KLEIN ADDS EVEN MORE EXPERIENCE.
The overhaul of the Galaxy roster continued Thursday with the arrival of veteran midfielder Chris Klein, acquired from Real Salt Lake in exchange for promising midfielder Nate Sturgis and forward Robbie Findley.
And the revolving door hasn't stopped yet as another once-top prospect, midfielder Santino Quaranta, appears on his way out today.
The departure of Sturgis, Findley and Quaranta -- ages 19, 21 and 22 -- and the recent acquisitions of Klein, Abel Xavier and Carlos Pavon -- ages 31, 34 and 33 -- and the looming addition of 32-year-old David Beckham should provide the struggling Galaxy with something besides graying temples.
"We were top-heavy with young guys," Galaxy coach Frank Yallop said. "These guys are all seasoned professionals."
Galaxy president and general manager Alexi Lalas said that because the team is mired 13 points behind first-place Dallas in the Western Conference stanings, developing young players is a luxury the Galaxy can't afford.
Quaranta, upset Wednesday that defender Ian Russell was waived, was not at practice Thursday and his home phone was disconnected. Yallop said the absence was not related to discipline and the team would have an announcement on his status today.
The Galaxy will also be without Pavon on Saturday against Columbus, his visa paperwork unlikely to clear by then. But Klein, a right midfielder much of his career -- including stints with the national team -- should be in the lineup.
He practiced at several spots Thursday but Yallop indicated he could start out at right back, where the Galaxy has been searching for a replacement since Chris Albright tore a hamstring last month.
Klein could also be used at right midfield, where the Galaxy has relied on the less-than-fit Quaranta and 37-year-old Cobi Jones.
"He does all the things a Galaxy player should do," said Yallop, who described Klein as a hard-working player.
Midfielder from Real Salt Lake should be available to play Saturday.