Galaxy News

Los Angeles Galaxy at 20: Tommy Meyer

By Jo-Ryan Salazar
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Jul 16, 2014; Carson, CA, USA; Los Angeles Galaxy defender Tommy Meyer (21) against the New England Revolution at StubHub Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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This is Part 14 in a series of articles on the players that make up the 2015 Los Angeles Galaxy as their enter their 20th year of existence. Exclusively on The View From Avalon, part of the FanSided Network.

If there is one thing about Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy that fans are heavy critics of, it’s their defense. Too often, shoddy performances by the back line are the first thing the Galaxy’s bastion of supporters point to when the outcome leads to either a draw or a defeat. At the same time, the tendency to be porous can be countered by a more committed effort to be tighter in the back.

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  • The Galaxy’s defense allowed just 37 goals in the regular season, tied for the best defense in the league alongside D.C. United. One of the reasons behind their consistent defensive efforts (Los Angeles allowed 38 goals in 2013) is the play of defender Tommy Meyer. Standing at 6’2″, Meyer is one of three imposing center backs on the team, the others being Omar Gonzalez and Leonardo.

    Thomas Meyer was born on Mar. 20, 1990 in St. Louis, Mo. St. Louis is one of America’s soccer hotbeds, with the Billikens of Saint Louis University standing testament to the region’s success in the American soccer landscape. Meyer began his youth soccer career with local side Scott Gallagher SC from 2004 through 2008 and also played at the IMG Soccer Academy from 2005-2006. He also was a USA Youth National Team participant, playing 11 matches for the Under-17s and three matches for the Under-20s.

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    Meyer played his college soccer for the Hoosiers of Indiana University and also played with developmental sides Seattle Wolves and Chicago Fire Premier. In the 2012 MLS SuperDraft, the Galaxy selected Meyer in the first round as the 19th overall selection. Immediately, Meyer made an impact on the pitch, debuting on Mar. 11, 2012 against Real Salt Lake in their 3-1 defeat.

    Used to provide cover for Leonardo, A.J. DeLaGarza and Omar Gonzalez in the three-man center-back rotation of Arena’s 4-4-2, Meyer started seven of his eight games that he appeared in during the 2012 season. More of the same for Meyer took place in the 2013 season, in which he started five of seven matches that he appeared in.

    The arrival of LA Galaxy II, LA’s USL Pro entry, seemed to be a godsend for Tommy Meyer in 2014. Meyer was loaned to the Galaxy II and appeared in six matches. After refining his form as a defender, Meyer went on to appear in 12 matches, starting 10 of them, both of them being career bests. Overall through three seasons with the Galaxy first team, Meyer has appeared in 27 matches while starting 22 of them.

    Defenders that are reliable, have plenty of mileage, are coachable, and worth the bang for the buck tend to stay at a club for a long period of time. The 2015 season will be Meyer’s fourth year with the Galaxy. He already has two MLS Cups to his credit and remains a key change-up when Leonardo’s form takes a tumble. Through a loan to Los Angeles Galaxy II, expect Meyer’s play to improve yet again and increase the competition for a spot in the starting XI and the 18 for the Galaxy first team this year.

    Next: LA Galaxy @ 20: Raul Mendiola

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