CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy’s 2016 was a tumultuous one filled with brilliant goals and frustrating moments for Bruce Arena’s men, ultimately ending in a penalty kick shootout defeat in the Western Conference Semifinals.
As we look back on 2016, LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano will provide a review of each position. The LA Galaxy Insider Year in Review will begin with goalkeepers and then move up the field to defenders, midfielders, and forwards. Several select players will also have their own review, based on the number of appearances made.
GP: 37 (31 in MLS regular season, three in MLS Cup Playoffs, two in U.S. Open Cup, one CONCACAF Champions League)
GS: 33 (29 in MLS regular season, three in MLS Cup Playoffs, one in U.S. Open Cup)
G: 1 (in MLS regular season)
A: 1 (in MLS regular season)
Daniel Steres enjoyed a 2016 season that he admitted was beyond his wildest dreams.
The former Galaxy II captain was signed in the offseason as needed depth for Bruce Arena’s squad and quickly secured a starting role after other key contributors endured early injuries. Entrusted with a starting position at the start of the year, Steres repaid Arena’s faith by remaining a consistent contributor throughout the year.
The 26-year-old was a natural partner for Belgian central defender Jelle Van Damme as his ability to find himself in the right positions complimented the adventurous style of the Belgian. In turn, VaN Damme provided a leadership presence that appeared to get the most out of the former Galaxy II captain.
Steres also offered a valuable offensive element on set pieces and ended the year with a goal (in the season opener vs. D.C. United in March) and an assist. The central defender finished the season as the club leader in minutes played, appearances and starts across all competitions.
Daniel Steres’ dream season was not without its pitfalls.
Steres secured the position at the start of the year, but then suffered his lowest moment when he made an errant clearance against the Colorado Rapids that resulted in a Marco Pappa goal and a 1-0 defeat for Los Angeles in early March. The moment remained in Steres’ memory throughout the season as he sought to maintain his stranglehold on the starting center back position.
Although the defender recovered from Colorado miscue, he wasn’t immune to lapses like when Jordan Morris’ beat Steres to put Seattle ahead in their decisive 5-2 victory in September. Despite the occasional misstep, Steres put himself in strong stead heading into next season.
Daniel Steres figures to be a front-runner to remain in the LA Galaxy starting XI heading into 2017, but uncertainly is abound with the club’s coaching change.
Steres fit perfectly into Bruce Arena’s defensive system last season, but whether he’ll continue to be a starter or potentially cede his position to a more experienced hand next year will be up to the new coaches’ discretion. However, regardless of where he finds himself on the depth chart in 2016, he showcased his capabilities to be a consistent starter in Major League Soccer.
No matter who serves as the head coach of the Galaxy next season, the new manager will be able to depend on the talented defender if he’s called upon again.