EDITORIAL – The LA Galaxy midfield had a lot of responsibility last season. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was demanding and relatively stationary as a center forward. The defense needed all the support it could get. Now with Guillermo Barros Schelotto fully implementing his system, Sebastian Lletget and the Galaxy midfield are ready to contribute on both sides of the ball.
Sebastian Lletget, LA Galaxy Midfield Critical in 2020
The Gs will mostly be running a 4-3-3 this season. Sebastian Lletget, likely captain Jonathan dos Santos, and Joe Corona are the likely starters. Free agent signing Sacha Kljestan and Perry Kitchen are the most probable substitutes/back ups.
This midfield three have good pace and complement each other. Dos Santos will be the anchor in the midfield defensively, with the other two more about play box-to-box. GBS’s system won’t have a traditional No. 10, though Lletget will be the closest thing to one in terms of skill set and assignments.
This unit will have more help in the attack from the front three than any combination of three attacking players in 2019. Chicharito Hernandez, Aleksandar Katai, and Cristian Pavon will have a defensive work rate and check back to the midfield to help with build up play. The attack will be much more cohesive provided Sebastian Lletget and the other midfielders are as good or better than they were last year.
Their biggest responsibilities might still be in defense however. The Galaxy brought in some new options at outside back but supporters still have questions about goalkeeper David Bingham and the center back pairing of Daniel Steres and Giancarlo Gonzalez. This back line should be better than it was in 2019 but might still need cover. Dos Santos will be critical to this team putting out fires before they start. The other midfielders will need to track back at time and take defensive actions in emergency situations.
For the Galaxy to compete for the top seed in the Western Conference or win MLS Cup, they will have to improve on both sides of the ball. The talent is there offensively. The defense might still be a work-in-progress. But for both to succeed, the midfield trio is going to have to perform.
The front three forwards might be the best part of the new look LA Galaxy, but Sebastian Lletget, Jona dos Santos, and Joe Corona just might be the most important.