Matchday

LA Galaxy midfielder Gastón Brugman out for season with knee injury

Gaston Brugman

UPDATE, August 7 – LA Galaxy midfielder Gastón Brugman has been ruled out for the rest of the 2023 season after undergoing successful surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee, the club announced Monday.

The Galaxy will resume their MLS campaign hosting Real Salt Lake at Dignity Health Sports Park on Aug. 20 (10:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass).

ORIGINAL, July 29 – The injury-related hits keep on coming for the LA Galaxy.

Head coach/sporting director Greg Vanney revealed Friday that central midfielder Gastón Brugman faces a spell on the sidelines after suffering a meniscus tear in their recent Leagues Cup game vs. Liga MX side Club León.

Vanney described the injury as a "non-contact kind of moment" and expects LA will know more information after the Uruguayan veteran undergoes a knee procedure early next week.

"Unfortunately, we lose an important player in a situation that isn't much of a situation," said Vanney. "It's a bit of how things are going, so we feel for him and hopefully when they get in there the news will be that it's not a big tear. Hopefully it's just a smaller one they can clean up and we move on."

Galaxy impact

In 2023, this injury is LA's third serious setback to a starter after star striker Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez suffered a torn ACL in early June. Center back Martín Cáceres has been out since late June with a knee injury of his own.

Brugman, 30, has been a mainstay in the Galaxy's midfield since signing in July 2022 from Italian side Parma. He's tallied five goals and three assists in 36 games (35 starts), forming a formidable center-mid trio with Mark Delgado and Riqui Puig. And since Chicharito's injury, Brugman has served as LA's captain.

Taking the Brugman setback in stride, Vanney said it's about depth stepping up.

"It's one of these scenarios where for sure in the short-term it's just the next guy has to step in and fulfill the responsibilities of the position, but in the way that that player plays the position," said Vanney. "He doesn't need to be Gastón, he doesn't need to do anything other than just be himself and trust the system and trust what we're doing."

Looking ahead

Once Leagues Cup concludes, LA hope to complete a turnaround from their slow start to the 2023 season. The historic club sits 13th in the Western Conference table, seven points off the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs pace with 12 games remaining.

LA's pursuit of reinforcements is somewhat restricted due to ongoing transfer sanctions, limited to signing domestic players before the Secondary Transfer Window closes on Aug. 2. However, after that date and before the Roster Freeze Date (Sept. 15) they can sign free agents from abroad – and The Athletic's Tom Bogert reports they'll soon acquire Japanese center back Maya Yoshida.