The LA Galaxy sign another center back as their quest to revamp the defense continues into the start of the season.
The LA Galaxy have signed 24-year-old defender Sega Coulibaly, the club announced on Wednesday morning. Coulibaly is the third Frenchman the Galaxy have added in 2021 (Samuel Grandsir, and Kevin Cabral) and will be placed on a two-year contract with a one-year club option.
Coulibaly is primarily a center back with the ability to play at the right-back position as well. French newspapers reported that while the transfer wasn’t a free one, the sum was minimal. Coulibaly’s contract expired at the end of June.
“Séga is a talented, versatile defender with good experience and we believe he can continue to grow as a player with our club,” said LA Galaxy General Manager Dennis te Kloese said in the club press release. “We are confident in his ability to contribute to our defense as we add another player who will compete along our backline. We look forward to Séga joining the club and to his contributions with the LA Galaxy.”
Coulibaly will be added to a center-back roster that already features Daniel Steres, Giancarlo Gonzalez, Nick DePuy, Markus Ferkranus, Jalen Neal, and newly signed Derrick Williams. Where he fits in that pecking order remains to be seen. But since 2017 — the first year without Bruce Arena at the helm — the Galaxy have conceded 236 goals over those four seasons and continually ranked near the bottom of the league in defense.
Born in Bamako, Maili, Coulibaly has over 100 appearances throughout his time as a professional. In his most recent season he made 22 appearances with 19 starts for AS Nancy in France’s Ligue 2.
Coulibaly seems to be a physical center back at six feet and 190 lbs. who gets his positioning right and takes his chances to attack when the ball is shown to him. He won’t be fast, but he could be a set piece target with his frame and his ability to fight through screens and shoves. His highlights show long passes to switch the field, but those may be curbed by the style the Galaxy have shown through the first couple of games.
With his signing, the Galaxy have now filled eight of eight International slots and have 27 of 30 roster spots filled. With two more signings expected in the near future (Austine Williams from LA Galaxy II and an additional signing), the Galaxy may have to get creative on any additional international players. That could mean purchasing an additional slot from another MLS team, or it could mean that a player who is currently on the roster gets loaned down to LA Galaxy II or receives their Green Card.
Regardless of the method, the Galaxy are relatively close to maxing out their roster.
But, just like Kevin Cabral who still hasn’t arrived in the United States as of Wednesday morning after initially being signed on April 8, 2021, Coulibaly will have to go through the lengthy process of receiving his P-1 Visa. History tells us that it won’t be a quick arrival.