LA Galaxy kicks off a new season

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David Beckham in stride. Picture by German Alegria/LA Galaxy

Los Angeles Galaxy, the two-time defending Major League Soccer champions have their first game of the 2013 season this Sunday at home against the Chicago Fire.

With Beckham gone and Landon Donovan on a two-month soul-searching sabbatical that will keep him out of the team until late April, the captain’s armband has been handed to Irish international Robbie Keane, the team’s top scorer last season. Apparently Keane will keep that honor even when (if?) Landon Donovan returns. Head coach Bruce Arena said at a charity event this week, “Robbie Keane will be our captain to start the season, and he will be our captain this season.”

The Galaxy has a new Italian goalkeeper, Carlo Cudicini, signed from English Premier League club Tottenham: the same team Keane played for before moving to Los Angeles in 2011. But the Galaxy has yet to nail down the promised big-name international superstar to replace David Beckham. Talk has included Real Madrid’s Kaka and Chelsea’s Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba. But at this point, a new European signing might not arrive until the Premier League season ends in May.

Meanwhile, the Galaxy has played well in the pre-season (5-1-1), and the players hope for a stronger start in the regular season than they had last year when they were 3-8-2 after 13 games and dead last in the Western Conference before they started their incredible run to a second straight MLS title.

The Galaxy’s home opener against the Chicago Fire takes place this Sunday, March 3, at 2pm at the Home Depot Center in Carson.