LA Galaxy Insider Year in Review: Charlie Rugg
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 LA 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 FOR THE GALAXY: GP: 6 (4 in MLS, one in U.S. Open Cup, and one in CONCACAF Champions League); GS: 3 (2 in MLS and one in U.S. Open Cup); G: 1; A: 0
APPEARANCES IN GUINNESS INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONS CUP: GP: 1
RESERVE LEAGUE APPEARANCES: GP: 7, GS: 3, G: 2, A: 0
HIGHLIGHTS: There was no greater moment in Rugg’s rookie season than his first professional goal which helped the Galaxy earn a surprising 2-0 victory away to Real Salt Lake on April 28. With Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan unavailable, Rugg made his first career professional start and calmly placed a Hector Jimenez cross into the back of the net, giving his side a 2-0 lead in just the 13th minute of LA’s win. The 19th overall pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft, Rugg also received the opportunity to hone his skills abroad as he trained for 10 days with Swedish Superettan side Hammarby. Once he returned from Sweden, Rugg was primarily used in the Reserve League as he tallied two goals in seven appearances.
CHALLENGES: Like forward counterpart Chandler Hoffman, Rugg found his way down in the depth chart due to the rise of strikers Jack McBean, Jose Villarreal and Gyasi Zardes. In a fiercely competitive group of young attackers, Rugg often found himself on the outside looking in as he struggled to find consistent minutes in all competitions. Rugg was also unable to build upon the momentum of his performance against RSL as he struggled in LA’s 1-0 defeat to the Houston Dynamo a week later. A left leg injury kept him out of action for most the next two weeks, while he struggled in the Open Cup defeat to Carolina in late May.
HIS THOUGHTS: “The year started off with some injuries which is frustrating, but then I got a couple of opportunities that went pretty well. I never really got momentum throughout the season as it was more injuries than anything. The biggest thing that I took away from the season was that I feel like I’ve grown so much since coming to the Galaxy. I’ll forever be grateful for this year.”
OVERVIEW: The Galaxy will require more consistency from their 2013 first round SuperDraft pick if Rugg is to remain a contender for minutes in the future. Too often during the season, Rugg was unable to create momentum through injuries or inconsistent form, which caused him to fall down the pecking order. For a player that the Galaxy coaching staff pegged as a possible asset out wide, Rugg’s physical attributes helped him become a target forward in Bruce Arena’s system in 2013. Better suited to play as a target alongside one of LA’s many more technical strikers, Rugg may find a greater role in the Galaxy attack if he can refine some of the skills that he showed at times as a rookie.
POLL: How would you rate Charlie Rugg’s 2013?
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com