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LA Galaxy 2022 Player Postmortem: Adam Saldaña

Ankle injury slowed defensive midfielder.

Leagues Cup Showcase - Club Deportiva Guadalajara v Los Angeles Galaxy Photo by Dave Bernal/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Adam Saldaña returned for his second season as an LA Galaxy first team player in 2022, after a 2021 season in which he got a surprise amount of playing time as a defensive midfielder early in the season.

But 2022 was somewhat frustrating for the 20-year-old, as an ankle injury slowed him for the first half of the season. As a result, he didn’t even see action in a competitive setting until mid-June, and his time in MLS this year was quite brief.

Here are Saldaña’s competitive stats with the first team in 2022:

Adam Saldaña LA Galaxy 2022 Statistics

2022 Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
2022 Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
Regular Season 1 0 9 0 0 0 0 0 0
U.S. Open Cup 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Playoffs 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 1 0 9 0 0 0 0 0 0

Saldaña’s only competitive action with the first team came in early August, when he came off the bench in the horrible road loss at Sporting Kansas City. With nine minutes of action, what can we take from that? Not much, especially when he played more than 600 minutes the year before.

Still, he didn’t stay parked on the bench over the second half of the year, instead making 15 appearances for LA Galaxy II in the USL Championship. After coming off the bench and getting his legs back, Saldaña was starting regularly by mid-August in the second tier. So it appears he was able to come back from the ankle injury, regularly putting in 90 minutes down the stretch.

Will Saldaña be back in 2023? We’ll see. The path to a young midfielder getting first team playing time got much longer with the additions of Gaston Brugman and Riqui Puig. Puig and Saldaña play different roles and have different strengths, but Brugman pretty much covers Saldaña’s role and has much more experience at it. Obviously they can’t play 90s in every competition all season long, but while Greg Vanney showed a lot of trust in him in the early part of 2021, I’m not sure if he’ll be coming back next season or not. If not, I think he can find a new spot at a USL team in an instant, and who knows, maybe another MLS team would see something to bring him in. But time will tell what the future holds for him.

Coming back from a bad injury was the big victory for Saldaña in 2022, but the first team action was very limited and that’s unfortunate for him. We’ll see what happens for him from here, with the Galaxy or elsewhere.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.