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LA Galaxy 2022 Player Postmortem: Jonathan Klinsmann

No. 2 was designated cup ‘keeper.

Sacramento Republic FC v LA Galaxy Photo by Jenny Chuang/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Jonathan Klinsmann returned for his third season with the LA Galaxy, and his second full one at the club, in 2022. The goalkeeper retained his status as the backup, again this year to Jonathan Bond, and this year, his game action came exclusively outside of MLS competition.

In the end, Klinsmann was LA’s cup goalkeeper this year, and held it down pretty well in his action in the U.S. Open Cup, four games total.

Here are Klinsmann’s competitive stats in 2022:

Jonathan Klinsmann LA Galaxy 2022 Statistics

2022 Games Played Games Started Minutes Saves Goals Allowed GAA Shutouts Win % Save % Yellow Cards Red Cards
2022 Games Played Games Started Minutes Saves Goals Allowed GAA Shutouts Win % Save % Yellow Cards Red Cards
Regular Season 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
U.S. Open Cup 4 4 360 7 5 1.25 1 75 58 0 0
Playoffs 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 4 4 360 7 5 1.25 1 75 58 0 0

Credit to Greg Vanney for going with Klinsmann in the Open Cup and, at least as far as they went, sticking with him, including the El Trafico showdown against LAFC where LA crushed their crosstown rival again. The Galaxy have a firm grip on the rivalry at Dignity Health Sports Park, and a 3-1 win over the rival is a nice feather in the cap, especially for a guy in an important position who doesn’t see a lot of playing time. The other action he got this year was the start in the Leagues Cup showcase friendly against Chivas, a 2-0 Galaxy win, so even though it was a friendly, he put in a rousing showing for a big night in that one, too.

The four competitive games this year matches his season high since joining the Galaxy, in 2020. On the bright side, his stats in many categories were best-yet since joining the club. The outlier was the save percentage, with Klinsmann posting his lowest number to date. To be fair, I think you can put some stock in save percentage — good goalkeepers tend to have consistently high save percentages, poor ones tend to have low ones — but the sample size is small and so I’m not sure I would make any sweeping generalizations of Klinsmann from an (admittedly poor) 58 percent save percentage. In other words, if you see only a handful of shots and maybe a few are absolute unstoppable bangers, that’s going to impact your save percentage, and it may not be fully representative of the player’s ability.

At the same time, I don’t know if what we saw from Klinsmann this year would indicate he deserves to be starting ahead of Bond. I think he’s a strong No. 2, probably a little bit underrated in that category, and if Bond were to be unavailable, I think Klinsmann would do pretty well in his place. But I don’t know if I would say he really looks like he can push Bond for No. 1.

Now 25, we’ll see if Klinsmann returns for a fourth season with the Galaxy in 2023. I honestly don’t know if the club will stand pat with their top two GKs or look to make a change to either or both spots this offseason, so we’ll see. I think he’ll be able to find a club pretty easily if he doesn’t return, and if MLS or USL doesn’t work out, he can always return to Europe. But I think he’s in a decent spot here, and unless he’s fuming over not being the starter, the stability is pretty decent for a role that’s probably the most thankless on a team’s roster. We’ll see what the future brings for Klinsmann.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.