Home Galaxy While LA Galaxy are on Break, Will Kuntz is Back in the Kitchen

While LA Galaxy are on Break, Will Kuntz is Back in the Kitchen

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The LA Galaxy haven’t played together in a week and won’t play again for another five days.
Despite the lack of on-field action, recent news reveals that Will Kuntz and his team have continued to be very active on the transfer front. 

The international break has provided some much-needed rest for the Galaxy’s squad.

Before enjoying their bye-week, Greg Vanney and his team traveled for five out of their last eight matches, often on multi-stop, cross-country road trips. 

Supporters might then reasonably expect to see a revitalized squad by the time the Galaxy return to play against Sporting Kansas City at home on June 15th. On top of the heavy travel, Captain Maya Yoshida played every minute of all 17 games he’s participated in this season and is now enjoying a well-earned break disconnecting in the desert.

Riqui Puig, Miki Yamane, Mark Delgado, and Julian Aude make up the rest of the Galaxy’s top 5 most used players. Each will be looking recharged against Kansas City, alongside key players Joseph Paintsil and Gaston Brugman. The pair are expected to return from the thigh strain and bone bruise they each respectively suffered and will be available for selection for the upcoming home game.

A player who looks closer than ever to making his MLS debut after the international break is new signing Carlos Emiro Gárces.

The Colombian defender made his first appearance in an LA Galaxy-affiliated shirt during Ventura County FC’s victory in a six-goal thriller against Portland Timbers in MLSNext Pro on Sunday, June 9th.

After a first half in which Gárces looked confident and dominant while earning a questionable yellow card, the second half featured a trademark come-from-behind win for Ventura County. 

Gárces’s first minutes with his new club reinforced Greg Vanney’s statement following the last home game against FC Dallas. When asked about when supporters might expect to see Gárces on the pitch, Vanney’s answer revealed that the Colombian has only recently raised his fitness to the intensity of the MLS and that he wants to give Gárces his debut during a comfortable game state to try and ensure that the young defender has the best possible start to his career in the United States.

Against Portland’s top academy team, Gárces matched Vanney’s description of a hardy, confident defender who makes life difficult for opposing attackers. It may still take some time for the young Colombian to truly find his form in the MLS, but his positive first impression suggests that he may be a player worth waiting for.

The return of a fully fit and rested Galaxy side on June 15th should have been enough to satisfy many supporters, but Will Kuntz surprised the Galaxy space by proving that the rebuild has only just begun. 

While Real Madrid supporters were celebrating their 15th European crown, Fabrizio Romano reported on June 2nd that the LA Galaxy sent a contract proposal to Marco Reus in a bid to sign him as a free agent from this year’s Champions League runners-up Borussia Dortmund. The next day, Cesar Luis Merlo confirmed that the Galaxy overcame the discovery rights hurdle by agreeing to pay Charlotte FC $350,000 for the right to sign Reus.

With the player looking to visit the city and facilities with his family before making a final decision, it seems ever more likely that Marco Reus will join the LA Galaxy. However, this deal can’t be taken for granted just yet. Tom Bogert reports that while talks between Reus and the club are in very advanced stages, the German superstar has also received offers from Saudi Arabia and Europe and is yet to make his choice official in ink.

While Reus still hasn’t joined, Kuntz successfully completed another transfer during the international break.

On June 3rd, Danish reporter Farzam Abolhosseini broke the news that the Galaxy are close to acquiring the services of FC Copenhagen’s long-standing Nordic scout Mikkel Dencher. Dencher is reported to take on the role of Technical Director, assisting Will Kuntz and Greg Vanney in their pursuits of new talents.

As technical director, Dencher will be responsible for using his relationships and knowledge of “where to look, what to look for, and how to interpret analytics to help lay the groundwork for squad building” (Catamount, Corner of the Galaxy).

Given the amazing transfer work Will Kuntz has pulled off with a limited team, Dencher’s arrival and impact on scouting and squad building are likely to make the Galaxy even more shrewd operators than they already have shown themselves to be. 

While the international break is devoid of first-team Galaxy soccer, it has clearly given supporters much to be excited about.

PHOTO: Los Angeles Galaxy

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