LA Galaxy Insider Year in Review: Laurent Courtois
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: 10 (7 in MLS and three in CONCACAF Champions League); GS: 3 (3 in CCL); G: 2 (Both in CCL); A: 1 (in MLS)
APPEARANCES IN GUINNESS INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONS CUP: GP: 2
RESERVE LEAGUE APPEARANCES: GP: 6, GS: 5, G: 0, A: 2
HIGHLIGHTS: Acquired by the LA Galaxy on July 19, Courtois integrated almost immediately with his new club after spending a little over two seasons with Chivas USA. The 35-year-old Frenchman was predominantly used as a late game substitute for the Galaxy and tallied just a single assist in his seven league appearances, though that did come in the 5-0 win over his former club on October 6. Where Courtois was truly given a chance to shine was in the CONCACAF Champions League as he started all three of his appearances in the competition and tallied a pair of goals. Courtois’ finest performance came during LA’s group-clinching road victory over C.S. Cartaginés when he tallied a masterful goal to help the Galaxy to an overwhelming win.
CHALLENGES: Consistent minutes eluded Courtois throughout the season with both Chivas USA and the Galaxy. Over the course of his stint with the Galaxy, Courtois made just seven league appearances all coming as a second half substitute. At times, Courtois was able to provide an initial boost to the Galaxy once he came on, but too often the last pass was lacking to truly create scoring opportunities. Like the rest of his teammates, Courtois was unable to create a spark in LA’s defeat to Real Salt Lake that saw them crash out of the 2013 MLS Cup Playoffs.
HIS THOUGHTS: “I think that I did okay when they asked me to step on the field. I wish that I was more involved especially [at the end of the season] because of the excitement of the last game. I definitely think that I can be useful for the guys and hopefully everyone sees it that way. The guys are a fantastic group and the team is obviously really nice. You want to be part of groups like this.”
OVERVIEW: The veteran French midfielder made a habit of providing a spark off the bench for the Galaxy; however, whether or not he returns to LA remains up in the air. Courtois has stated that he’d like to continue with the Galaxy and prolong his professional career, but it will likely come down to a decision to LA’s desire to keep him around. At 35, Courtois will be predominantly used as a second half substitute, but during his brief time with the Galaxy, he showed that he could still produce at a high level. With head coach and general manager Bruce Arena is expected to bring in new blood in 2014, Courtois could serve as an established veteran off the bench.
POLL: How would you rate Laurent Courtois’ 2013 season?
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com