The Galaxy shocked a lot of fans on Monday when the club announced they had parted ways with Dan Gargan and Ignacio Maganto. While both moves made me sad since Dan Gargan was a solid player and whose personality was adored by fans, and Ignacio Maganto was a promising young creative talent, I completely understand the logic of each of these moves.
I have criticized the Galaxy's resource management a great deal this off-season, but in the case of Dan Gargan, I think the Galaxy absolutely made the right move. Dan Gargan was making $125,000. While this isn't necessarily "too much" in regard to his talent level, it's important to note that with Robbie Rogers moving to right back, Gargan had fallen to 3rd on the depth chart, and, while both Robbie Rogers and A.J. DelaGarza have a history of injury, $125,000 is simply too much to spend on a third string player, regardless of his skill. This is especially true when you have a guy like Oscar Sorto in the wings.
While Nacho had little hope of making the field in 2016 given the team's midfield depth, his salary was a mere $60,000, which is very little investment given his age, talent and upside. An argument can be made that the most financially efficient way for the Galaxy to go about their business is to maximize how much talent they have at this price point, and, instead of signing veterans to push them farther down the depth chart, invest that money in areas of the field where production is not meeting price point.
While such an argument makes sense in the case of Jose Villarreal in regard to the Mike Magee signing, it actually doesn't hold much weight in the case of Ignacio Maganto. While it's true that Maganto is a cut above most talent at the $60,000 price point, it's also true that he took up an international roster spot which significantly changes the financial equation.
If you consider the timing of Nacho's release, it came just a day before the MLS Roster compliance deadline. This is the day that all MLS rosters must be compliant with league rules. Since the signing of Nigel de Jong the LA Galaxy were operating with 8 international players on the roster, De Jong, Dos Santos, Gerrard, Mendiola, Van Damme, Maganto, but only possessing 7 international spots. Either another spot was needed by deadline day or someone had to go.
While Maganto was talented, one must consider that the Galaxy have an abundance of younger attacking talent such as Bradford Jamieson IV, Jose Villarreal and Raul Mendiola. This makes trading for a spot to retain Nacho a lower priority than it would have been for other teams. Since the Galaxy were likely unwilling to give up much to acquire a spot, this meant that someone had to be cut.
With stars like Gerrard, Dos Santos, De Jong, and Van Damme off the table, and Boateng having just arrived at the club, this brought the decision down to Maganto and Mendiola and the LA Galaxy absolutely made the right decision in their choice. Raul Mendiola is younger, been with the team longer and is coming off a USL season where he averaged 0.5 assists per game. Mendiola is almost unanimously considered the brighter prospect.
So, while it's extremely sad to see each of these players leave the club, the Galaxy ultimately made the right decision in letting them go.