Silver lining: LA Galaxy's Lletget "playing great" on move to center mid

CARSON, Calif. – Sunday's 4-2 loss to the Seattle Sounders was a stinging setback for the LA Galaxy, but one of the bright spots was the play of midfielder Sebastian Lletget.

The 24-year-old was the focal point of the Galaxy’s early dominance, with his constant movement and incisive passing leading to the game’s opening goal in the 20th minute. 

Lletget received a pass from Emmanuel Boateng and took a touch to his right before playing a  perfectly measured cross for Robbie Keane, who powered his header past a helpless Stefan Frei

The assist was Lletget’s fifth over the Galaxy’s last seven matches and his eighth overall this season, moving him into a five-way tie for seventh in the league in helpers.

After the game, fellow midfielder Jeff Larentowicz told reporters that a tactical change may be the catalyst for Lletget’s recent run of form. 

“They [the Galaxy coaching staff] moved him inside,” Larentowicz said. “He was always kind of a wing player and they moved him inside because, obviously, they like his mobility and ability to keep the ball as well.

“I tend to sit behind him and give him the freedom to go,” he continued. “You saw today he was up around the box, got a pass and clipped one to the back post. It was a nice play … He’s [Lletget] playing great. He’s doing a really good job.”

It remains to be seen whether Lletget will maintain his place in the center of the park for the final three matches of the regular season. 

Against the Sounders, Steven Gerrard came on in the 72nd minute. It was the Englishman’s first appearance since he went off injured against the Vancouver Whitecaps back on August 27.

A return to full fitness for Gerrard means that Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena will have a decision to make: Keep Lletget in the center, move him back to his normal position out wide or drop a player that is in a rich vein of form.

While the loss to Seattle puts a dent in LA’s chase for the Supporters’ Shield, there is still hope. The Galaxy play two of their final three games against league leaders FC Dallas.

Arena most likely won't mind having this selection conundrum heading into the home stretch.