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LAFC 2020 player postmortem: The players who didn’t play

Four players stayed ready but didn’t see the spotlight.

SOCCER: JUL 03 MLS - LAFC at Sporting Kansas City Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

LAFC fielded 28 players across 30 competitive games in 2020. But in every season, there’s some players who don’t get on the field for a game. Let’s kick off this look at each player’s season by taking a brief tour through the players who didn’t feature in 2020.

Every story is different, as you would expect, and while it’s probably a disappointment for these four players to not play for the black-and-gold, it’s just part of the business, unfortunately.

Time to jump right in...

Phillip Ejimadu

The young goalkeeper returned for his second season with LAFC in 2020, and once again didn’t play a minute for the club.

Unfortunately, this time around the lack of loan moves back and forth in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic and injuries in the goalkeeping corps meant Ejimadu remained with LAFC all season. And he nearly entered a game, when Kenneth Vermeer took a suspected head injury and almost had to come out, only to remain in the game and leave Ejimadu sweating bullets as he tried to warm up in record time, only to head back to the bench.

So it was a tough break, but life as a 3rd-string GK is not easy. I really don’t know if he’s ready to play in MLS, and maybe he’ll get a shot elsewhere, after his contract wasn’t picked up for 2021. I would not be shocked if he gets invited back to training camp and gets a shot to stay around, but he could be on his way, too. He’s still only 21 and we’ll see what the future holds for the young Nigerian-Brazilian-American.

Alejandro Guido

Courtesy of San Diego Loyal

Another player back for a second season with LAFC, it was a bit surprising that Alejandro Guido came back at all in 2020 considering he hadn’t played the previous year and he was not a 3rd-string goalkeeper. It was more of the same with the black-and-gold, although the San Diego native did get to play competitive games, going on loan with San Diego Loyal and looking quite good at USL Championship level, playing six games and scoring two goals and two assists.

But he never got playing time for LAFC, buried on the depth chart and unfortunately at the only spot where LAFC were prodigiously deep in 2020. He appeared to be gone before the end of the season, and adding insult to injury wasn’t even mentioned in the season-ending roster moves. So it’s safe to say he’s moving on for good. I’d be curious to see where he goes next, whether he signs with Loyal permanently or goes elsewhere in 2021.

Mark Segbers

Liza Rosales / Liza Rosales Photography

The late-season emergency loanee never ended up playing for LAFC, with Mohamed El Munir filling in out of position at right back with that spot a rotating door in the final weeks of the season.

Segbers was loaned in to LAFC in mid-October, so he wasn’t around for too long anyway. I would have liked to have seen him get a few minutes off the bench, but it wasn’t meant to be. Presumably he’ll be back with Memphis 901 FC in the USL Championship in 2021, and we’ll see what the future holds for him.

Tony Leone

MLS: 2020 MLS Headshots USA TODAY Sports

The 16-year-old, signed alongside fellow Homegrowns Christian Torres and Erik Dueñas midseason, didn’t end up getting on the field in 2020, with Bob Bradley indicating he may have suffered an injury along the way. Given his age and position (currently tabbed as a central defender) Leone is definitely a project, but he’s one of the highest regarded prospects around, and arguably had the biggest reputation coming in of the Homegrown trio. This kid is one for the future, and hopefully he sees the field before long for the black-and-gold.

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