The View from Avalon begins its 2013 coverage of the Los Angeles Galaxy with a little tying of some loose ends. There were a number of players that the View from Avalon forgot to rate, and we’ll go ahead and run them down. First, there’s defender A.J. DeLaGarza, who was a workhorse in the backline for Los Angeles. DeLaGarza appeared in 33 first team contests including three CONCACAF Champions League matches, logging 2914 minutes of action.
DeLaGarza won Club Defender of the Year honors in spite of suffering an injury in September. He was able to bounce back and earn a spot in the final 18-man squad for the 2012 MLS Cup.
Player Rating for A.J. DeLaGarza: 8.5/10
DeLaGarza’s reliability and effectiveness have kept Bruce Arena’s Galaxy in a number of key contests last year. However, he will need to be healthy to keep plugging away in 2013.
On to Juninho, a player that may or may not be back for the Galaxy in 2013, as he is on loan from Sao Paulo. Juninho played in 42 first team matches including all the CONCACAF Champions League games, recording nine goals and six assists. Juninho will be remembered for dishing the assist to Omar Gonzalez that helped the Galaxy get back in the hunt in the MLS Cup Final. His low point came against Toronto FC in the CONCACAF Champions League at the Home Depot Center, where LA struggled in their 2-1 defeat.
Player Rating for Juninho: 9/10
It is important that Juninho returns to the Los Angeles Galaxy and is signed to a long-term contract from Sao Paulo. If this happens, expect bigger and better things from this fan favorite.
Where there’s one Brazilian, there’s another in Marcelo Sarvas. A transfer from Alajuelense, Sarvas adds an MLS Cup ring to his list of honors as a journeyman midfielder. Marcelo Sarvas played in 38 first team matches, including all the MLS Cup Playoffs and four CCL games, as well as the only U.S. Open Cup tie for the Galaxy. Production has been as issue for Sarvas, as he only managed just two goals and two assists. Sarvas has also cameoed in the MLS Reserve League, with a goal in two appearances.
Player Rating for Marcelo Sarvas: 7/10
Sarvas is very good at the passing game, and his grit and tenacity have made him a fixture in the midfield. It is important that both Sarvas and Juninho are signed for 2013 so that the chemistry between both these players improves and increases.
Defender/right back Sean Franklin is no stranger to success, having won two MLS Cups as a member of the Galaxy. This past season, Franklin appeared in 43 first team matches, including all the MLS Cup Playoffs matches and five CCL ties, earning nine assists in 3677 minutes of action. Franklin’s high point, like Juninho, came in the sequence to Omar Gonzalez in the 2012 MLS Cup Final and his low point, as with a majority of the players, came in the hangover that was the early third of the season.
Player Rating for Sean Franklin: 8/10
After adjusting midway through the season, Franklin overcame his early-season snafu to become a true enforcer at the right back position. Entering his sixth year in the league, the onus is on him to showcase the leadership, consistency and reliability necessary to win championships.
Another defender that is now a three-time MLS Cup Champion is Todd Dunivant, a longtime fixture to the Galaxy. Dunivant appeared in 38 matches, including all the MLS Cup Playoff ties and three CCL matches, earning two goals and two assists in 3374 minutes of action. In the second leg of the Western Conference Semifinals against the San Jose Earthquakes, Dunivant neutralized the playmaking ability of swingman Marvin Chavez to give the Galaxy a 3-1 victory. Right calf hematoma in midsummer as well as a hip pointer in October prevented Dunivant from featuring in a few more league contests.
Player Rating for Todd Dunivant: 7.5/10
Just another solid season for Todd Dunivant, who adds another league championship to his list of accomplishments. However, next season will be a challenge, as up-and-comer Bryan Gaul will be competing for his spot. For the time being, Dunivant’s status as a starter in 2013 is secure.
Finally, the View from Avalon officially wraps up the player ratings with the man of legend, midfielder Mike Magee. Mr. November himself has been clutch in the postseason, if not all year. Magee played in 39 first-team matches, including all the MLS Cup Playoff games and three CCL ties, scoring nine goals and five assists in 2894 minutes of action. Magee also cameoed in a Reserve League contest this past season.
San Jose is an opponent that Magee loves to silence and in the second league of their Western Conference Semifinal with the Quakes, his series-deciding goal made the point clear. Ironically, it was against the old Quakes, a.k.a. the Houston Dynamo, that Magee had his worst outing, back on May 26 in their 2-1 loss. LA’s No. 18 scored an own goal and also served a one-game suspension by the eventual match referee for the MLS Cup, Silviu Petrescu.
Player Rating for Mike Magee: 10/10
This rating isn’t just because he’s Mike “Highlander” Magee. He simply knows how to deliver when it matters most for his team. Every great football club needs an iceman character to help send his men home and dry, and Mike Magee fits the bill. Expect Magee to continue his hotstreak in 2013.