The first ever season for LAFC is in the books. There were some highs (57 points, clinching an MLS playoff spot) and some lows.
And now that the offseason is in full swing, we’ll be reviewing and analyzing each portion of the LAFC roster, starting with the goalies.
The 25-year-old goalkeeper, Tyler Miller, performed admirably during LAFC’s inaugural Major League Soccer season.
Miller played in every regular season and playoff match this past season except for one. Playing in that many matches means that Bob Bradley trusted his young goalie to the core.
But it also meant a lot of responsibility was placed on Miller’s shoulders. And at times, the moment looked too big for him. LAFC allowed 52 goals this season (50 of them with Miller in goal), second highest of all Western Conference playoff teams.
Throughout the course of the season, Miller look flustered in between the sticks, not coming off his line confidently, or seeing his punches not clear danger immediately.
However, more times than not, the former Northwestern goalie, came up with big saves when it mattered most. His reflexes are good, and his 6’ 4” frame allows him to cover every inch of goal when flying to the other post.
All in all, Miller had a decent debut first year and will look to take another step forward to start next season.
Perhaps the biggest mystery on the LAFC roster was the backup goalkeeper, Luis Lopez.
In February, Lopez suffered a stress fracture in his right tibia and took much longer to heal than expected. That is probably one of the biggest reasons why he only started one match, which was a 2-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City on the road.
He did have other opportunities to play this season, having spent a short amount of time on loan with Orange County SC. Lopez has also started the previous matches for Honduras against the United Arab Emirates and Panama.
What does LAFC do from here?
With the lack of competition at this position, expect Bradley to to add another goalkeeper this offseason.
“We’re looking for ways to continue to make our team better,” the head coach recently told media.
“You can do it positionally. You can do it in terms of experience.”
Does this mean the end for either Miller or Lopez at LAFC? No, not necessarily. This just means that perhaps Bradley wants to bring in a veteran goalkeeper to provide more competition next season.