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Sigi Schmid pleased with Gyasi Zardes’ first start at right back

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.”


  1. The Galaxy pretty much need to start over. Maybe keep Alessandrini… he at least seems to match his talent with effort. But the entire defense needs to go. If there is a way to clear out the DGS/JDS pair, they should go, although its harder to dump DPs. They need a keeper. They need a true striker. I like Zardes, he seems like a good guy, but he has been awful for a while. My jury is still out on Joao Pedro, but he started weak, and worked his way up to decent. Cole and Jones are just past it.

    And they better do it in a hurry, and with some sort of fireworks, because LAFC, with its downtown stadium and celebrity ownership, and general shiny new-ness, is going to turn the heads of the most fickle sports fans in America. No disrespect to the LAG diehards, but we may soon see there are fewer of those than they think.

  2. He is a winger, his best position is as a winger and, as I wrote earlier today, to put him there is either a sign of acute desperation or real idiocy. Apparently yesterday was desperation. I think it was still a bad idea.Better would have been to put Jermaine Jones at CB, move Romney to RB and play Jao Pedro as your defensive mid. He also could have played Garcia or Diallo in defense. Besides problems in their defense, only Alessandrini is a threat to score right now. The dos Santos brothers are only half as good as they think they are and contribute next to nothing right now.

    • Gary, do you think Sigi can right the ship next season with the Galaxy? I thought they would bring in a better new blood coach.
      Personally feel Zardes is good when playing with better players and not skilled enough to carry the offensive load solo. He needs a lot of service and that service need to be in transition, on a counter, or going forward into space. His lack of ball control elmintates him from any possession based offense.
      Although, the Galaxy are bad any MLS team that was forced to play a shell game at the backline has struggled. Look at the Timbers early and mid season. Dallas two thirds of their season.

  3. oh oh Zusi need to watch out. Maybe Arena will pick up on this and “discover” Zardes the defensive back. I dont see much future for him going forward… too many others that have more skill. He’s fast enough…. I just dont know if he’s smart enough

  4. I know I’ve said this at least 4 times in the past month, but “just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse for the LAG…”


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