Where does our youngest writer rate the best and the worst LA Galaxy players in 2019?
As July commences the LA Galaxy, under first-year head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto, arguably are one of the best teams in Major League Soccer. They are in second place in the Western Conference with 31 points after 18 matches.
There have been a number of players – three, in particular — who have performed admirably this season.
Coming in third is Uruguayan center back Diego Polenta, who Schelotto persuaded to come out of a self-imposed, six-month sabbatical to join him in Los Angeles.
He had a shaky start to life in MLS with several glaring defensive errors. But as time passed, he eventually adjusted to his new surroundings and regained the form that prompted the Galaxy to pursue him in the first place.
He has become an important player who not only can play in the center of the back line but also at left-back.
He’s even dangerous going forward and especially on set pieces, and Polenta scored on one of those in a recent match against the Houston Dynamo.
Number two on my list is Jonathan Dos Santos, who is a critical figure in the center of the midfield. He is terrific on and off the ball, as well as going forward and back. He works very well with fellow midfielders Sebastian Lletget and Joe Corona to form one of the most formidable midfield trios in the league.
He is currently playing well with Mexico in the Gold Cup at the moment, alongside Galaxy teammate Uriel Antuna.
Coming in at number one is – no surprise – Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
He is the Galaxy’s main man, the one to score the goals and take the team forward. His experience going forward, creating and taking chances, is critical for the team’s success.
He is not only their biggest star but also their captain. His contract expires at the end of the season, and the Galaxy no doubt need to emphasize the importance of replacing him with a striker of his caliber.
Along with the team’s top performers are three who have not had the greatest of seasons, to put it mildly.
Third among this disappointing threesome is Rolf Feltscher. I actually rate him highly for his overall ability, but there are parts of his game I feel he needs to improve.
He is solid going forward, but defensively he gets caught upfield, and opponents easily counter. Above all, he needs to improve his transitioning along the right flank.
Coming in second is Jorgen Skjelvik who, with an annual salary of about $1 million, has not been good enough at left back to justify such a high wage.
Skjelvik, in my opinion, is not a good fit and I believe the club will not renew his contract when it expires at the end of the season.
At the top of this dubious list of under-achievers is Romain Alessandrini, who has had a year to forget.
The 30-year-old Frenchman, like last year, has been plagued by injuries, resulting in sub-par play. Before his latest unfortunate injury, which resulted in knee surgery and effectively ended his season, he hasn’t had close to the offensive output the club was looking for.
His contract expires at the end of the season, and it would be a big surprise if he returns.