With a desperate need for a right back over the weekend, LA Galaxy manager Sigi Schmid had to experiment. In the time of need, he turned to Gyasi Zardes and, when all was said and done, he wasn’t disappointed.
He threw the wide midfielder/forward in the back line for the first time in his career and was more or less satisfied with how it worked out. The result was another setback, a 2-1 loss to Sporting KC, but Schmid was pleased with Zardes’ adaptability and willingness to step in to a new position.
“Gyasi for his first game at right back had an excellent game,” Schmid said after the Galaxy’s loss. “There are obviously things he can pick up on, but overall, he handled a difficult situation very well.”
Zardes led the team in tackles for the game, but ultimately let the winning goal pass through his flank as SKC hit his side hard all game long. As expected, Zardes had his struggles translating to the defensive side of the game, even if the workrate and athleticism is there.
Zardes was strong going forward for the Galaxy, as he completed 91% of his passes. His natural speed and wide ability was useful to their attack.
Schmid was non-commital as to whether Zardes would return to the position or not.
“If that’s where he ends up playing, he’s got to play more games there. It’ll come,” Schmid said. “But he’s an intelligent guy, he’s got the engine to play there. Today, he was helping me out as much as anything else.”