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LA Galaxy 2020 player postmortem: David Bingham

The goalkeeper was a true enigma in what looks like his last season in LA.

MLS: LA Galaxy at San Jose Earthquakes Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

It’s kind of wild that David Bingham has been in MLS for 10 seasons in 2020, the most recent three with the LA Galaxy.

Once the San Jose Earthquakes’ goalkeeper of the future, he had to wait four years to get the mantle as the No. 1 there, and after three up-and-down seasons, he moved to the Galaxy, for what was three more seasons of ups and downs.

I’ve always found Bingham to be a tough player to evaluate, beyond being a goalkeeper and the difficulty of non-experts to evaluate the position. I thought he was actually outstanding in 2016 but the Earthquakes were so weak that no one noticed. But I think there’s been a growing body of evidence that Bingham is not an elite goalkeeper in MLS.

But he’s also never played on a contending team in his MLS career. Is the fact that he’s only played on mediocre-to-bad teams distorting the slant on him? Again, I’m saying it’s a real dilemma here.

Here are Bingham’s stats in 2020:

David Bingham 2020 Statistics

2020 Games Played Games Started Minutes Saves Goals Allowed GAA Shutouts Win % Save % Yellow Cards Red Cards
2020 Games Played Games Started Minutes Saves Goals Allowed GAA Shutouts Win % Save % Yellow Cards Red Cards
Regular Season 18 18 1,620 52 35 1.94 3 28 60 3 0

Generally a 60 percent save percentage is not good, and allowing 1.94 goals per game was second-worst in the league among goalkeepers who started at least half the games on the season, worsted only by Daniel Vega’s eyewatering 3.08 goals per game average.

At the same time, the Galaxy’s defense has always been weak while he’s been on the team. Would Bingham have better stats with a good defense in front of him? Yes, he would have substantially better stats with the 2020 Philadelphia Union or 2020 Columbus Crew. Would that be a better reflection of his ability, or would he still make mistakes to let his side down, even if a better defense could improve the overall stats and results?

Again, that I don’t know. Unlike Vega, who was clearly a liability to his team last year and when he was eventually benched the Earthquakes team immediately rebounded, Bingham didn’t stick out like a sore thumb. There were definitely goals where you thought, “I think he could have done better there,” but mistakes were more subtle than blatant.

Still, from all indications, Bingham’s time with the Galaxy appears to be over. First, the club signed Jonathan Klinsmann in the secondary transfer window even though the Galaxy had three goalkeepers already on the roster. Then Guillermo Barros Schelotto benched Bingham in favor of Klinsmann, in an apparent hail mary to save the season. It didn’t work, and Klinsmann’s stats weren’t especially good, but there was a feeling of fresh blood invigorating the position for LA, even if the results weren’t there.

While the club said they were negotiating with both Bingham and Klinsmann this offseason — a puzzling announcement — they appear to have chosen the younger Klinsmann and added a new name in Jonathan Bond from West Brom, and that means, surely, that Bingham is done with the Galaxy.

He’s 31 now, and in goalkeeper years he still has several years ahead of him to play, potentially, but he hasn’t found a new team yet and I don’t know what the market looks like, honestly. As you can probably tell from this whole post, I think Bingham was dealt a raw deal in having to play behind poor defenses at two clubs over six years, but I think unlike a Dan Kennedy at Chivas USA, or a Stefan Frei at Toronto FC, he didn’t elevate his play with the Galaxy in spite of playing on a bad team. He just...kind of slogged through. And I don’t know if he was ultimately unlucky or just mediocre.

We’ll see what the future brings for Bingham, and I hope he gets an opportunity at some redemption before he hangs up his gloves.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.