LA Galaxy Insider Year in Review: Oscar Sorto
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 FOR THE GALAXY: GP: 2; GS: 2 (Both in the CONCACAF Champions League)
RESERVE LEAGUE APPEARANCES: GP: 8; GS: 8
HIGHLIGHTS: The 2013 season was always going to be a learning experience for the teenage defender, but through his confident performances in training and MLS Reserve League games, he earned a place on U.S. squad for the Under-20 World Cup in Turkey. At the World Cup, Sorto made a pair of appearances for head coach Tab Ramos’ side including a start in their final group stage match against Ghana. Once Sorto returned from Turkey, he continued to progress and was given the start in each of LA’s CONCACAF Champions League campaign road games against C.S. Cartaginés and Isidro Metapán. Sorto was particularly effective during the 3-0 victory in Costa Rica as he helped lock down the right side of defense during his 90 minute shift.
CHALLENGES: Although the defender blossomed into a starter during the Americans’ U-20 World Cup campaign, he nearly did not make the squad after picking up an ankle injury that he hastily recovered from in time for the tournament. However, Sorto’s most difficult moment of the year came during the Galaxy’s 4-0 CONCACAF Champions League finale defeat against Isidro Metapán. In his second start for LA, Sorto was frequently targeted by the Salvadorian side as they jumped on the Galaxy with four goals in the first half from Nicolas Muñoz. After LA fell behind early, Sorto was pulled at halftime as Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena brought on midfielder Robbie Rogers to add some pep to the team’s stagnant attack.
HIS THOUGHTS: “I feel that I progressed a lot [this season] and the coaches have told me that I’ve done well. I’m happy that I did well in CONCACAF Champions League because I’ve learned the style of [professional soccer]. Hopefully, next year, I can debut at home. This year, [the coaches] told me that my discipline has improved and I want to continue to improve and show the coaches that I’m prepared [to play].”
OVERVIEW: Next season will be an important year for Sorto’s fledgling career as he will likely be entrusted with greater responsibility during the Galaxy’s 2014 campaign. Over the past season, the defender showed signs of becoming the composed defender with a tendency to press forward that dominated at the Academy ranks. However, the teenager also displayed the types of struggles that are common among young players as he dealt with the increased pace and physicality of the professional game. For Sorto to earn minutes with the first team in 2014, he’ll not only need to improve his physical attributes but also defensive awareness as he looks to develop into a defender of the future for LA. If Sorto can refine his skills defensively, he may carve out a consistent spot in LA’s game day roster.
POLL: Rate the performance of Oscar Sorto in 2013 below.
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com