Editorial (December 16, 2017) – The MLS off-season is already well underway. Los Angeles FC had the 2017 Expansion Draft earlier this week. Teams are making trades and signings. Stage 2 of the Re-Entry Draft is next week. The LA Galaxy have been busy. With that, let’s take a look at a few possible LA Galaxy free agency targets.
Five LA Galaxy Free Agent Targets
The LA Galaxy have already made some moves this off-season. They’ve traded the rights to three players who were not going to return for draft picks. They signed center back reinforcements in the form of Jorgen Skjelvik. The organization is still keen on signing a starting caliber goalkeeper, right back, and forward. They could also be looking for a left back if they are unable to re-sign Ashley Cole.
For the full list of MLS players eligible for free agency, click here. Free agents can negotiate a raise up to a certain amount. Remember that MLS teams can sign no more than two free agents in one off-season. With that, let’s take a look at who the LA Galaxy could be looking to sign from this list:
Brad Evans has played the majority of his professional career under now-LA Galaxy Head Coach Sigi Schmid. He fell out of favor with Seattle Sounders FC this year. Sigi would love to bring him back and he’d probably come to LA to play for him.
The 32-year-old has played throughout the midfield in his career and in recent years has been a left and center back. Evans could be a Swiss Army knife for this coaching staff. He’s a great veteran personality to have in any locker room, something the Galaxy didn’t have a lot of. He might be willing to even take a pay cut to reunite with his old coach.
2017 Guaranteed Compensation: $338,501.25
2018 Maximum Guaranteed Compensation: $389,276.44
In his prime, Sean Franklin was one of the best right backs in MLS. The 32-year-old is a Southern California native and started his career with the LA Galaxy (2008-2013). He was part of the 2011 and 2012 MLS Cup Champion teams. His contract option for 2014 was too high for Bruce Arena at the time, and he was taken in Stage 1 of the Re-Entry Draft by D.C. United.
I’m sure he’d be interested in returning home to play for the Galaxy. He’s still got a few good years left in his career and the Galaxy are desperately in need of a reliable right back. Signing Franklin would also be a feel-good story for a front office that could use some good karma with the fan base.
2017 Guaranteed Compensation: $283,756.00
2018 Maximum Guaranteed Compensation: $326,319.40
Sal Zizzo is hands down the most economical outside back on the MLS market right now. He only made $110,000 in 2017. Zizzo’s was a steady right back the last two seasons for the New York Red Bulls. The 30-year-old has a decent cross and doesn’t get carded often. He can also play further up the field, so he could add some depth at right midfield/winger if needed.
Zizzo would be the most complicated player to sign on this list simply because he’ll probably have the most interest around the league. There will certainly be 2017 playoff teams that will be calling his agent. If the Galaxy want him, they’ll have to be really convincing. Zizzo played college soccer at UCLA and is from San Diego, CA originally, which could be a valuable bargaining chip.
2017 Guarenteed Compensation: $110,000
2018 Maximum Guaranteed Compensation: $132,000
You might be starting to notice a theme with this list. Alan Gordon spent 2017 with the Colorado Rapids after three seasons with the LA Galaxy. He made his MLS debut with the Gs in 2004. I’m not sure how much gas he has left in the tank. What I do know is the Galaxy need a No. 9, a cheap veteran striker option, and a late attacking substitution option. Alan Gordon is all of those things.
Given his age and the season he had in Colorado (26 appearances, 815 minutes, 3 goals, 4 assists), he might not have as much interest from the league. The Galaxy might be able to convince the Long Beach, CA native to take a pay cut to come home.
2017 Guaranteed Compensation: $180,000
2018 Maximum Guaranteed Compensation: $216,000
Given that MLS teams can only sign two free agents a year, I’ll admit this is the least likely option. The Galaxy have lots of options for goalkeepers within MLS. They still need a backup though. Given how Clement Diop did this past season as the initial backup, it’d be nice to have one with some MLS experience. It’d be even better if they could get this keeper without having to give up anything.
Josh Saunders was with the LA Galaxy from 2005-2012. Like Franklin, he started for two MLS Cup wins. He’s at a point in his career where he’ll probably accept being a backup. He played 0 minutes for Orlando City SC this season, so there won’t be much competition for him. Like a few other players on this list, he has roots in California and with the Galaxy and could accept less money to return.
2017 Guaranteed Compensation: $150,000
2018 Maximum Guaranteed Compensation: $180,000
Nick Rimando: Early signs are Rimando is going to re-sign with Real Salt Lake. He’d be a last ditch goalkeeper option is all the other leads for the Galaxy fell through.
Steven Beitashour: The MLS Cup Champion was one of the best left backs (left wingbacks really) in the league this year. If Toronto FC doesn’t try to bring him back and if Ashley Cole does not return. He’ll be expensive though.
DaMarcus Beasley: Similar to Beitashour, Beasley would be a replacement for Cole. He’s older and cheaper than Beitashour, but he was an ageless wonder in 2017.