Galaxy Insider Player Ratings: Christian Wilhelmsson

Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano reviews the season for the Swedish midfielder

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.

CHRISTIAN WILHELMSSON

AGE: 33

POSITION: Midfielder

APPEARANCES IN ALL OFFICIAL COMPETITIONS: GP: 9 [5 in Regular Season, 4 in Playoffs], MIN: 547, G: 1, A: 1 [in MLS Cup Playoffs]

RESERVE LEAGUE APPEARANCES: GP: 2, MIN: 115, G: 0, A: 0

WATCH: Wilhelmsson gets assist on Keane's goal

HIGHLIGHTS: From the moment that he arrived at The Home Depot Center, Wilhelmsson provided the Galaxy with a genuine threat on the flanks as his speed and ball skills caused considerable problems for opposing defenses.  It didn’t take long for “Chippen” to find the scoresheet either as he scored his first MLS goal in his debut against the Colorado Rapids on Sept. 14. Wilhelmsson wasn’t purely a threat on offense as his speed made it possible from him to cover incredible amounts of ground on defense as he revealed during the First Leg of the Western Conference Championship against Seattle Sounders FC.

LOWLIGHTS: After scoring in his debut, Wilhelmsson’s luck took a turn for the worse as he was limited four weeks with a left calf strain that caused him to miss LA’s Sept. 30 match in Colorado.  However, when he returned to the field, the final touch eluded the talented Swedish midfielder, particularly in the postseason. Whether it was his multiple opportunities in the latter stages of the second leg in San Jose, the first leg against the Sounders or his struggles during MLS Cup, the Swede was able to consistently get into dangerous positions, but unable to find the back of the net.  Wilhelmsson came closest to scoring in the first leg against Seattle as he poked a deflection past ‘keeper Michael Gspurning, only to see his shot tapped over the line by Robbie Keane, who claimed the goal.

HIS THOUGHTS: “[My Confidence is] still growing. It's difficult to find the confidence and get the game I want to play. ...To get the football going and get the level I want to play, it's not been what I want, but I still feel it's a good way. It gets better and better.” – Wilhelmsson speaking prior to MLS Cup on November 29.

RATING:TWO STARS. 
Wilhelmsson’s brief stint with the Galaxy showcased how soccer is a game of inches. For all his defense-stretching speed and guile going forward, if a few of his many dangerous shots were an inch to the left or the right, we might remember the extremely-talented Swede for his superb finishing ability rather than his missed opportunities.  During his end of the season teleconference earlier in the month, head coach and general manager Bruce Arena stated that he did not expect Wilhelmsson back in 2013, effectively ending his time with LA.

Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com