Galaxy Insider Player Ratings: Michael Stephens

Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano reviews the season for energetic midfielder

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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.

MICHAEL STEPHENS

AGE: 23

POSITION: Midfielder

APPEARANCES IN ALL OFFICIAL COMPETITIONS: GP: 33 [5 in CONCACAF Champions League, 4 in MLS Cup Playoffs, 1 in U.S. Open Cup], MIN: 1137, G: 2 [Both in CCL], A: 2

RESERVE LEAGUE APPEARANCES: GP: 9, MIN: 761, G: 1, A: 3

CCL Highlights: Metapan vs Galaxy

HIGHLIGHTS: Stephens served as a late “energy” substitute for the Galaxy during MLS competition, but during LA’s 2012/2013 CONCACAF Champions League campaign, he was the leader of LA’s young charges. From his spot in the center of midfield, Stephens was able to manage the game while shutting down attacks and contributing to LA’s own forays forward. His finest performance came during LA’s match against Isidro Metapán in El Salvador on Oct. 25. After seeing a goal negated because of an offside call in the first half, Stephens rebounded to score the game-winning-goal in LA’s 3-2 victory over the Salvadorans.

LOWLIGHTS:  The 23-year-old midfielder remains a player in transition as he searches for greater playing time with the Galaxy. Although he made a total of 33 appearances across all competitions; he made just 10 starts during the 2012 calendar year.  With the club in transition, expect that number to grow next season.

HIS THOUGHTS: “I think I was better than last year. Last year, I played a lot more, but this year when I was out there, I was a lot more confident and did a better job in the limited opportunities that I had. Going from this year to next, I’m a lot more confident heading into the next season. “

RATING: THREE STARS
With David Beckham gone and the status of Juninho still a question mark; Stephens is one of the prime contenders for playing time in the midfield in 2013.  As he comes into his own, Stephens composure on the ball and energy going forward could help him become a regular in LA’s starting XI.

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