Although he has been with the Los Angeles Galaxy for almost two seasons now, Gyasi Zardes’ career is only now beginning to take off. His teammates have been quoted saying Zardes is well on his way to becoming a ‘real player,’ which is something almost everyone can agree on. Although there have been no rumors of his trading, the way his career is going, it will only be a matter of time before teams come knocking on Galaxy’s door.
Zardes went from being part of a rotating line of strikers to becoming a key striker and a consistent starter. He earned his spot by being the player to score in almost every match. He has now scored in eight of his last nine matches. This is an incredible feat for any player and more so for a rookie.
Zardes can be compared to another LA Galaxy homegrown player, Jose Villarreal, who started playing well with the Galaxy but was then loaned to Mexico’s Liga MX beside Cruz Azul. Villarreal was unable to adjust to Cruz Azul’s style of play and recently rejoined the Galaxy. Unfortunately, Villarreal is now playing with LA Galaxy II, which is not a demotion of any sort, but he could possible be playing alongside Zardes in the first team had he never been sent to Mexico.
There can also be parallels drawn between Zardes and DeAndre Yedlin. Yedlin is actually a year younger than Zardes, but he has already made the national team and is on his way out of the MLS. Although this is great news for Yedlin, it is bad news for MLS. The Seattle Sounders are sure to make a nice chunk of change from the Yedlin trade to whichever European club he ends up in, but the league loses a key American player.
MLS has only recently seen clubs signing defenders as designated players, but Yedlin was not one of them. It may be harder to keep top defenders in the league because of this, but it makes more sense for a club to spend that money on forwards and attacking midfielders, which is why Zardes needs to stay in MLS.
Zardes is at the start of his professional career, but he is on his way to greatness. Hopefully, he realizes he could have a hand in the rising interest in soccer in the US if he stays in the domestic league. Of course, a club would eventually need to pay DP salary to keep him, but with Landon Donovan retiring at the end of the season, Galaxy can make the move to keep him — if he elects to stay.
Wherever Zardes ends up, he will definitely help lead his club to victory, but hopefully it is an MLS club he’ll be leading.