CARSON, Calif. — Midfielder Emmanuel Boateng has signed a new contract with the LA Galaxy, a source has told Corner of the Galaxy.
Boateng, who was out of contract at the end of last season, reached a deal with the club this week to ensure, at least for 2019, he will remain in Los Angeles.
The Galaxy had no official comment, but a formal announcement is expected soon.
The 24-year-old Ghanaian originally joined the Galaxy in January, 2016 after playing for Swedish side Helsingborgs IF. Since joining Major League Soccer, he has 10 goals and eight assists in 89 games and has played 5,202 minutes. Those numbers include 146 minutes and two goals in two playoff games in 2016.
In 2018, Boateng played in 27 games, including 12 starts, and had two goals and five assists in 1,188 minutes. His 2018 totals beat his 2017 numbers (four goals, two assists), but they were fashioned in just over half of the playing time.
Boateng’s biggest asset to the team is his speed. He’s routinely the fastest player on the squad and arguably is among the league’s fastest players. And team speed is something the Galaxy sorely lacked in 2017 and ’18.
There are fair criticisms that he struggles with finishing and his crossing passes are erratic. Those are important points to contend with regarding Boateng’s future development, but he also brings recovery and attacking speed that unnerves defenses and repeatedly creates scoring chances.
Boateng likely will split time with Chris Pontius — another out-of-contract player who is expected to return in 2019 — at left or right wing. But as of the writing of this article, they are two of only three dedicated wingers (Romain Alessandrini is the other) with plenty of depth still needed at those positions.
Boateng was born in Accra, Ghana and was part of the Right to Dream Academy, an African soccer developmental program. He went on to earn a scholarship at the age of 15 at Cate School in Carpinteria, where he played for local sides Santa Barbara Soccer Club and South Coast Strikers. In 2011 he was named MVP of the prestigious Milk Cup, an international youth soccer tournament.
Boateng skipped his senior year at Cate to attend the University of Santa Barbara and signed his first professional contract with Helsingborgs in 2013. He scored four goals in 37 appearances with the club.
The Galaxy will open training camp with physicals on Sunday, Jan. 20, and on-the-field activities are expected to start the following day under new head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto. The regular season at newly renamed Dignity Health Sports Park begins on March 2 against the Chicago Fire.
A full 2019 Galaxy schedule and analysis can be found HERE.
Article for Corner of the Galaxy by Josh Guesman — Larry Morgan contributed to the article as well.