U.S. Men's National Team

Zardes to miss rest of MLS regular season with broken foot

Photo by Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports

Photo by Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports

The LA Galaxy could be without one of their star forwards for the rest of the season.

Goal USA is reporting that Galaxy and U.S. Men’s National Team forward Gyasi Zardes suffered a broken foot against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday, which could knock him out for the rest of the MLS season.

(UPDATE: The Galaxy confirmed on Tuesday that Zardes will miss the rest of the MLS regular season due to a broken fifth metatarsal in his right foot.)

Zardes picked up the injury after a tackle from Whitecaps defender Kendall Waston. The 24-year-old still managed to play for 56 minutes before he was taken out of the match. The foot issue led to his omission from the latest USMNT squad for the team’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

LA is already dealing with a few key absences. Steven Gerrard, who was replaced by Zardes in the match against the Whitecaps, is also hurt, as is defender Jelle Van Damme. The Galaxy’s squad could be weakened further if they are successful in offloading Nigel de Jong.

Zardes’ injury is also a big blow to the U.S., who is already missing Clint Dempsey due to an irregular heartbeat. He has become a regular starter for head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, whose depth at forward is a bit thinner without the two strikers.

How will the Galaxy and USMNT cope without Zardes if he misses the rest of the season? Who do you think would be a good replacement?

Share your thoughts below.

  • out with old

    I like this kids energy but this opens his spot for multiple players that are more technically gifted. I have been a hater but wish no injury to anyone. Get well soon


    • bottlcaps

      While Klinsmann will have the opportunity to audition some young or new players, Zardes made a spot for himself on the USMNT because of his tireless work rate. His track backs for defending saved the US on numerous occasions. The fact that he scored goals only made it better. Klinsmann kept him starting not for of his superior technical ability, but his role as a fast, strong player who was a good passer and could play up top or on the right and get back to defend time and time again. You cannot replace his specific role he played for the US and, of course, the Galaxy

      Liked by 1 person

      • Gary Page

        People under estimate Zardes at their peril. I can’t remember the number, but when Zardes was first out an announcer mentioned the Galaxy record with and without Zardes and the difference is amazing. In addition to his tireless work rate, including important help on defense, there is one thing that is often overlooked here. Because of his speed and the danger he presents, he stretches defenses and opens up spaces and channels for other attackers, making it much easier for them to get into space and score.

        Liked by 2 people

    • quozzel

      “Technically gifted” tends to lose out to energy level, athleticism, and iron lungs.

      A guy who’s technically gifted may create a handful of opportunities going one way – usually forward. The iron-lunged athlete will create at least that many going forward – maybe not with style points, but often simply by being bigger, faster, stronger – and will also track back and get numbers on the defensive end.

      As a coach I know which one I prefer. Technicality can be taught and developed; you can’t make a guy a better athlete.

      I can afford one super-technical creator type, usually as the CAM in a 4-4-2, or as the underneath – false “9” in a 4-2-3-1. After that, I need 10 studs around that guy.

      I love Zardes. He needs refinement, but he’s the kind of guy you can punch with Germany or Chile with. He’s good this cycle, but I think he’s the sort of player who peaks closer to 30 and is not nearly as good as he’s going to get.


      • CU24

        This right here is why were so far behind in the development department. A good athlete does not make for a good soccer player. A player can run and run but what does the team benefit from his running if all he does is chase the ball he just lost with his bad touch. Sure, technical ability can be taught but to a certain extent. Dont you think that if technicality can be taught, Zardes’ first touch would have improved drastically since that’s clearly his biggest flaw yet here we are still talking about. Either you have it or you don’t. It is clear to me that Zardes simply doesnt have it, sure he’s a nice player against the ecuador’s and Costa Rica’s of the worlds, but when it comes to facing the elite teams, the Argentina’s the Chile’s and Germany’s, that extra touch he has to take to control the ball is the difference from being on a breakaway to losing the ball and chasing shadows. It is this small margin that separates the good from the great, and I dont want to be just good.


      • quozzel

        Bull. We’re behind in the development department because we’re behind in the development department. Most youth coaches are slapdash and sloppy, or workmanlike at best, and really do not understand how to develop touch and comfort on the ball. There’s far too much teaching kids to be mindless passing machines and that’s about it, and a lot of programs actually seem to discourage players from being comfortable getting on the ball and being creative with it. One touch if possible, two touches if you absolutely gotta, and ball gone. Rinse and repeat ad nauseum. And then all of a sudden you hit that level where your team can’t just robotically pass the ball into the net because everybody’s sound defensively…and hey, you’re looking for that magic in the final third again, only you’ve gone and coached it right out of your kids the prior six years you had them.

        No, no, no.

        Lotta stuff works, but the root is small-sided, interchanging free play. Max out touches. 6v6 max, 5v5 is even better. Love futsal and indoor. When you’re doing conventional drills, don’t use the same balls, but train up touch with weighted balls, skill balls, even old school hacky sacks…if you can dribble it or juggle it, incorporate it, and force kids to concentrate on each individual touch. Robotic repetition only teaches so much, the more attention you force a player to perform by changing stuff up makes what is otherwise a repetitive task a unique problem to be solved is where you’re really developing the skill. Be aware your kids are constantly looking to cheat that learning, to go to the comfortable rhythm, to do the same old same old, to turn their brains off…and way too many coaches are just punching a clock and helping them do exactly that.

        Insist on perfect technique with the fundamental stuff – heading, trapping, passing…but then get out of their way and let the kids play, with an eye for always keeping the game different and interesting and always throwing in a new wrinkle. Think in terms of touches and concentration required for each.

        Wanna know why Latin kids – even the ones that don’t play in regular leagues – tend to have better touch, vision, and creativity than their whiter counterparts? It’s simple – they touch the ball more, and in less structured situations. They knock the ball around with their uncles and brothers and cousins, and they’re just playing, often in irregular settings where they can’t just do the same old same old every game; they’ve gotta think because the surface is weird, the ball is soft or old or small or whatever, they’ve gotta problem-solve to keep the game going. American kids from the burbs, in contrast, tend to robotically do the same stodgy drills 100x until they’re so bored with it they can’t see straight. And so touch, and magic, and vision, and those creative problem-solving abilities, just never develop like they should.

        It amazes me people don’t understand how simple it is, and how wrong so many programs and coaches so often get it.

        No, players do not “either have it or they don’t”. Technical ability can be developed like any other skill a human being can do.


    • Louis Z

      I don’t think he is that fast. What sets him apart is his relentless work rate on both sides of the ball. Thus, making life a little easier for the rest of the team.


  • Lost in Space

    His injury is all the more reason that JK and the coaching staff need to STOP calling up players like Wondo. A player like Green or Gooch should have been called up instead. Players who have the ability to play midfield or forward and actual have the ability to contribute to this team now and in the future.


  • Anthony

    I have to echo what Bottlecaps and Garry Page both said. I am a big fan of Zardes because he provides BALANCE to a USMNT. Is he the most technical player? NO! However, we do not uber talented player that can play false 9 on the wings because our midfield does not have the technical ability to go toe to toe with the truly elite midfields in the world. Zardes provides speedy, defensive coverage on the wings, an outlet with his speed and enough offensive threat to pass, cross or score from the wings (not to the level of of Douglas Costa etc), but with enough speed and strength that a lot opponents cannot cheat on his side of the field by sitting their players up high.

    Some of the best coaches in the world (Mourinho, Simeone, Conte etc) stress defensive work from their midfield FIRST — even from offensive players — or they do not play. Only a few elite coaches (Guardiola, Wenger etc) rely on uber technical players to “out-skill” the opponent.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Louis Z

      I think Guardiola also instill all around defense. His motto is “once you lose the ball, get it back as soon as you can”, it must be discouraging for opponents to have to chase a ghost and once they see the ball they are forced to cough it up again, thus a vicious cycle continues until they break down and allow a goal.


  • KenC

    I love the pressure and effort Zardes brings, but, if Klinsmann wants to play a possession-style game, he needs to have players who can possess and not be a ball-stopper and turn it over.


  • bottlcaps

    I has a fifth metatarsil break in college, it could be a lot worse. I has a full-ride Track and Field scholarship to a Pac-8 school in the early 70’s, but I also played soccer (not collegiality as there were no programs at the school) although at the time they had intramural, which unfortunately was at the same time as the T&F season.

    Now back then, you were not allowed to play any sports outside your scholarship, unless you had approval from the dept or head coach. At the time we had an SOB as out head coach who routinely disallowed all other sports. But before I was a T&F athlete, I was a soccer player since the age of 10 and when I was 16, took up cycling and became, by the time I was in college, an elite in that sport and Held a Category A (cat 1) in the ABLA, which became the USCF and later USACycling. I got into trouble when someone noticed I was in a race in Nor Cal and mentioned it to the head coach, who of course threatened me with a revocation of my ride. I didn’t know if the threat was hollow, but I was careful not to race in Nor Cal after that. But during my second season, I played in a pickup game of soccer in So Cal near my home,and gor my foot stompted on. My mom was a registered nurse pretty much knew it was a break and urged me to go and get it treated, but if it was outside the school I would be asked what happened and as I broke a cardinal rule of playing a sport without approval, I would have to lie or make something up. Fortunately for me, I decided to have it examined and treated back at school and my first day back and before I could have it examined at school, one of my coaches had me run some hurdles. the hurdles were not my specialty and I did horrible in HS, but the team needed hurdlers, so I was asked to try out. Well luckily for me after about the second or third hurdle I hit it pretty hard and went down an then clutched my foot as it was the same foot that Injured playing soccer. I was ordered to X-rays and lo and behold a 5th metatarsal fracture,

    I later found out that those type of fractures were very, very, very common in hurdles. So I was saved by not having to lie about the injury, my ride was safe and I never had to run hurdles again, in my life, ever. But I did play soccer, every chance I got.


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