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Suspensions to Jones, Romney to test Galaxy's depth

Suspensions to Jones, Romney to test Galaxy's depth
Galaxy midfielder Jermaine Jones, right, contends with FC Dallas midfielder Carlos Gruezo. Jones has been suspended by MLS for Sunday's game against Portland because of an infraction committed against Dallas on Saturday. (Gus Ruelas / Associated Press)

The Galaxy, already dealing with injuries to three key starters, were hit with more bad news Wednesday when the league handed down one-game suspensions for midfielder Jermaine Jones and defender Dave Romney.

Jones was suspended for a challenge in the 17th minute of the Galaxy's season opener with FC Dallas last Saturday, one MLS determined was a "serious foul play that endangered the safety of an opponent." Romney was penalized for embellishing a collision in the 18-yard box that earned the Galaxy a penalty kick.

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Both players, who were also given undisclosed fines, will sit out Sunday's afternoon game with the Portland Timbers at the StubHub Center.

With forward Gyasi Zardes (knee) and defenders Ashley Cole (calf) and Robbie Rogers (foot) all expected to miss a second consecutive game, the suspensions leave Coach Curt Onalfo with five starters to replace on a team that began the season thin in depth.

Onalfo could replace Jones by sliding Sebastian Lletget into the central midfield, a position he excelled at with the U.S. national team, and starting speedy Ema Boateng in Lletget's regular spot on the wing. But replacing Romney will more be difficult since the Galaxy do not have a reserve defender who has appeared in an MLS game.

Of the three choices available to Onalfo, the best is probably Nathan Smith, a 22-year-old from UCLA who played with Galaxy II last season.

Twitter: kbaxter11

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