me, looks like a guy that will always be a good USL player but will never quite make the adjustment to MLS.

    McDonald is the only one with some potential. Good size, OK in terms of positioning and concentration, decent overall athleticism…he’s not a starter, but you could do worse for a late-game sub when winning. His technical ability was the problem, but even that just needs some work. He’s a fixer-upper, while the others are vacant lots.

    All that said, I do not think LA is a strong playoff contender. Ricketts never impressed me for Jamaica, and relying on Sanneh and Dunivant to get through a season without injury seems like a poor plan. Kovalenko and Miglioranzi is a solid but uninspiring central midfield. Waiving McDonald leaves them no depth there. They’ll still be dangerous up front, even if Donovan comes back and sulks (as a US fan, I hope not). Are they better? Sure, but how could they have avoided improvement? Houston and RSL look like the only truly good teams in the West, with everyone else a jumble of mediocrity.

  14. I still think it may not really be enough for them to get very far in the league. Definitely something needed to be done, and Bruce Arena has proven that he has enough sense to do something good even when all the pieces aren’t really there. He’s not a world class coach, but he’s got a pretty good track record and I think he may be the man for LA at this time to calm the circus. But I still say that having both Landon and Beckham on the team makes it almost (from a money perspective) impossible, at least improbable, for them to attract the kind of talent that they need to really compete. They’re crippled by the salary cap with those weights hanging around their neck. As good as those two players were for the Galaxy, they could have bought 4 or 5 good players with their salaries…that’s almost half a new starting line up! I hope Bruce finds some real diamonds in the rough who will work for peanuts to help them out this year…or at least until the next round of “Where’ll Lands and Becks go?”

  15. A team lacking in midfield depth would probably do well to pick up the B-mac. Other than that, the rest are probably USL quality, and not in the MLS-would-underpay-them-if-they-stay-in-the-league way.

  16. I’m surprised at seeing Brandon McDonald waived, but glad to see most of the rest go. Can’t wait for opening day against DC United!!!

  17. I am disappointed that Mike Randolph was waived. He was a good young player with raw talent. He only needed another year of better coaching and not being expected to right a sinking ship in defense.

    I thought Brandon McDonald was a good strong player. He will show up somewhere.

    Troy Roberts had his ups and downs but is still a young talented player also.

    Too bad the MLS/Galaxy do not have the time to bring these guys along. Each one of them, if they continue to play, will be great.

    Cronin… I could do without. Leaky defense in front of him for sure, but he could have performed better. Take Guzan in his first year as your example of a player with potential, but just a bad defense. Cronin is not a Guzan.

    Allen…, not much to say good or bad…

  18. Would any other team like the LAG outcasts? Not at this level.

    Can you imagine if US football had a ladder system? Becks/Donovan’s team relegated in 2008. That would be classic.

  19. I don’t agree with the statement that Arena doesn’t appreciate young talent. I think he does. It’s clear that the players he waived didn’t have what it takes in terms of being complete soccer players.

    Cronin held some promise coming into last season but he was never able to build the confidence necessary to be a solid keeper.

    Randolph still has potential but he was no where near consistent enough. He’s kinda like Marvell Wynne and the Galaxy can’t afford to continue to wait for him to get it. I’m sure he’ll end up somewhere else (Chivas, are you paying attention?).

    Bruce is rebuilding his team just like everyone knew (and hoped) he would. No surprises for me

  20. I think some team could take randolf, roberts, and mcdonald…

    Ely Allen never impressed me and had a horrible game on saturday in the pan pacific champ.

  21. one thing that can’t be disputed- the bruce can manage an mls team very well. i like it- the league needs his droll, sarcastic comments. i think he is willing to gamble on young talent (beas in wc2002, etc.) but this team needs a veteran spine for consistencies sake. sanneh, uh, not so sure about that though…he’ll get torched in this league on a regular basis.

  22. Did the Galaxy get anything for Randolph or any of these guys? It makes sense that Arena had to clean house, but I am surprised that Randolph was let go, he was decent. He will pop up somewhere else and do well. Probably especially well when he plays against the Galaxy.

  23. Possible final roster
    * = not currently signed

    20 senior spots
    1. D. Ricketts
    2. J. Saunders v. J. Wicks

    3. O. Chavez*
    4. T. Sanneh*
    5. S. Franklin
    6. AJ Delagarza
    7. T. Dunivant
    8. Y. Marshall

    9. D. Beckham
    10. E. Lewis
    11. D. Kovalenko
    12. S. Miglioranzi
    13. C. Klein
    14. L. Griffin
    15. J. Kirovski
    16. J. Tudela

    17. L. Donovan
    18. E. Buddle
    19. A. Gordon
    20. M. Magee

    +4 GAs/Devs
    21. O. Gonzalez
    22. T. Bowen
    23. I. Sesay
    24. B. Jordan v. J. Boateng v. K. Patterson

  24. Cronin was just relatively expensive considering we already have a serviceable back-up in Josh Saunders.

    Sad to see BMac go. He showed a lot of promise when given the opportunity.

  25. No surprises really. Arena likes older players. In fact, I’d be really surprised if he starts even Gonzalez — though he may be forced too.


Leave a Comment