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: 0
APPEARANCES IN NASL MATCHES FOR THE CAROLINA RAILHAWKS: GP: 8, GS: 2
RESERVE LEAGUE APPEARANCES: GP: 3, GS: 2
HIGHLIGHTS: A year after making 17 total appearances for the Galaxy as a rookie, Gaul failed to make a single appearance in any official competition for LA in 2013. Aside from three Reserve League appearances, Gaul’s finest moment came in preseason when he tallied two goals in the Galaxy’s 6-2 thumping of Club Tijuana in the final home game of the preseason. Although the season was a frustration, Gaul did experience different types of play as he trained with Swedish Superettan side Hammarby in early July and was then sent on loan—along with midfielder Kenney Walker— to the NASL’s Ft. Lauderdale Strikers later that month before eventually joining the Carolina RailHawks in early August. During his time in Carolina, Gaul made eight appearances and two starts for the NASL side.
CHALLENGES: Aside from his stellar showing against Club Tijuana, Gaul endured a tough second-year season with the Galaxy. A pair of preseason injuries and the emergence of rookie left back Greg Cochrane proved pivotal for Gaul’s downturn as he quickly found himself rendered as the team’s third choice at the position on the club’s depth chart. With Gaul unable to find playing time, other than his appearances in the reserves, the Galaxy searched for other methods to aid in his development by sending him to train with Hammarby and then eventually on loan to the Strikers and the RailHawks. At Carolina, Gaul made just two starts as he played a variety of positions from left back to center back to midfield and was primarily used as a late game substitute.
HIS THOUGHTS: “It was a tough year because obviously bouncing around isn’t something that you want to be doing. You’re going to have good years and bad years, but it’s all about how bounce back. I learned that there are a lot of players that are fighting for spots in the lower leagues and they want to be [in MLS] as much as I do, so when you get your position in MLS, you have to fight for it.”
OVERVIEW: It was a dramatic step back for Bryan Gaul, who I had pegged as a possible Galaxy left back for the future just a year ago. Gaul continues to display the types of attacking traits that make him a threat going forward, but due to his size, his best role figures to be in the defense. For Gaul to get back on track in his third season as a professional, he’ll need to lock down a set position and stick with it rather than bounce around.
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com