The View from Avalon continues its quick evals of the players that made up the 2012 Los Angeles Galaxy under manager Bruce Arena. Let’s start with goalkeeper Brian Perk, who will return as a backup next year. For a backup, Perk has done admirably well, playing in four MLS matches and three CONCACAF Champions League games. During that span, he earned a 1.75 goals against average and a 2-3-2 record with two shutouts.
As a goalkeeper in the Reserve League (which may or may not exist due to talks with the USL), Perk made five appearances in goal, earned 0.75 GAA, a 1-1-1 record and a shutout. Sports hernia surgery prevented Perk from earning more playing time, but after coming back from injury in May, he earned some notoriety for stopping the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzeman in the Galaxy’s friendly with Real Madrid.
Unimpressed with his work in goal, Perk aims to improve to push for more playing time next year.
“I’m a little disappointed in my performance and how I did when I got in, but I was pretty fresh off surgeries and I’m just using that as an excuse,” Perk told LAGalaxy.com’s Adam Serrano. “But I’m planning on having a good offseason and bringing my ‘A game’ next season.
“I really need to focus this offseason on physical shape. I think I can gain a couple of things in the gym and really apply that next year. There’s a few things I need to work on and the gym is going to help with that. [I need to work on] aerial balls and coming out for crosses, so if I can jump a little bit higher then it will be a little bit easier.”
Player rating for Brian Perk: 4.5/10
Surgery and a difficult first third of the season prevented Brian Perk from earning more minutes, and he did hold his own in CCL and Reserve League play. The onus for Perk is to improve in his own abilities to make a push for more minutes in 2013.
And so we move to midfielder Bryan Jordan, who is now on his way to the San Jose Earthquakes. Jordan was active this past season, with 10 appearances on the first team, include a U.S. Open Cup match and a CCL appearance. He also played seven Reserve League matches.
However, the lack of production from Jordan has been a sticking point for the View from Avalon. No goals and no assists for someone who is a veteran at 27 is a cause for concern. Jorand will now challenge Dan Gargan for a spot in the midfield behind Steven Beitashour.
Player rating for Bryan Jordan: 2/10
No goals and no assists made it a struggle for Bryan Jordan to earn some valuable playing time. He also had a chance to make an impression in the Reserve League and that was left to waste. Perhaps a change in scenery may turn this player’s career around.
Next up is Jose Villareal, a young Homegrown rookie who has found the next at least once. Villareal played in 14 first team matches for the Galaxy including an MLS Cup Playoff appearance and three matches in the CONCACAF Champions League, earning two goals and an assist. Villareal also played nine Reserve League matches, scoring three goals.
Preseason surgery to repair bilateral lower-led compartment syndrome prevented Villareal from breaking through early in the year and he also had a hamstring injury late in the season.
“I got a lot of minutes and many appearances so I’m happy with that,” Villareal told Serrano. “I don’t like to rate myself, but I think I did pretty well because during the minutes that I got I tried to give everything that I had and help the team as much as possible.”
Player rating for Jose Villareal: 6/10
Despite the injuries, Jose Villareal has been a regular contributor to the Galaxy and it showed in the goals he scored. Look for this young talent to make a push for more minutes and more chances to impress in 2013.
Finally, we take a look at one of the breakthrough stories this season: rookie defender Tommy Meyer, who really shined after center-back A.J. DeLaGarza went down with an injury. He has done a good job of not only backing up DeLaGarza, but Omar Gonzalez when he was recovering from his injury.
Meyer has appeared in 19 first-team matches. He played in all of the MLS Cup Playoffs games including the final, all of the CCL matches and the U.S. Open Cup match against the Carolina Railhawks. In addition, Meyer has played in eight Reserve League contests. The high point of Meyer’s rookie season was the second leg against the San Jose Earthquakes in the 2012 MLS Cup Western Conference Semifinals. In this contest, Meyer not only held the likes of Steven Lenhart and Chris Wondolowski at bay but he also contributed to a successful sequence that led to Robbie Keane completing his brace in their 3-1 win.
Despite failing to mark Houston’s Calen Carr in the first half of the 2012 MLS Cup, Meyer picked himself up and adjusted to help the Galaxy win their fourth league title.
“From the start to the finish, it has been a crazy ride. Starting playing and then not playing, I had to work my way back so that if they needed me I could step in and have an impact on the game,” Meyer told Serrano. “It’s definitely been a season where I put a lot of work and I got the result that I wanted because we won a championship and I got to play in that game. It’s definitely been a great year.”
Player rating for Tommy Meyer: 7/10
Ladies and gentlemen, here is the successor to Omar Gonzalez, if Gonzo himself jumps ship and heads to Europe. Otherwise, Tommy Meyer will make for a good combination with Gonzalez or DeLaGarza in the back. Another strong campaign is expected from the Indiana product next year. The best is yet to come.