LA Galaxy Insider Year in Review: Brian Perk
Now that the 2013 season is over, LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano, will look back on the season for every player who was on the club’s roster at some point during the season.
The Galaxy Insider Year in Review will begin with players who made the least number of appearances for the club in all official competitions over the course of the year, starting with Brian Perk and Bryan Gaul, who did not make any appearances for the first team this year, and concluding with midfielder Marcelo Sarvas who played in a team-best 42 games for LA this year. 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 one or two evaluations per day and focus on what each player did well and what challenges they faced in 2013 as well as a select thought from the player on their performance and an overall assessment of their season from myself.
APPEARANCES IN ALL OFFICIAL COMPETITIONS: GP: 0
RESERVE LEAGUE APPEARANCES: GP: 5, W: 3, GA: 6
HIGHLIGHTS: Despite dealing with a series of injuries, Brian Perk continued to show promise in each of his Reserve League appearances. As he has in his past three seasons with the Galaxy, the athletic Perk was able to make up for his smaller stature by displaying a knack for making important—and sometimes acrobatic—saves that kept his team in games. Perhaps the most important highlight for Perk is his ability to stay resilient despite the frustrating season. During the team’s end of the season interviews, the 24-year-old goalkeeper admitted that he felt as healthy as he has in “nearly two years” which only bodes well for his future.
CHALLENGES: Injuries marred Perk’s 2013 season as the goalkeeper suffered three significant injuries over the course of the season, though he was able to return to the field after each. During preseason, Perk was in fine form and appeared to have the inside track to be Carlo Cudicini’s backup to open the season, especially after an extremely confident showing against Club Tijuana in February. But a little more than a month later, he underwent a second sports hernia surgery in as many years. That injury put Perk on the shelf until late April when he served as the backup to Brian Rowe in a 2-0 win at Real Salt Lake before playing the full 90 minutes in a Reserve League match against RSL. As he regained his fitness, Perk was forced out of action again after suffering a concussion in a frightening collision just seven minutes into the Galaxy’s Reserve League win over the Los Angeles Blues. Despite that collision, Perk was back in training just a few weeks later and actually served as Cudicini’s backup for three games at the start of July, displacing Rowe. However, the injury bug again bit Perk as he suffered another concussion on July 14 during a reserve match at JELD-WEN Field against the Portland Timbers. The goalkeeper recovered from his second concussion and returned to training —now donning a rugby cap to protect his head— a month later, but Rowe had regained the role as the club’s second choice goalkeeper, which left Perk on the bench for CONCACAF Champions League and MLS play.
HIS THOUGHTS: “From the beginning of the year, I didn’t see  playing out this way. It’s disappointing, but it is what it is. The only really thing to take from this is to move forward. The little part that I was healthy, I thought that I did well and over the last two months of practice, I thought that I got a lot better in terms of consistency.”
OVERVIEW: It was an undoubtedly frustrating and incomplete season for Perk as injuries limited him at seemingly every turn. With the emergence of Brian Rowe as the club’s first choice backup goalkeeper to starter Jaime Penedo, Perk may have to work himself up from the third goalkeeper position or possibly seek different pastures to further his career. However, the 24-year-old remains a talented young ‘keeper who has the type of skills that could make him a club’s starter if given the opportunity.
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com