CARSON, Calif — The news most LA Galaxy fans knew was coming, finally landed today. And in an Instagram post to his fans, Romain Alessandrini confirmed his departure from the club.
My journey in LA is officially over,” Alessandrini typed out. “I gave you my heart during the past three years, a lot of ups and downs for sure, but it has been the best three years of my life, and I will keep in mind only the positive things I’ve learned and the beautiful moments I’ve lived in LA on and off the field.”
The 30-year-old winger joined the club before the 2017 season under, then newly appointed head coach, Curt Onalfo. And for a season that was mostly devoid of positives, Alessandrini emerged as a source of inspiration and hope. He scored 13 goals, added 12 assists, and played in 30 games that first season even while the Galaxy were on their way to the worst finish in franchise history.
His 2018 campaign was much of the same. Although injuries did limit his productivity, keeping the Frenchman to just 26 games played with 11 goals and nine assists, he was still a bright spot on the field. And his combination with Zlatan Ibrahimovic seemed to show promise for the following season.
Alessandrini would miss three of the first eight games to start 2019 and wouldn’t make it past the 25th-minute in two of the games he started. And His regular season would end just 16 minutes into a 2-1 win over the Houston Dynamo on April 19. He underwent successful meniscus root repair, and for 49 minutes in the post-season, would give his final Galaxy performances — adding an assist in each of the Galaxy’s playoff games.
“I couldn’t explain how I feel right now, but I just know that I’m sad to leave this club and this city,” Alessandrini confessed. “It was like a second home for my family and myself.
“I wanted to thank you, LA, for everything you’ve done for me and my family. The fans, for your support since day one, all the players I’ve played with, the medical staff who helped me along, people who work in the shadow for this club…”
Alessandrini was out of contract at the end of the 2019 season. And while there were initial reports that a reduced contract might be a feasible outcome owing to the player’s medical history, the signing of Aleksandar Katai soon put the writing on the wall. Alessandrini would not be coming back.
And while his final destination is still unknown, there were trips to England and Australia. Each tipping off rumors he may be going to play there.
But there was more to Alessandrini than just playing for the Galaxy. He somehow grew to mean more to the fans than most.
And while it’s always easy to see a player becoming one of the fan-favorites, it’s impossibly tricky to predict — especially after he was forced out of his hometown club – Marseille – because of poor performance and injury concerns. Their supporters even joined Galaxy discussion boards and took to twitter to warn Galaxy fans of the issues with him.
Perhaps it was the flashing of the “LA” sign when he scored a goal that endeared him to the locals? Or maybe it was his penchant to leave every single ounce of effort on the field — fighting furiously until the final whistle which would often leave him out of breath lying on the grass.
No matter what it was that made him unique, Alessandrini had tapped into the emotion of the club, evoked its greatness when it was anything but, and gave anyone watching hope that things would be great again. The fact that his play often backed up his passion only helped to enforce this feeling. One could even argue he was the missing piece for the Galaxy in 2019.
“I’ll never forget you LA and no matter where I’ll be in the future, my wonderful American daughter will be there to remind me,” He closed with. “but it’s time to move on. First day of the rest of my life.”