LA Galaxy head coach Greg Vanney couldn't say enough good things about recent signing midfielder Mark Delgado. The 26-year-old MLS veteran not only returns to his Southern California roots, but reunites with Vanney, who he's spent time with from the first day he entered the league.
Galaxy recently acquired Delgado from Toronto FC via trade, however it is far from the first time the midfielder will play under Vanney. The Galaxy head coach was an assistant when Delgado first arrived in the league with Chivas USA, and the two linked up again in Toronto when Vanney was at the helm of TFC. When speaking on the midfielder, Vanney made it clear this was a player that he viewed as vastly under appreciated.
“He does so many little things that don't necessarily show up on the scoreline, but they really help team in ways that are immeasurable,” Vanney told reporters on Thursday.
“We have the 100 top performances physically over the course of a season, we can look at those, Marky is the only player that has 10-12 games where he's in the top 100 in the season. He just has an incredible capacity and engine for work,” Vanney said.
While the majority of last year’s squad return again for the 2022 campaign, one area that many felt needed to be addressed was midfield. The arrival of Delgado seems to be one of those additions that can cover a multitude of weak spots with his ability to not only defend, but help out in attack as well.
“His ability to transition from attack to defending, and defending to attacking I think is as good as anyone in the league. It’s never a moment where he loses time, he's always ahead of the game. He’s super aware. A guy that recognizes when a space is empty it needs to be filled” Vanney gushed.
Delgado himself revealed it was his time in Toronto under Vanney where he learned to play selflessly and focus more on setting up those around him and adopting a more simplistic approach to his play style.
“I’d say my time in Toronto with Greg. I was a young player, but the dribbling and special stuff that give you the highlights just wasn't working out for me. I reviewed and studied video from training and the games, and found that I could play one-touch. It speeds up the play, speeds up things to give my teammates more time. It unbalances the opponent most of the time. It’s gotten me far so, here I am, with Greg again, because it seems like it’s working so I'm glad to be here.”
The preseason will be an important time to get all of the new additions settled into the team, and begin building the chemistry needed to get the best out of everyone on the pitch. Adding talented, and young, veterans of the league is huge in the sense that it eliminates one aspect of being on a new team. Delgado already knows how teams play in the MLS, all he needs to do now is build that connection with his new teammates, and he could be on track for an explosive 2022.
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