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LAFC 2020 player postmortem: Danilo Silva

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Veteran defender called it a career during the season.

MLS: 2020 MLS Portraits USA TODAY Sports

Danilo Silva had a long and pretty illustrious career, that wrapped with LAFC in 2020.

The Brazilian got his start, remarkably, with Bob Bradley way back in 2005, with a handful of appearances at the MetroStars. A versatile defender, Silva returned to Brazil and played for a succession of clubs in his homeland before getting the big move abroad, to an unlikely spot.

When you think of Brazilians playing in Ukraine, you think of Shakhtar Donetsk, which has made a cottage industry out of bringing several Brazilians over at a time and establishing a little bubble, before bubbles were something we all were familiar with.

But Silva went to Shakhtar’s biggest rival in recent years, Dynamo Kyiv, and was there for the longest stint of his career, about seven years, winning two league titles and two domestic cups, and settling well enough that the Ukraine national team reportedly considered getting him naturalized to be able to call him up.

That didn’t happen, and after a stint back in Brazil, Silva joined LAFC in the summer of 2018. After emerging as a starter that year after the shock transfer of Laurent Ciman, Silva became a depth player as he battled injuries in his final two years.

Here are Silva’s statistics in 2020:

Danilo Silva 2020 Statistics

2020 Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
2020 Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
Regular Season 1 1 39 0 0 0 0 0 0
MiB Knockouts 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Playoffs 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
CCL 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 1 1 39 0 0 0 0 0 0

Silva missed a good chunk of the 2019 season with injuries and ended up having back surgery, but he came back for a last go-round in 2020. Unfortunately, he managed just the one appearance, a start against the Seattle Sounders after the local return to play, and got hurt in the first half, exiting the game, and that was it for his season and ultimately, career. At the time, Bradley said the injury was unfortunate, but there was no indication in the moment it was the end of the line for Silva, who announced his retirement in September, at 34.

I think Silva showed good moments while he was with LAFC, but he also had some difficult moments, and I think over time we saw he lost a step. I do think he was pretty solid in 2018 overall, but in very limited minutes the last two years, he didn’t look like he could offer a ton on the field any longer.

Of course, father time comes for us all in ways big and small, and the injuries really seemed to push Silva along to a post-playing life. It’s a shame it ended like it did but he had a great career, on three continents across 15 years and added the Supporters’ Shield to his personal trophy cabinet.

Silva has kept a pretty low profile since announcing his retirement and he appears to be living in Brazil again with his family. We’ll see what the future brings for the big Brazilian but best wishes to him and thanks for the memories.

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