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LA Galaxy Trade for Diego Fagundez

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The LA Galaxy have traded Memo Rodriguez to Austin FC for winger Diego Fagundez.
Fagundez drops from 5th place to 13th place, where he will join a wounded Galaxy team pushing for a spot in the playoffs.

His offensive midfielder playing style will help spark an offense that hasn’t caused much acting up front and a lineup dealing with injuries.

When the Galaxy announced the trade, I immediately texted a fellow Galaxy fan living in Austin.


He’s been a season ticket holder since their inaugural year and explained that all his Austin friends are mad about the trade. 

“He was the face of our franchise our first season when we were really going through it,” said the hosts of the North End Podcast


After watching highlights from his time in Austin, Fagundez will immediately reinforce the wing of the field. He will play on the opposite side of Tyler Boyd, giving Vanney an opportunity to play Douglas Costa in the center. 

During their run in the Leagues Cup, Gaston Brugman endured a season-ending injury. Adding Fagundez to the lineup allows Vanney to play Costa in the center of the field while leaving Riqui Puig as a false nine with more freedom. 

The LA Galaxy did not make it out of the group stage of the Leagues Cup, which leaves a big gap between their next match on August 20th against Real Salt Lake. That is plenty of time for Vanney to figure out how to change the lineup now. 


Analysis

Let’s examine Fagundez’s game by analyzing his goal against LAFC back in May of 2022. During the play, the LAFC loses the ball on Austin’s side of the field on a header by the defense that lands on Fagundez outside the 18 of the field.

LAFC’s midfield quickly applied pressure on Fagundez by having two of the midfielders rush him. Before the opposing players reach Fagundez, he passes the ball to an open Driussi, allowing him to create space for his attack. 

Passing the ball to Druissi refocused the pressure on someone else, which allowed Fagundez to run down the wing openly. Druissi lobbed the ball up to an open Fagundez, who had already made his way into LAFC’s side of the field.

The play has three Austin FC players against two LAFC defenders, allowing Fagundez to move around freely with the ball. When he reaches the LAFC’s 18, he takes a shot on goal and finds the back of the net. The play demonstrates what Fagundez will bring to the Galaxy. If Vanney continues to play with his typical 4-3-3 format, he can play Boyd and Fagundez on the wings to Joveljic or Judd. 

By moving Costa down to the position Brugman played, limits his running and allows him to play the role of playmaker for the forwards and midfielders. Limiting his running can alleviate his injuries. 


With 12 games left in the season and 7 of those playing at home, the LA Galaxy are going all in on a push to the playoffs. Anything can happen.

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