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LA Galaxy announce offseason roster moves

A hint at what’s on deck for 2021.

San Jose Earthquakes v Los Angeles Galaxy

The LA Galaxy announced their offseason roster decisions on Monday, an annual tradition where the team reveals who’s under contract, who isn’t, and myriad other facts heading into the next season.

Sacha Kljestan has agreed to terms on a new contract, according to the club, and four other players have had contract options exercised by the club: Justin Vom Steeg, Diedie Traore, Kai Koreniuk and Ethan Zubak.

These players remain under contract for 2021: goalkeeper Eric Lopez, defender Nick DePuy, defender Daniel Steres, defender Julian Araujo, defender Danilo Acosta, defender Giancarlo Gonzalez, midfielder Jonathan dos Santos, midfielder Sebastian Lletget, midfielder Efrain Alvarez, midfielder Jonathan Perez, forward Cameron Dunbar and forward Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez.

The Galaxy have declined contract options on Joe Corona, Emiliano Insua, Emil Cuello, Yony Gonzalez, Jonathan Klinsmann and Gordon Wild. They are in negotiations at present with Corona, Insua and Klinsmann.

David Bingham, Rolf Feltscher and Perry Kitchen are all out of contract, but the club says they are negotiating with all of them.

The loans of Cristian Pavón and Carlos Harvey will expire at the end of the year, but the club says they are in talks with both players’ parent clubs, Boca Juniors and Tauro FC, respectively.

So if you’re keeping track, so far the Galaxy have cut ties with just three players: Cuello, Yony Gonzalez and Wild. It’s possible some they are negotiating with may not come back, including, of course, Pavón. By my count, 18 players are under contract, which sounds pretty good, but if all the players in negotiations come back, that jumps up to 26 players, and MLS rosters max out around 30 players.

I think it’s pretty likely the team would not bring back both Bingham and Klinsmann, because they already have two other goalkeepers under contract, but you never know. And Pavón is the big unknown. I also think there’s not going to be as much movement as we think for this roster. And while I think the squad underperformed in 2020 and a good deal of that was down to Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s tactics and leadership, I have to say, bringing back most or all of the defense seems pretty surprising, for starters. There’s a lot of good guys in the group, some can come good, yes, but the team has been crying out to get a makeover in the back, but they seem pretty well set to keep the band together. That’s an enormous gamble with limited flexibility on the roster and presumably with the salary budget.

So there you have it. We’ll have more info on roster happenings as they drop, but this is the first step in planning for the 2021 season.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.