Photo Courtesy of LA Galaxy

Grading the Galaxy: 2020 Season In Review (Defenders)

Let’s take a look back at how the defenders performed during the 2020 season.

The LA Galaxy finished the season with a 6-12-4 (W-L-T) record after playing 22 games for the 2020 MLS regular season. The season was unique as it was broken up over several phases between the regular season opening matches, the MLS is Back Tournament, and final phase of regular season matches with reduced travel due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In addition to a losing record, the LA Galaxy notched a minus-19 goal differential which caused them to rank 25th out of 26 teams in that category. The Galaxy defense was statistically the worst in the Western Conference and was visibly flawed for the majority of the season.

While the defense was poor as a whole, there were a few bright spots that will be covered through our player grades. The Galaxy will have their work cut out for them in the off-season as very few defenders are out of contract and the players returning for 2021 will need to show vast improvements if they want to retain their starting roles on this roster.

Let’s take a look at how the players fared on the season. Player performance is listed below in order of total stars earned.


Total Stars: 46

Average Rating: 2.56


Best Match: v LAFC – 9/6, 5 Stars

Worst Match: v POR 10/7, 1 Star

A recurring theme with David Bingham was the question of whether his personal performance was poor or if the team defense put him in a position to fail. Regardless of which side you land on, conceding 35 goals in 18 games is an indicator that Bingham’s play left much to be desired this season.

Bingham finished with 48 stars, ranking 7th among all players & his 2.56 average rating ranks 15th.

Total Stars: 11

Average Rating: 2.75


Best Match: v VAN – 10/18, 4 Stars

Worst Match: @ POR 10/28, 1 Star

While supporters may have felt ready to move on from David Bingham, the mid-season signing of Jonathan Klinsmann indicated that the Galaxy were looking for their goalkeeper of the future as well. While Klinsmann may have looked better than Bingham in some of his starts, his goals against average was higher as he gave up 11 goals in just four games.

Klinsmann finished with 11 stars, ranking 19th among all players & his 2.75 average rating is tied for 7th.


Total Stars: 63

Average Rating: 2.86


Best Match: v LAFC – 9/6, 4 Stars

Worst Match: v SJ 10/14, 2 Stars

Emiliano Insua was one of two players to start all 22 games this season, making him the iron man of the Galaxy defense. While Insua never earned a five star player grade, he also never received a grade lower than two stars. His consistency, professionalism, and experience made him one of the Galaxy’s best defenders of the year.

Insua finished with 63 stars, ranking 3rd among all players & his 2.86 average rating ranks 6th.

Total Stars: 52

Average Rating: 3.06


Best Match: @ LAFC – 8/22, 4 Stars

Worst Match: @ VAN – 11/8, 2 Stars

Julian Araujo had a breakout season in his second year on the LA Galaxy first team roster. Araujo’s aggressive play and passion turned him into a fan favorite this year and earned notable attention across the league. While his style of play led to various disciplinary issues, the upside from Araujo on his best days outweighed the risk the possible foul trouble it brought.

Additionally, the 19 year old Lompoc native earned multiple team awards, including Defender of the Year and Humanitarian of the Year for his work to give back to farm workers in his local community.

Araujo finished with 52 stars, which places him tied for 5th among all players & his 3.06 average rating ranks 4th.

Total Stars: 52

Average Rating: 2.60


Best Match: @ LAFC – 8/22, 4 Stars

Worst Match: v POR – 10/7, 1 Star

Dan Steres had a bit of a down year after fighting to retain his starting role at center back in 2019. However, Steres did still manage to rate in the top half of Galaxy players in terms of total stars and game average. Now a veteran on this team and in the league, Steres’ leadership was rewarded with the captain’s armband on occasion and the accountability he displayed when it came time to address the media after some of the Galaxy’s worst performances is to be commended.

Steres finished with 52 stars, which places him tied for 5th among all players & his 2.60 average rating is tied for 11th.

Total Stars: 44

Average Rating: 2.75


Best Match: @ SJ – 9/13, 4 Stars

Worst Match: v POR – 10/7, 1 Star

Nick DePuy is another defender who had himself a bit of a breakout year, although to less of a degree than Julian Araujo. DePuy was vaulted into the starting lineup at the beginning of the season due to injury and as the season went on, DePuy earned a more regular role in the starting lineup. Depuy did have his struggles late in the season as the the fatigue from the schedule appeared to take a toll on him.

DePuy finished with 44 stars, ranking 8th among all players & his 2.75 average rating is tied for 7th.

Total Stars: 41

Average Rating: 2.56


Best Match: @ LAFC – 8/22, 4 Stars

Worst Match: @ SJ – 10/3, 1 Star

If there were young players who had breakout seasons and displaced established starters, then there will be players on the other side of the equation who are inevitably pushed out. Unfortunately for Rolf Feltscher, he was on the wrong end of this equation. Feltscher started the season on a strong note and looked to be an improved player, but after the multiple breaks throughout the year, it became more and more rare to see a positive performance on the field. While being an average defender isn’t always a bad thing, there were various moments throughout the season where Feltscher could be singled out as the cause for conceding a goal.

Feltscher finished with 41 stars, ranking 9th among all players & his 2.56 average rating ranks 14th.

Total Stars: 20

Average Rating: 2.22


Best Match: v RSL – 11/1, 5 Stars

Worst Match: @ LAFC – 10/25, 0 Stars

Similar to Feltscher, Giancarlo ‘Pipo’ Gonzalez was another established player who lost his starting spot for the majority of the disjointed 2020 season. Gonzalez looked very much out of form at the beginning of the season and went on to miss 12 out of the 22 regular season games with the majority of those coming as a coach’s decision. After Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s firing, Gonzalez saw a return to the starting lineup and showed flashes of the player the Galaxy hoped he would be.

Gonzalez finished with 20 stars, ranking 17th among all players & his 2.22 average rating ranks near the bottom of the pack at 21st.

Total Stars: 7

Average Rating: 2.33


Best Match: v SJ – 10/14, 3 Stars

Worst Match: @ POR – 10/28, 2 Stars

Diedie Traore saw very little playing time this season and did not start any games. The 21-year-old left-back will find it difficult to see increased minutes as he sits behind a player who didn’t miss any games due to injury or discipline, but hopefully he is able to stay sharp while he waits.

Traore finished with seven stars, ranking 21st among all players & his 2.33 average rating ranks 19th.


Below you will find a chart with the Grading the Galaxy statistics for the 2020 season for each defender.

PlayerPositionTotal StarsAverage Rating
Emiliano InsuaD632.86
Julian AraujoD523.06
Daniel SteresD522.60
David BinghamGK462.56
Nick DepuyD442.75
Rolf FeltscherD412.56
Giancarlo GonzalezD202.22
Jonathan KlinsmannGK112.75
Diedie TraoreD72.33