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LAFC 2019 Player Postmortem: Danilo Silva

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Veteran Brazilian didn’t see a ton of time en route to the Supporters’ Shield.

MLS: U.S. Open Cup-San Jose Earthquakes at LAFC Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Danilo Silva returned to Los Angeles Football Club in 2019, after being a late addition the first season at center back. Having had a cup of coffee with Bob Bradley in MLS before heading to Ukraine and a successful stint at Dynamo Kiev, Silva was an experienced defender with a taste of MLS already, and with Laurent Ciman being a surprise transfer after the end of the summer window, Silva stepped in to a pinch and largely made it work.

But his 2018 season ender, which featured Bradley uncharacteristically call one of his players – Silva – out, as LAFC crashed out of their first playoffs, meant it was initially uncertain where the Brazilian stood in LAFC’s plans.

In the end, Silva did return to LAFC in 2019, and played a reserve role for the black-and-gold, a natural center back who could also play right back if required. Ultimately, it was required, as the then-32 year old made several spot appearances in relief at both positions.

Here are Silva’s statistics in 2019:

Danilo Silva 2019 LAFC statistics

2019 Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
2019 Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
MLS regular season 5 2 222 0 0 2 0 1 0
U.S. Open Cup 2 2 180 0 0 1 0 0 0
MLS Playoffs 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 7 4 402 0 0 3 0 1 0

In the end, Silva was the first center back option off the bench until he suffered a season-ending back injury and had to undergo surgery. Making just five appearances in the league, two starts, Silva wasn’t needed a great deal during the Supporters’ Shield-winning march, but he did play a role in the U.S. Open Cup, starting both of the wins in that competition while Walker Zimmerman was away, and largely looking pretty good.

Given the lack of regular minutes he played, it’s hard to really evaluate Silva’s time with LAFC in 2019, particularly since he was on occasion thrown into a tough spot, like starting at right back at New York City FC, where he looked a lot like Bambi on ice. But it’s also a blessing of sorts that he didn’t feature a ton, since Eddie Segura and Zimmerman were around most of the season, and the emergence of Tristan Blackmon over the course of the season at both of Silva’s positions meant the Brazilian’s injury wasn’t catastrophic.

Silva is is getting older, having just tured 33, and he’s coming off back surgery, but he’s currently under contract for 2020. He’s got tons of experience, and if he plays as little as he did this year, it would likely mean the starters are healthy and productive, a good thing. And since he didn’t see a ton of time, we can’t really say he has definitely gone over the hill and can no longer do a job. Is it possible that’s the case? Yes, it has to be. But with LAFC’s defense improving substantially in 2019, Silva will need to keep up with Bradley’s pack or be left in the dust, and that will be a big question for the player heading into 2020. Time will tell.

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