BALTIMORE – After the shuffle of offseason activity, the Los Angeles Galaxy still had a couple of problem areas that needed addressed during the MLS SuperDraft. And in the estimation of manager Bruce Arena, LA soothed those sore spots, acquiring two midfielders and a forward on Thursday.
The two midfielders, Paolo Cardozo and Hector Jimenez, were picked during the first and seconds rounds of the draft, respectively. However, Arena went outside of the draft to acquire forward Chad Barrett, by means of a trade for future considerations with Toronto FC.
Coupled with the signing earlier this week of forward Adam Cristman from D.C. United, LA has made big strides in trying to add strikers after to departure of Edson Buddle to Germany.
"Our needs were forward, and I think we have taken care of that with [Chad] Barrett and [Adam] Cristman,” Arena said after the end of the MLS SuperDraft. “And [there is] the potential signing of Juan Pablo Angel."
Angel, selected in the re-entry draft by LA, hasn’t signed a new contract with MLS, but Arena is still confident that a deal can be done.
“We are still negotiating, and we are hopeful we can sign him,” said Arena.
Further back in midfield, Arena thought that his two picks in the SuperDraft will help his side out. With David Beckham, and Chris Birchall, and others in the center of the pitch, Los Angeles can at times lack pace, especially if Landon Donovan is playing as a forward.
“We needed a bit more quickness in the midfield, and I think we have established that with this draft,” stated Arena.
Cardozo joins the team after coming to the country from Argentina, and Arena believes that once he can become accustomed to life in the U.S., Cardozo will become a force to be reckoned with in MLS.
“If we can create the right environment for him, and allow him time to get acclimatized to living in the United States, and playing in MLS, he’s a player with a very good future,” Arena said.
Arena was similarly excited about his second choice, Jimenez, who was selected with the 16th pick in the second round (34th overall). Jimenez, a right sided midfielder, is a player familiar to Arena, since he is from the Los Angeles area.
“Hector Jimenez is a player that we felt was one the better right sided midfielders in the draft, if not the best,” said Arena. “He’s a local guy from Bell Gardens, and we know him well from his days at [the University of] California.”
Los Angeles still has some work to be done in terms of their roster, but there is still the Supplemental draft next week, which Arena has his eye on.
“Next week we hope to fill out our roster with four supplemental picks, so overall, it was a good draft,” stated Arena.
Follow Steven Streff on Twitter @streffsoccer
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