The 2021 Los Angeles Galaxy hoped to turn things around from a dismal 2020 campaign that saw them finish 10th in the Western Conference. Their hope was that designated player, Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, would live up to the hype after a disappointing 2020 season where he only scored two goals in 12 appearances.
Chicharito was in contention for the Golden Boot for most of the season, but the Galaxy finished the season on a 2-6-7 run to finish in 8th place.
Douglas Costa joins LA on loan from Brazilian club, Gremio, weirdly enough via loan from Juventus. Costa is a 31-year-old winger who is a Brazilian international, although the Selecao haven’t capped him since 2018. Costa has an incredible pedigree though with previous stints at Bayern Munich and Juventus.
Marky Delgado was acquired via a trade for $500,000 in GAM from Toronto. Delgado is a midfielder who started for Toronto’s MLS Cup winning side and is in the prime of his career. He’ll bring some toughness to the LA midfield.
Raheem Edwards and Kelvin Leerdam were added via free agency. Leerdam, 31, is a right back who spent last season with Miami, while Edwards makes the six hour commute across town from LAFC to the Galaxy.
Sebastian Lletget, aka DaBoy, was traded to the New England Revolution for up to $1.3 million in allocation money, depending on the incentives that are hit. Lletget, in addition to loving Instagram, he played 1,800 minutes for LA last year with three goals and four assists.
Designated player, Jonathan Dos Santos, was allowed to run down his contract and left on a free. Dos Santos also played 1,800 minutes for the Galaxy, anchoring their midfield. His departure was supposed to open up roster flexibility, but he was instantly replaced with Costa.
Defenders Daniel Steres and Niko Hamalainen both depart the club. Steres was traded to Houston for a SuperDraft pick. He played just over 1,100 minutes last year for the Galaxy. Hamalainen (sorry I don’t know how to do the umlauts to spell his name properly), is headed back to Queens Park Rangers after the expiration of his loan. Niko also played just over 1,100 minutes with zero goals or assists.
2022 Season Outlook
Year two of Greg Vanney in LA ought to be better. Still, they cratered in the final third of the season and missed out on the playoffs (also thanks to a missed handball in the RSL/SKC game. Why bother with VAR...you know what? That’s a different article). I’m not sure Douglas Costa is what the Galaxy needed. LA had a -4 goal differential and conceded 54 goals. That tied them with Salt Lake, behind only Dallas and Austin.
Delgado will help shore up the Galaxy midfield, but it’s the backline that has been swiss cheese for years.
Dejan Joveljic was brought in under the U-22 Initiative last season and only scored two goals in his 14 appearances. LA is certainly hoping he’ll make the jump otherwise their season will go as Chicharito’s season goes. While Hernandez had a strong bounce back after a disastrous 2020, his inconsistency in 2021 ultimately doomed LA and left them outside the playoffs looking in again.
So what do you think? Where does Don Garber’s favorite team end up? My personal guess? Road playoff game. Let me know what you think in the comments.