LA Galaxy field one of the leagues' oldest defenses

An aging defense doesn't bode well for MLS Cup aspirations in LA
Saint Louis City v Los Angeles Galaxy
Saint Louis City v Los Angeles Galaxy / Shaun Clark/GettyImages

One notable demographic on the LA Galaxy's roster is the age of their defenders. Maya Yoshida is 35 and Martin Caceres is 37. Two more players on the wrong side of thirty: Miki Yamane and Eriq Zavaleta.

Julian Aude is just 21 years old. He is the lone reason between these five names on why the average age on defense isn't higher than 31.

If we take a look at the last five MLS Champions (2019-2023), this doesn't work in favor of the LA Galaxy. The past five winners have fielded defenses much younger than the current one LA has.

Age ain't nothing but a number... Or is it?!

In 2019, the Seattle Sounders won with a defense that boasted four mainstays Roman Torres (age 33), Kim Kee-hee (30), Kelvin Leerdam (29), and Saad Abdul-Salaam (28). Those four average out to be thirty years old.

If we look at Columbus Crew in 2020, they had multiple players on defense in their thirties. Harrison Afful was 34 then, Josh Williams was 32 and both Jonathan Mensah and Waylan Francis were thirty. A pair of young guns helped keep this part of the roster youthful. Aboubacar Keita was 20 and Milton Valenzuela was 22.

A similar comparison can be drawn to the MLS Champions in 2021. The NYFC had a pair of 29-year-old defenders in Alexander Callens and Sebastien Ibeagha. The oldest one was Maxime Chanor at 32 and Anton Tinnerholm was 30. Malte Amundsen was 23 that year.

READ MORE: LA Galaxy linked to Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne

LAFC won two years ago with an average age of just over 26 years old for their defense. Ryan Hollingshead was 31, Jesus Murillo was 28 and Franco Escobar was 27. The youth was provided by Mamadou Fall (20), Diego Palacios (23), and Eddie Segura (25). Ibeagha won his second cup in a row.

Last year's champion won on the same stage three seasons before. This time Columbus got younger on defense. Amundsen (25) would win his second title in three years. Not one of their main defenders was 30. Milos Degenek was 29 last season, as was Steven Moreira. Phillip Quinton and Gustavo Vallecilla were both only 24.

What the Galaxy should do?

With one of the older defenses, we saw the Galaxy struggle in the last two contests. They squeaked out a 4-3 victory two weekends ago against San Jose. This past weekend they were shutout 2-0 when they traveled to Austin.

This defense may be lacking a jolt of youth to keep them competitive and maintain their lead in the MLS Standings. They have 18 points with Real Salt Lake.

While Amundsen and Ibeagha may not be available in a trade, going after another rising star defender could make sense for LA. Rafael Santos of Orlando City (26) or Henry Kessler (25) of the New England Revolution could benefit from a scenery change.