New LA Galaxy head coach Greg Vanney spoke to reporters Monday after the first day of the 2021 preseason, and he made it clear the club is shopping hard for players ahead of the coming season.
Vanney noted that at present, LA’s roster trends to either quite veteran players or very young guys, some barely starting their careers.
“As far as where we are in need, we have a lot of opportunity to continue to add to our group. When I look at our group now we have some really veteran players and we have some really young players and we need to fill this space in the middle, both positionally but also just in terms of our roster, in terms of age and experience and where people are in their career, and different things,” Vanney explained.
While transfer news has been quiet for the club lately, Vanney said several deals are close to completion.
“We want to build that side of things out as well so we’re pushing forward and hopefully some things can get done here soon and announced. They’re right on the edge where we just need to tip them over the edge, whatever that last piece is. Nothing is really easy in this moment, to get players signed, visas, all these kinds of things are happening, everything is slow,” he said.
So how many players will the Galaxy look to add? The number may surprise you.
“I think we are between six and eight players left to continue to add to this group,” Vanney said. “You know some of the younger players are getting a lot of experience with us and training, but we want them to play games, that won’t always be with us, so some will continue to get their games at G2.”
The big change, perhaps, is that Vanney says the Galaxy are trying to add a group of players who they envision both being in their peak and staying at the club for a sustained period.
“Like I said, we still want to add to that veteran core that’s kind of in their 20s, probably mid 20s, with 3,4,5,6,7 years [experience] so we can build some longevity with this group. And once we lay down the foundation we have a group of guys that hopefully can be here for a while.
“Obviously positionally and the qualities that we’re looking for, we’re being very specific, that’s part of why this process is taking a little bit of time. It’s not just any opportunity that shows up, we’re looking for very specific qualities to fit into the group that we believe can help take us to the level that we need to be at. So all of those targets are there, where we’re making progress with all of them and it’s just like I said it’s getting getting over the final hurdles and getting guys signed and here, and into training so that they can start integrating together as a group,” he added.
Of course, the one international player the Galaxy have been most connected to this offseason is Cristian Pavón, with Vanney confirming the Galaxy have an offer out for him with Boca Juniors. While Boca seem like they might be willing to dig in and make the transfer saga truly protracted, Vanney was confident a deal could be reached soon.
“You know I feel like, again it’s one of those situations that’s sitting there on the edge, and it just needs to get tipped over the edge, whatever that piece of in an agreement or in a deal, whatever that thing is they will tip it over the edge and we can get moving forward. It feels like it’s right there and it’s just been sitting there for a week or so,” he said.
As for one of the complicating factors involved in a Pavón transfer, allegations that the player sexually abused a woman in Argentina that are currently being investigated, Vanney somewhat surprisingly did not exonerate Pavón, instead saying he didn’t really know what to make of it.
“I don’t know the facts of the situation so I don’t have an opinion,” Vanney said. “It’s a situation that, you know, whoever’s involved or as they figure out what went on or what the accusations are, they’ll drive. I don’t have any opinion until I actually know facts and where we’re at. I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things about the young man so I don’t have any opinion on the situation, we’ll see where it goes.”
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