Before we set out to review the season of all LA Galaxy players in 2020, let’s start by giving a brief mention of the players who didn’t end up playing any competitive minutes with the first team this year. The Galaxy used most of the players on the roster, but there were four players who did not feature in game action.
The highest-profile player in the quartet is Danilo Acosta, who signed in the offseason after a season with Orlando City. The left back, originally a homegrown signing from Real Salt Lake’s academy, has had some real ups and downs in his career, and he’s only 22. He looked like a star in the making at times at RSL, but also fell out of favor there, and was sent to Orlando City on loan as a way to see if they could move him on for something. They couldn’t, and LA signed him for free out of the Waiver Draft.
Likely intended to be a backup and/or split time with Emiliano Insua, unfortunately Acosta tore his ACL at the start of preseason camp, and that was that for him for the year. It’s pretty unfortunate, especially for a young player with lots of upside, to get dealt a big blow like that, and we’ll see if he sticks around for 2021 to get on the field, finally, for the Galaxy.
Justin Vom Steeg
The 23-year-old (pictured, top) was expected to be a backup goalkeeper again in 2020, and he was. Unfortunately, another goalkeeper came in and jumped him in the depth chart, with Jonathan Klinsmann signed in the secondary transfer window and briefly taking over for David Bingham as the No. 1 in Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s final games in charge.
Vom Steeg hasn’t played a competitive game since he had a good run splitting time as the LA Galaxy II goalkeeper last year. He was likely one of the victims of the policy to wall off the Galaxy first and second teams, after Los Dos had a coronavirus outbreak in the summer, meaning that “tweener” first team players like him didn’t get a chance to play in the USL Championship. That unintended consequence is kind of a shame for him.
Will the Galaxy keep him on next season? Who knows. LA have some decisions to make for the goalkeeping position next year and we’ll see if Vom Steeg remains in their plans moving forward.
The fourth goalkeeper on LA’s roster, you can repeat some of the same talking points as for Vom Steeg above. Lopez, 21, has been LA’s pipeline prospect, a player who’s worked his way up from the academy, to Los Dos and this year to a first-team contract. He wasn’t expected to play with the first team this year, but he was also someone who suffered from the lack of loans between the first team and Galaxy II, and so he remained the third- or fourth-string goalkeeper for the first team all season, aside from playing in Galaxy II’s season opener, a rip-roaring road win over Rio Grande Valley FC.
Like Vom Steeg, I think Lopez’s status moving forward is to be determined, but I think it’s more likely Lopez stays on. He’s a homegrown and the club has been high on him in the past, plus I think Dennis te Kloese wants to break out of the cycle of the Galaxy signing promising youngsters, burying them on the depth chart and then cutting them at the first opportunity. Obviously not every prospect will work out, but part of the reason top prospects keep signing elsewhere as pros is the perception the Galaxy are fickle and don’t really have a good plan for those homegrowns. It could happen again but I’m inclined to think there’s a good chance Lopez will continue to develop in the Galaxy organization. We’ll see.
The 17-year-old was signed to a homegrown deal with the first team before the season, but unlike Vom Steeg and Lopez, he was sent to Los Dos for the season and spent the campaign playing USL Championship ball. Perez scored four goals and two assists in 13 appearances, his first campaign at the professional level, and certainly looked strong at that level. Will that carry over into playing time with the first team next year? That’s another big question, and we’ll see how he develops in the offseason, how the roster comes together and what the new head coach will be looking to do moving forward.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.