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LA Galaxy 2022 Player Postmortem: Kelvin Leerdam

Veteran got most of his minutes early on in season.

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

Kelvin Leerdam was signed by the LA Galaxy ahead of the 2022 season, the right back well known in his stint with the Seattle Sounders, winning the MLS Cup in 2019. As a veteran option to back up Julian Araujo, it was an intriguing move.

31 at the start of the season, Leerdam in fact did seem to push Araujo at the start of the season, the Surinamese international starting three of the first seven league games of the campaign and getting a runout in the U.S. Open Cup as well.

Here are Leerdam’s competitive stats with the Galaxy in 2022:

Kelvin Leerdam 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 10 5 475 0 1 1 1 1 0
U.S. Open Cup 3 1 105 0 0 0 0 0 0
Playoffs 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 13 6 580 0 1 1 1 1 0

After the Open Cup run ended, Leerdam’s playing time mostly dried up, however. He started and played the first half against Sporting Kansas City in early August, and then never played again for LA in 2022.

The advanced stats support that turn of events. Leerdam’s pass completion rate among fullbacks in comparable leagues is extremely elite. Obviously you have to mix it up, but it appears most of those passes were backwards or sideways, however. Defensively, he was middling to poor, per, and it’s not like he’s an attacking fullback who can make up for his shortcomings with great offensive play, as the numbers here also indicate.

So it was a pretty rough campaign for him, and while he’s under contract for 2023, I’m not sure he should figure to play a big role next season. I think there’s a solid chance Araujo will depart in January, and having a right back who can soak up the minutes is good, but should Leerdam be a regular starter in MLS at this point? He didn’t play a ton this year but the numbers say no.

There is, of course, the chance that he just had a down season, and a strong offseason program and another go-round under Greg Vanney could mean he’s better in 2023. That’s certainly possible, but if LA are aiming to be title contenders next season, I think Leerdam is a depth option at absolute best.

So we’ll see what happens. Kelvin Leerdam played a role, and players like him, experienced veterans who can get spot starts, remain pretty important. But I don’t know if he really set himself apart in a season in which most of the team took a collective step forward together.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.