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LA Galaxy 2021 Player Postmortem: Rayan Raveloson

Newcomer hit the ground running upon arrival.

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

Rayan Raveloson was a central midfielder who almost immediately slotted in as an emergency center back. And he carried the LA Galaxy’s attack for several games when Chicharito was out hurt. Huh?

Yes, Raveloson hit the ground running once he joined the Galaxy midseason, and he chipped in through ways we probably didn’t expect. Arriving as part of the France-based contingent, Raveloson arrived last, but arguably had the biggest impact among those newcomers for LA.

Raveloson mostly played as a defensive midfielder, meant to shield Jonathan dos Santos, after arriving, but as mentioned, he almost immediately went into the lineup as an emergency center back for a few games while Derrick Williams was suspended. It wasn’t a wholly unfamiliar role for the Malagasy international, who also filled in at that spot for Troyes on a number of occasions.

But what really caught the eye was his surprise goalscoring exploits. He’s scored a goal or two along the way throughout his career, but the mostly-midfielder was not billed a scorer. After scoring in four of his first six games, however, it looked like he may have more scoring chops than expected. And while the goals pretty much dried up after that, he looks like a player with a nose for goal who LA should try and get looks in the future.

Here are Raveloson’s stats with the Galaxy in 2021:

Rayan Raveloson 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 22 22 1,931 5 1 40 14 2 0

In looking at Raveloson’s advanced stats on, his defensive stats compared to other midfielders are average to slightly above average, but he was a standout in terms of scoring, passing and dribbling in particular. I don’t want to conclude that this guy should be playing as a striker from now on, and it will be interesting to see if he can score regularly in the future, but I think the thought was he would be a defensive-minded midfielder who locked down his spot, he seems to be tailored more of a two-way or even attack-minded mid in MLS, and I’m not sure how he should or will be deployed moving forward.

(You can also find Raveloson’s advanced stats on his page).

With dos Santos gone, it may work out the best for Raveloson, as he can be a two-way midfielder that may fit the Galaxy better than dos Santos’ deep-lying playmaker style did in the past couple years. Presumably, Raveloson can pick his spots as a two-way mid who does have some defensive chops, but still be able to push ahead and hopefully contribute in attack as a tertiary scoring option.

At 25 (celebrating his birthday on Sunday), he seems like a player who can be a building block that Greg Vanney was seeking in 2021. While he started red-hot and then fizzled, so did the rest of the Galaxy down the stretch, and if they can get some key upgrades in a few spots, hopefully they won’t hit a wall again in 2022. While his first partial-season was certainly uneven, the highs were high with Raveloson. If he can return to that form in 2022 then he — and the Galaxy — could be in line for a very good season, indeed. If not? Then the player who can do a little bit of everything will remain an enigma.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.