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LA Galaxy 2021 Player Postmortem: Carlos Harvey

Midfielder split his time this campaign in organization.

MLS: Austin FC at LA Galaxy Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Carlos Harvey returned for his third season in the LA Galaxy organization in 2021, the hard-tackling midfielder splitting time between the first team and LA Galaxy II with Greg Vanney leading the MLS side this year.

Harvey is only 21 now, and on the bright side, getting minutes at a level in the USL Championship with Los Dos should help his development, after he was unable to play much in 2020 for the team due to COVID protocols.

Harvey’s MLS minutes came early in the season, playing in four of the first six games of the campaign, including a start in a grinder of a game against Austin FC. From there, he played 17 games, 14 starts, and scored a surprising three goals for Galaxy II the rest of the season.

Here are Harvey’s stats with the first team in 2021:

Carlos Harvey 2021 LA Galaxy Statistics

2021 Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
2021 Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
MLS 4 1 135 0 0 0 0 1 0

Harvey was called up by Panama in June and played in a World Cup qualifier, and then he went to Los Dos for the rest of the season. That pretty clearly seems like Vanney and Co. wanted Harvey to go down a level and get more minutes.

I think it’s safe to say that Harvey wasn’t ready to supplant Jonathan dos Santos or later, Rayan Raveloson in central midfield in 2021. But it did look like Vanney opted for Adam Saldaña and Daniel Aguirre over him on the first team as youngsters with promise in the midfield destroyer role this year.

Some players need more time or fit in the squad better than others, I don’t think there’s any reason to panic about Harvey’s progress. However, as a young player using an international slot, there is a different kind of pressure than for domestic players. Sometimes, teams will hold on to international players longer because it’s more of an investment, but sometimes they’ll let them go sooner.

Still, Harvey is under contract for 2022, so I think he remains in LA’s plans moving forward. He’s certainly got potential, I think he could still emerge to be a regular MLS player, and a Concacaf player could be a decent trade chip around MLS, or even a transfer sale abroad in the future. But I do think next year could be a make-or-break year for his Galaxy tenure, so we’ll see if he makes a jump up and both gets the opportunity to see the field in MLS and is ready for it, or if he may not quite be ready for it. Harvey still remains a promising prospect, but in year four, it will probably be time to make that step up. We’ll see what happens.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.