Joveljic passes the ball to an active Puig running down center field.
With two defenders guarding him and a third one approaching him, it’s Puig against the Philadelphia Union’s defensive line.
Costa and Joveljic finally catch up to the speed of Puig and arrive for assistance. In order to make room for himself, Puig passes the ball to an open Costa.
The prime focus of the Union’s defensive line is Puig, leaving both Costa and Joveljic open. With a pass to Costa, the defensive becomes discombobulated. They quickly shuffle to cover the other forwards on the field.
A quick 1-touch exchange between Costa and Joveljic frees Puig from the pressure and allows Joveljic to set up Puig. Puig immediately received the ball and followed it by setting himself up for a shot that found the back of the net from outside the goalkeeper’s box.
During their current 7-game streak without losing a game, Puig has become the leader on the field. He has become the conductor controlling the pace of the game. In the absence of Javier Hernandez, he has taken over the team and the league.
The LA Galaxy is now Puig’s team for the foreseeable future, and the MLS is reaping all the benefits.
Conducting LA Galaxy
Every offensive play goes through Puig, just like his goal against the Union. He is one of the reasons the team has found its rhythm and are 3 points out of the playoffs.
The Galaxy will play their last match before the Leagues Cup tournament and the All-Star game against the Vancouver Whitecaps, who own the last playoff spot in the Western Conference.
With a win over the Whitecaps and a loss by Portland and Minnesota, the Galaxy will end the first half of the season in playoff contention.
During this summer transfer window, the Galaxy have been attached to players like Josef Martinez and Rodolfo Pizzaro. Two players that could only make Puig look even better.
With Pizzaro on the wing, Puig could have the ability to free himself from the constant pressure the league keeps on him. Martinez would be the kind of player that will benefit from Puig’s ability to find anyone on the field.
Of course, this is all hypothetical that only demonstrates how much Puig means to this team.
In order for the LA Galaxy to continue their pace, the front office needs to find players that fit the conduction of Puig.
The League Belongs To Him
Since coming to LA, Puig has become the youthful leader the Galaxy and the MLS needs. He is signed through the 2025 season, and he’s only 23 years old. The kind of player he’s becoming is the kind of player the rest of the league should pursue—a young player full of talent that can take the leap to one of Europe’s top five leagues in the future.
Puig is young enough to grow the league in the upcoming years leading to the US-host World Cup. With his Barcelona teammate being days away from being presented as an MLS player, the MLS is entering a new era of soccer.
The MLS will welcome a new kind of audience tuned in to everything that Messi will do in the league. That kind of viewership could catapult the rest of the league and shine a light on players like the Galaxy superstar.
With his speed, soccer mind, and touch, Puig can become the catalyst to take the LA Galaxy out of the dark ages and the MLS into their new era as one of the top leagues in the states.