With just days left in 2022, it’s time we share the results of the LA Galaxy 2022 season awards voting that has taken place throughout the month. We asked for your help in determining some of the honors to be handed out from the 2022 season, and we have the answers. Here are the winners, as voted on by you, the readers!
2022 Breakout Player of the Year
The winner of this one isn't too surprising. Nor is the fact that with 53% of the votes, he just edged past the newly arrived, Riqui Puig who, after just 11 matches, finished with 47% of the vote. Dejan definitely deserves this honor. We may view Puig as the catalyst that sparked the final push to the playoffs, but it was Dejan’s incredible play early on in the 2022 season that kept the team within striking distance, despite some very concerning performances. The only question that remains is just how much playing time with Dejan see in 2023?
2022 Defender of the Year
This is one of those results that's surprising, but not a complete surprise. With 56% of the votes, Julian Araujo was voted your 2022 Defender of the Year! Araujo didn't necessarily have a bad 2022 campaign, but he didn't take the huge leap many had hoped he would after his incredible 2021 season. The other two nominees, Derrick Williams (17%) and Sega Coulibaly (28%) seemed to have split the votes for those not completely sold Araujo, so the winning margins look massive, but it's not that wide of a margin. Araujo will be looking to take even more steps forward in 2023, with the team needing to improve in limiting the early goals, avoiding the late ones, and improving the defense as a whole.
This result is a bit of a surprise for multiple reasons. First, massive props to Samuel Grandsir who received 8% of the votes! While it may not seem like much, snagging anything away from the other two players is a huge win and speaks to just how impressive his 2022 season was despite little to no mention of it. However, this vote was always going to be a battle between Chicharito and Riqui Puig. Which brings us the next surprise. Despite just over 10 matches with his new club, 54% of you think he is worthy of LA Galaxy MVP for 2022. Chicharito finished the voting with 38% which, again, is surprisingly low for a player that has, in all honesty, been the lone bright spot on more than a handful of occasions throughout the 2022 season.
This result almost definitely speaks to the way in which Puig arrived. The team was hovering around the playoff bubble, and it was Puig’s arrival to push them over that edge and not just into the postseason, but in a position to host their first playoff appearance in six years. The best part of it all, is 2023 we will be able to see what Puig can do over the course of 34 matches, with a full off-season under his belt. If 2022 was just the teaser, then get that popcorn ready for the feature presentation.
There you have it! That, officially, wraps up the 2022 campaign for LA Galaxy. Not at all the ending the team, nor fans, would have wanted, but there is still plenty to be positive about. The foundation for the future is slowly being built, while still maintaining enough talent to compete in an increasingly difficult Western Conference. Now, the team needs to take that next step and get back to the MLS Cup Finals, at the very least.
Thank you so much for all your support in 2022, from everyone here at LAG Confidential, Have a happy and safe New Years! See you in 2023!