This week we asked for some questions to do a mailbag article, and we got some! Thanks for those who sent in questions, hope you like it, maybe we’ll do this regularly.
Let’s get started!
Will Pavon score more goals than Chicha?— Micah Nelson (@MicahNe50246495) February 20, 2020
My gut screams Chicharito here, because I think he will be in the running for the MLS Golden Boot if he stays healthy. But it’s an intriguing question.
In looking at Cristian Pavon’s history, his best league campaign was nine goals and nine assists in the Argentina Primera for Boca Juniors in 30 games in 2016-17. That rate is roughly a goal every three games, which is pretty good for a player who isn’t a pure scorer.
Pavon scored a combined seven goals and seven assists across the domestic campaign for Boca and LA last season, 26 appearances, so the rate is pretty solid.
And compare that to Chicharito’s recent track record. He scored double-digit goals in consecutive seasons for Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga, but since leaving Germany, he’s scored eight, seven, one and one goal the last four seasons (including the half-season at Sevilla before joining LA). As a scorer, that’s not a good rate.
However, the attack will be built to provide far more support with Chicharito leading the line for the Galaxy, and if healthy he will play a lot here, something he didn’t get the past several years.
So I would project Pavon to score around 12 goals for the Galaxy while playing a significant provider role, and I think Chicharito will push closer to 20 goals. But could Pavon give Chicha a run for his money as leading scorer? In looking at the stats it could be closer than most would think! Stay tuned.
Thanks, Micah! Next up:
Who do you think the starting CB pairing will be, assuming Franco confers signed?— Matt Gomez (@matthewgomez) February 20, 2020
From all indications, if Alan Franco is signed, as is expected, it sounds like the second center back slot is up for grabs, yet again. Daniel Steres is put in this position annually and keeps winning a starting spot even though his coaches have clearly looked to upgrade and haven’t yet done it successfully, while Giancarlo Gonzalez had an up-and-down run after arriving midseason. A man-to-man battle between those two looks likely, although perhaps Nick DePuy can be the next Steres and get in the competition, although I expect he will be depth.
Steres is 29 and Gonzalez is 32. I wouldn’t necessarily assume anything coming in, and I won’t be shocked if Guillermo Barros Schelotto rotates them with Franco until they find some equilibrium. The risk, as we’ve seen in recent years with the Galaxy, is they may never find that settled group, but hopefully 2020 is the year the defense is fixed.
Matt did a lot of the heavy lifting this week, thanks for his questions! Here’s another:
What are the odds Aurajo becomes the full time RB by the end of the season?— Matt Gomez (@matthewgomez) February 20, 2020
The Galaxy have worked to help Rolf Feltscher get his green card this offseason, he’s 29, he gets hurt a fair amount but he has a size that few right backs in the league possess, and with Julian Araujo being just 18, I think Schelotto will possibly still bring Araujo along slowly this year.
There are two factors that could work in Araujo’s favor, however: Feltscher’s injury history to date in LA, which could give Araujo some run if the Venezuelan goes down, and his position. The Galaxy don’t have a ton of options at right back and traditionally fullback is a position where youngsters can break through faster. A lot of it will be up to Araujo, and if he isn’t ready to make a big jump up, then this is all moot, but if he does make a jump, he’s in one of the best positions to earn the trust of his coach, and it could come together. I think Feltscher will probably play more minutes, but I wouldn’t be at all shocked if Araujo is the starter at the end of the season.
Thanks, Matt. Here’s one more to take us out:
Will Lletget finally break through this year?— Matt Gomez (@matthewgomez) February 20, 2020
Aside from 2017 when he was hurt nearly all of the season, Sebastian Lletget has played at least 20 regular-season games for LA every year he’s been here. He’s a key player and has been under four separate Galaxy managers.
As for breaking through, I think the issue here is Lletget’s versatility has worked against him in putting more goals and assists on the scoresheet for the Galaxy. Whereas with the U.S. Men’s National Team, he plays a more purely attacking role, the Galaxy’s shortcomings in midfield over the years has led to him being moved all over the place and he has often played a box-to-box role which is likely not his best role.
Lletget has been quietly steady throughout his MLS tenure, and can he reach an MLS All-Star/Best XI level in 2020? If he stays healthy, gets in a groove, puts up some more goals and assists and maybe most important, plays on a Galaxy team that actually plays as a coherent team? He definitely has the potential to do it.
What do you think? Agree or disagree with these answers? Let’s chat in the comments below!