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LA Galaxy 2020 player postmortem: Gordon Wild

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Great debut! Then we didn’t see him much again.

MLS: 2020 MLS Headshots USA TODAY Sports

Gordon Wild was a depth attacker for the LA Galaxy, but a player who looked like he might get some run if he impressed on the field. He did, and then he was gone again.

The German, like the better-known-around-MLS Julian Gressel, was the higher-profile German NCAA player, with Wild transferring to play two years at powerhouse Maryland after a year at the University of South Carolina Upstate, very much not a powerhouse program.

Coming through the vaunted German youth system before that, Wild’s move to the United States seemed to pay off handsomely, when he was signed to a Generation Adidas contract and drafted by Atlanta United in 2018. But on a stacked Atlanta roster, he never got a shot at MLS level and moved to D.C. United midway through the 2019 season and didn’t make it on the field in an MLS game there, either.

So he was a low-risk gamble for the Galaxy, a versatile attacker who would be very affordable and a potential LA Galaxy II option at worst in 2020. Of course, the latter possibility never panned out, with the first and reserve teams having to separate for coronavirus reasons after the restart.

Here are Wild’s stats with the Galaxy in 2020:

Gordon Wild LA Galaxy 2020 statistics

2020 Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
2020 Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
Regular Season 3 0 30 0 1 0 0 0 0

The story of Wild’s season turned out to be his debut, in the MLS is Back Tournament opener against the Portland Timbers. Coming off the bench, he set up a goal and scored another in a comeback effort, only for the latter to be chalked off due to an offside call, with the Galaxy losing 2-1 in the end.

Wild was an obvious catalyst off the bench, and after making another bench shift in the following game, 17 minutes in the blowout El Trafico loss, he played just one minute the rest of the season.

What happened? I don’t know that he was going to transform the season for LA but the very, very limited minutes were extremely promising! It’s a small sample size, of course, but after the four-game winning streak to start off the local return to play phase of the season, it was all pretty dire for the Galaxy. Why not throw on an attacker who might have something to him?

But whether something happened or Guillermo Barros Schelotto and Dominic Kinnear simply decided Wild wasn’t in their plans, beyond making his debut it wasn’t all that memorable in LA for the player. And I think most of the fans probably forgot he was on the roster.

And he looks to be on the move again, as the Galaxy have declined Wild’s contract option and haven’t said they’re negotiating with him for 2021. That’s not surprising, of course, since again, he didn’t play much. Maybe his debut was a mirage, but again, he looked pretty decent. I’m not sure why he didn’t get a longer run in 2020, but we’ll see what’s next in Gordon Wild’s career.

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