LA Galaxy Insider Year in Review: Hector Jimenez
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: 31 (26 in MLS regular season, three in CONCACAF Champions League, one in U.S. Open Cup, and one in MLS Cup Playoffs); GS: 17 (14 in MLS regular season, two in CONCACAF Champions League, and one in U.S. Open Cup) G: 3 (All in MLS regular season); A: 4 (All in MLS regular season)
APPERANCES IN GUINNESS INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONS CUP: GP: 3
APPEARANCES IN MLS RESERVE LEAGUE: GP: 5; GP: 4; G: 3; A: 3
HIGHLIGHTS: The 2013 season was a banner year for midfielder Hector Jimenez. The 25-year-old set career-highs in appearances (31 in all competitions), starts (17 in all competitions), goals, and assists (three and four respectively in all competitions). Jimenez increased his contributions during the LA Galaxy’s MLS campaign as he became a bigger part of the club’s attack in 2013. The midfielder’s most dangerous performance came during LA’s 2-0 victory over FC Dallas on July 7 as he tallied his third goal of the year. During the Galaxy’s congested league schedule in July and August, Jimenez was a regular in Bruce Arena’s starting lineup as he started seven of LA’s nine matches in the two month span. Jimenez’s last major contribution of the year came during the Galaxy’s final regular season game as he assisted on Robbie Keane’s game-tying goal in their 1-1 draw with Seattle Sounders FC.
CHALLENGES: Although there were flashes of success throughout the year, Jimenez was unable to lock down a consistent starting spot in his third season with the Galaxy. Jimenez had difficulty sustaining the momentum that would keep him in LA’s first XI for a prolonged period as he only started five straight games once over the course of the entire season, with that stretch coming in July. In the Galaxy’s final game of that month, Jimenez struggled to create offensively in LA’s 2-0 defeat to the Colorado Rapids on July 27 as the team put in one of their poorest performances of the season. Following the defeat, Jimenez was dropped from the starting XI for LA’s 3-3 draw with FC Dallas ending his streak of five straight starts. Jimenez remained a consistent presence throughout the end of the season, but he was left out of the 18-man squad for the second leg of LA’s Western Conference Semifinal against Real Salt Lake. Despite playing well in a 29 minute appearance four days earlier in the first leg, Jimenez was dropped from the squad for the second leg as LA lost 2-0 in extratime to lose the series 2-1 on aggregate.
HIS THOUGHTS: “I thought I could have done a little better, but I’m pleased with my performance this year. I think that I built on the performances of past years and I think it’s important for me to keep getting better each year. I feel like they expect [me to contribute more next year] and I’m going to try and win a regular starting spot and try to contribute more to this team.”
OVERVIEW: The Galaxy have long sought after a speedy winger to provide width to their attack, and while Hector Jimenez has all the tools to become that player, he’ll need to put them together in 2014. In flashes, the midfielder was the type of dangerous wide threat Bruce Arena has long sought after, but too often his service was lacking leading to turnovers in LA’s offensive third. While consistency in the attack will come with further playing opportunities and more experience, Jimenez must also refine his defensive skills which were lacking at times this season. If Jimenez can continue to improve his crossing and tighten up on defense, he should push for a consistent starting spot on the right flank in 2014.
POLL: How would you rate Hector Jimenez’s 2013 season?
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com