The LA Galaxy midfielder Baggio Husidic spent most of 2017 healing a broken leg. Will 2018 be kinder to him?
The LA Galaxy officially announced the re-signing of midfielder Baggio Husidic, today. Husidic, who set a career low in minutes played (445 mins) in 2017 and tied his 2009 rookie season for fewest games played (10) and games started (5) during last year, was sidelined for the majority of the campaign with a broken left fibula.
That injury was picked up on the road during the Galaxy’s May 21, victory over Minnesota United. United plays at TCF Bank Stadium – a field that uses artificial turf and has a reputation for being one of the poorest surfaces in the league.
Several Galaxy players were critical of the surface following the game with former Galaxy defender Jelle Van Damme being the most outspoken about it. “Honestly, with all respect, this is the worse field I ever played on- in this league,” Van Damme complained. “It can only cause you injuries. I think soccer needs to be played on grass.”
Husidic didn’t make it back to the field until he was subbed on – against Minnesota United of all teams – with 14-minutes left on October 15. The Galaxy would win the game 3-0 but Husidic would end up missing 21 games for the Galaxy in 2017.
He’s made 100 starts in Major League Soccer in a career that saw him enter the league with the Chicago Fire in 2009. He joined the Galaxy from Swedish side Hammarby prior to the start of the 2014 season and has played in nearly 100 games since that time (97).
Often underrated, Husidic is a talented midfielder for what he does. He’s calm on the ball, balanced in possession, and dependable against any opponent. He will never be the best player on the field, but that has never been his game.
He’s simple and smart with the ball, smart playing angles, and will take or commit the proper foul when it’s needed. And his work rate makes him somewhat of a fan favorite — although the reactions to his play are always varied.
He’s an excellent locker room guy – ask any of his former teammates – and someone that head coach Sigi Schmid can depend on for minutes coming off the bench or as an occasional spot starter.
He’s ultimately a role player, and he seems to thrive in never being in the spotlight.
“Baggio has been a very reliable and dependable option for the Galaxy,” Schmid said in a press release. “He has a wealth of MLS experience and has been a leader on this team. We are excited he will continue to be on our roster.”
Husidic will join midfielders Giovani dos Santos, Jonathan dos Santos, Romain Alessandrini, Gyasi Zardes, Sebastian Lletget, João Pedro, Emmanuel Boateng, and Bradford Jamieson who are already on the roster. With several players capable of playing multiple positions, Servando Carrasco likely to join the club (his rights were acquired in the Re-Entry Draft), and rumors swirling around the possible addition of Perry Kitchen, the club has plenty of midfield depth. Plenty.
Under Bruce Arena, Husidic would come into the games in the second half when the Galaxy were looking to control the possession battle and slow thing down through the middle of the field.
But on a team that was plagued with injuries in 2017, Husidc, for a very brief time, was also a key player in the center of the park providing stability for Pedro.
His exact role under Schmid is probably still in the air, but Hudisic is likely to fit in anywhere the team needs him to be. Even if that means his playing time won’t reach some of the heights of previous years.