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Sebastian Lletget helping LA Galaxy fire on all cylinders after rough start

MLS: Philadelphia Union at LA Galaxy

Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports


It’s been a turbulent season for the Los Angeles Galaxy, but a mid-May addition has breathed new life into and has scored key goals for a Galaxy side looking to repeat as MLS champions in 2015.

The defending MLS Cup winners started the season with a comfortable win against Chicago, but never really reached top form following some ugly draws and a series of losses, none worse than the 4-0 thrashing away to Orlando City.

After losing Landon Donovan and Marcelo Sarvas in the offseason, the Galaxy seemed to be waiting for Steven Gerrard to come save the day. But it was a different midfield signing that has completely turned the ship around.

Sebastian Lletget has appeared six times for LA since his move back Stateside from West Ham — he’s now scored four goals in his last four appearances and has been the man behind the best form of the Galaxy’s season: 6-1 in the Open Cup, 5-1 over Philadelphia and now 5-0 over a strong Portland side has many LA Galaxy fans wondering if the team that won MLS Cup last season is finally beginning to show what it’s made of.

“Fitness-wise, maybe in the beginning I was struggling,” Lletget said, “but as soon as I got that, I think mentally, my style of play just suited the team.”

What suits this team seems to be goals, and the Galaxy are scoring plenty thanks to Lletget.

A crafty midfielder with lightning quick feet, Lletget has already built a great relationship with Robbie Keane, the man that all the offense goes through.

“He’s a great player, and he makes my life easier,” said Lletget. “His communication with me is outstanding.” But the LA Galaxy Captain was quick to make sure Lletget stays grounded; “He’s got some quality, he’s very good on the ball, but sometimes he has to learn to get rid of the ball a little quicker, which I already spoke to him about,” Keane said.

Lletget, a Northern California native, found his way to LA by way of London, England. In 2010, he signed for the Premier League side West Ham, playing in the youth and reserve ranks but never broke into the first team — he played in a few preseason games, and his only appearance was as a substitute in a blowout loss in the FA Cup in 2014. After a few tough years trying to break into the first team there, he decided to come home.

Still, at just 22 years of age, attacking midfielder Lletget is only at the beginning of what should be a very exciting MLS career.

He’s all but certainly locked down a starting spot in Bruce Arena’s diamond midfield, but Lletget is trying to stay focused to help get LA back to championship ways.

“I’m just doing my job,” he said. “I forget about the past and just look for the next game. I’m just trying to keep it going.”

As Lletget continues to get more comfortable with the team, fans and teammates have begun to see some of the flair he can bring as well. Robbie Keane smiled as he mentioned the clever little flick Lletget used to beat Diego Chara near the sideline in the first half of last night’s game against Portland.

“He’s young, he’s learning, he’s been great and he’s scored a few goals,” the LA captain said. That praise is about as high as you’ll ever hear from the Galaxy captain.

LA face their bitter rivals San Jose in the California Clasico this weekend, and it’s a bit of a homecoming for Lletget who’s from San Francisco.

“It’s a special one for me,” Lletget remarked. “I have about 50 tickets for friends and family — it’s ridiculous. My three sisters, parents, 20 friends…honestly.”

The only question now is: with Steven Gerrard due to feature soon, where does that leave Lletget? If he continues to play at this level, Lletget is putting pressure on guys like Baggio Husidic and Stefan Ishizaki.

But if he keeps scoring goals and playing like he has been so far, don’t be surprised to see him alongside the legendary Gerrard in a few weeks’ time.


  1. Is it me or does Lletget have the Moses look goin on?… Maybe he will part the seas to another MLS Cup??? This guy is playing with real confidence.

  2. Has changed the team with his play. Getting Keane back at about the same time has been an awesome 1-2 punch. Zardes is again finding space instead of being the focus of the D. And Vayrinen (sp?) has picked up the midfield gap which was huge early on

  3. Too much has been made of the Galaxy’s “turbulent” season. In case you haven’t noticed, the Galaxy are one point out of the Sounder’s lead in the MLS West and around 6 points back of DC United’s MLS lead. That;s not bad considering their leading goalscorer and League’s MVP has missed a significant number of games through injury, and their young rising stars were ou with the U20 WC or with the USMNT for several weeks. Although the Galaxy are slightly ahead of last years pace, they seem to be running now on all cylinders, they scored 16 (SIXTEEN!!!) goals last WEEK, and are awaiting the arrival of a European Football Legend. This with a team whose leading goalscorer has only 4 goals with no players in the top 20 in goals scored or assists, yet have scored more goals this season than any other MLS team. Just Business as usual!!

    • Yeah,…that all well and good,…but I bet they don’t have a 300 page plan drafted by Ali “G” Curtis,….do they? Do they? How do you like the Red Bulls now?

  4. He’s off to a great start, but it’s still a little early to make a firm conclusion about his play and potential. One thing he has shown is the ability to find open spaces in good spots. He also made a very good shot to beat the keeper inside the near post one or two games ago, so he seems adept at finishing. We still need to see if he passes well and if he plays defense. All in all, a very good pickup for little money and what began the season as a Galaxy weakness–midfield–is now turning into a Galaxy strength.

    • I would say he’ll see a call-up sooner rather than later. Dunno what the heck happened at West Ham, but he’s used to the diamond, and the USMNT is still looking for quality in the midfield.

      Still leaves me just shaking my head, what the EPL just throws away. I guess when you’re throwing around absurd amounts of money like the EPL does you can afford to, but the…profligacy of that league is a world apart, from what I’m used to.

      This guy can play. And the Hammers wouldn’t even let him on the field. Uh…okay.

      • quozzel,

        Don’t know why the EPL shocks you

        There are about 600-650 players total in the EPL

        Just about every decent player in the entire world wants to be in the EPL And of course each club has to have the players that best fit their system, existing player pool, manager,playing style, etc..

        Do the math. A lot of really good players are not going to make it in the EPL..Or the BL or La Liga or Serie A.

        Or you could take the easy way out and chalk it up to Lletget being a victim of the organized anti American conspiracy..

      • Anti American conspiracy? No one mentioned this. Lletget was a very highly rated prospect at west ham but fat Sam refused to give the kid a chance. That’s all it is. Shame he wasted so much time there, but glad he has found a stable club situation. Terrence Boyd called him the best player on Caleb porter’s Olympic team (which included Mix, Adu, Agudelo, Morales, Shea, etc.), and I think that says a lot.

      • I wouldn’t call it an “organized anti-American conspiracy” at all.

        I’d call it “vague but persistent anti-American bias”.

        We’re not popular out there in the world. At all. Sit down with a bunch of drunken expats in, say, the Cayman Islands, and you’ll get an earful. In particular one source of comfort for the rest of the world is that no matter how powerful our nation is, at least they could crush us in soccer.

        It does not please the Europeans that Americans are starting to take the game seriously. As long as our national squad was a joke, there wasn’t nearly as much push-back – you’d see guys like Claudio Reyna and Brian McBride making it in Europe – but as we’ve gotten more relevant, it seems the push-back has gotten a whole lot worse. Whatever, recently it seems like it’s been raw deal after raw deal for our national-team guys.

      • “Whatever, recently it seems like it’s been raw deal after raw deal for our national-team guys.”

        I don’t buy that. I think you are overly focused on the pervasive stink created by Jozy’s disastrous spell at Sunderland.

        And you are all mad because Yedlin is not an instant star at Spurs.

        Americans are hated everywhere, get used to it. But if they can play they can play.

        Jozy did not play well
        Clint had a fabulous run
        Bedoya goes from strength to strength
        Mikey got buried behind a bunch of better players
        Gatt and Gyau keep getting hurt but seem to be well regarded
        Brooks, Boyd( injuries aside), Morales and Fabian and Chandler seem to be coming along nicely.
        Green got stuck in an awesomely bad loan deal at Hamburg but Bayern still seem high on him.
        Wood looks to be coming out of a bad period.
        Yedlin is just starting out
        Cameron just signed a new extension with Stoke.
        Spector just signed a new deal with Birmingham
        Ream is a big hit with Bolton
        Brek did not adapt quick enough.

        So tell me where the “raw deal after raw deal” is?.

        Lletget is 22 , young enough to get back to Europe if he is good enough and if that is what he wants.

        You might say Brek and Jozy got raw deals but they did little to help themselves.

        The guy who got a raw deal was Mo Edu who never got the chance to help himself..

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