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LAFC 2018 Player Postmortem: Mark-Anthony Kaye

A promising season cut short by injury.

MLS: Los Angeles Galaxy at Los Angeles FC Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Mark-Anthony Kaye was a young up and coming midfielder who performed well at his time at USL before joining LAFC being acquired by Los Angeles Football Club for the 2018 season.

The Toronto native played four years in USL, including one for Toronto FC II and two for Louisville City FC before being signed by LAFC.

Despite being only 23 years old, and in his first season in MLS, Kaye forced his way into the starting 11 from the first game for LAFC.

Kaye performed well, was a strong presence in midfield and very technically gifted. Also pretty calm and composed on the ball for his age.

Kaye LAFC 2018 statistics

2018 Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
2018 Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
MLS Regular Season 20 20 1,582 2 5 30 10 3 0
U.S. Open Cup 2 1 103 0 0 2 0 0 0
MLS Playoffs 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 22 21 1,685 2 5 32 10 3 0

This season LAFC never played with a traditional defensive midfielder, but Kaye and Eduard Atuesta were perhaps the closest they had to one.

Kaye isn’t a pure defensive midfielder, more of a box-to-box player, but he was a strong presence in midfield, strong in the tackle, and also good defensively. At the same time, Kaye was good enough technically and at reading the game to be able to fit well with LAFC’s up-tempo attack, as he popped up with the occasional goal or assist.

Unfortunately, he broke his ankle in the second game vs the Galaxy this past season, on July 26th, and missed the rest of the season. Ultimately, he was the unlucky one, the only player who reached the field to experience a season-ending injury for LAFC in 2018.

With an estimated 4-6 month recovery time for his injury, Kaye should hopefully be back for the beginning of next season, as long as there are no unexpected setbacks in the meantime.

It’s unclear how the team’s midfield will operate next season. In Kaye’s absence Atuesta, Andre Horta, and Lee Nguyen all played more minutes, to various levels of success.

It’s not known at this point if LAFC will be pursuing a pure defensive midfielder this offseason. Even if they do though, with his age and ability, Mark-Anthony Kaye should be a big part of LAFC’s midfield plans next year, and beyond, after signing a three-year contract extension on Monday.

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