The LA Galaxy season may be over, but LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano will spend the next few weeks offering an evaluation of each member of the squad. VIEW CALENDAR
The LA Galaxy Player Ratings will begin with players who appeared in the least number of games this season starting with goalkeeper Brian Rowe and concluding with Sean Franklin who played in all 34 of the club’s regular season games. There will also be an evaluation of head coach and general manager Bruce Arena and his moves at the conclusion of the list.
We will have two to three evaluations per day and focus on what each player did well, what they need to improve on ahead of next season as well as a select thought from the player on their performance and a rating from myself out of four stars.
APPEARANCES IN ALL OFFICIAL COMPETITIONS: GP: 33 [6 in MLS Cup Playoffs, 3 in CONCACAF Champions League], MIN: 2758, G: 8 [1 in CCL], A: 10 [1 in Playoffs]
RESERVE LEAGUE APPEARANCES: None
HIGHLIGHTS: Throughout his illustrious career, David Beckham was world-renown for his ability to serve the ball and provide stunning assists, but 2012 was filled with as many highlight-reel goals as assists. Beckham scored eight goals during 2012, the highest total for his six year tenure with the Galaxy. But Beckham’s virtuoso performance came on July 14 as he tallied two goals and an assist in LA’s 5-3 win over the Portland Timbers at JELD-WEN Field. The match included one of his trademark curling free kick strikes, but Beckham scored a goal that in this writer’s opinion is finest goal of his time in MLS. In the 19th minute, Beckham launched a stunning blast from 35-yards-out that curled past troy Perkins and into the side netting, beginning a stretch t saw his team score four goals in just nine minute, sending LA on their way to an impressive victory. True to his ability to rise to the occasion in important matches, Beckham put in yet another remarkable performance during LA’s MLS Cup victory over the Houston Dynamo as he bossed the midfield during the Galaxy’s 3-1 win. However, Beckham’s influence wasn’t purely on the field as he took a special interest in mentoring LA’s Jose Villarreal during his memorable rookie season.
LOWLIGHTS: The year ended perfectly with Beckham lifting his second straight MLS Cup, but the midfielder was not immune to LA’s early season downswing. Perhaps his worst showing came during LA’s 3-1 defeat to the New England Revolution on March 31 as he struggled mightily, ultimately resulting in his substitution at halftime. Later in the season, Beckham was suspended one-game, in addition to his yellow card accumulation, during LA’s June 30 at the San Jose Earthquakes. As the season came to a close, Beckham missed three of the last six matches with nagging ankle injuries. Although not a true lowlight, the Galaxy announced on Nov. 19 that 2012 would be Beckham’s final season with the club.
HIS THOUGHTS: “I think I’ve matured even more so as a player. I think as you get older and you play more years in this game, your mind gets a bit quicker to be honest. The legs might be a little bit slower than they were when I was 21 years old, but I’ve always said it, I’ve never been a quick player, speed and pace has never been an issue for me in my game. But I think with your mind, you become more clever. You look at players like Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes and they’re playing in a top league at their age and they adjust to it. I think you tend to do that over the years when you become older.” – Beckham on Nov. 29 before MLS Cup talking about his growth as a player and a person during his time in MLS.
RATING: FOUR STARS
There were good moments, bad moments and great moments during David Beckham’s tenure with the LA Galaxy, but the English midfielder closed his tenure with the Galaxy with one of his finest seasons with the club. The 37-year-old played an integral role in LA’s back-to-back tiles and completed 2012 with his highest goal total and the third highest assist total of his six-year tenure in the U.S. But ultimately, Beckham will be remembered not just for his spectacular set pieces and brilliant assists, but his ability to lead the Galaxy to back-to-back titles on the field while serving as a mentor to the club’s youngest players off of it. What’s next for Beckham? The English midfielder has repeatedly stated that he will decide his future after the end of the holiday season.
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com