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LA Galaxy 2021 Player Postmortem: Jonathan Klinsmann

Backup GK still got a few games for LA.

MLS: Houston Dynamo at LA Galaxy Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

After being a surprise addition to the LA Galaxy roster late in the 2020 campaign, goalkeeper Jonathan Klinsmann was back for his first full season in 2021 and primarily served as the backup to Jonathan Bond.

I’m guessing they went by “Klinsy” and “Bondy” in training to differentiate between themselves, and I think all in all, Bond played at a pretty high level throughout the season and seemed like the right call as the No. 1. Still, Klinsmann got a few games at first team level to stay sharp this year.

Klinsmann posted a 1-1-1 record in his three starts, and while the sample size was limited, his numbers were improvements compared to his stats in limited time in 2020.

Here are Klinsmann’s MLS stats in 2021:

Jonathan Klinsmann 2021 LA Galaxy Statistics

2021 Games Played Games Started Minutes Saves Goals Allowed GAA Shutouts Win % Save % Yellow Cards Red Cards
2021 Games Played Games Started Minutes Saves Goals Allowed GAA Shutouts Win % Save % Yellow Cards Red Cards
MLS 3 3 270 8 4 1.33 1 33.3 66.7 0 0

Greg Vanney seemed to indicate that if the Galaxy had played in multiple competitions this year, Klinsmann may have been the first choice in one of those. But since the COVID-affected year and LA’s past performances meant it was just regular season league play, he wanted Klinsmann to get some playing time in the course of the campaign. In addition to his three games with the first team, he also played three games with LA Galaxy II in 2021, so some playing time but not an abundance.

In looking back at his season I found this clip of Klinsmann after his season high, a wonderful performance against Minnesota United in which he made seven saves in a win. As the son of a World Cup-winning superstar, a cynic could say he knows good media training, but I think this was a moment of sheer joy and somewhat surprising emotion right after coming off the field.

I think Klinsmann is rounding into a good backup goalkeeper and at 24, we’ll see if he can continue to grow and take a step up to compete for a starting spot in the future. He’s under contract for 2022, and at the moment I expect him to be the backup behind Bond, but you never know what will happen. I’m not sure if he’s truly ready to be a starter, but even in limited minutes, there seems to be some budding promise in Jonathan Klinsmann’s game.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.