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LAFC 2021 Player Postmortem: Pablo Sisniega

Goalkeeper started as No. 1, then fell down depth chart.

MLS: Los Angeles FC at San Jose Earthquakes Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Entering the 2021 season, it looked like it was Pablo Sisniega’s time.

The goalkeeper was in his third season with LAFC, entering a timeshare in 2019 with Tyler Miller and in 2020 with Kenneth Vermeer. Although Vermeer somewhat redeemed a poor season with his play in the final rounds of the Concacaf Champions League, he was waived on the eve of the season. The path was clear for Sisniega.

Sisniega did start the season as the No. 1, playing eight games in a row to start the campaign. With only one other goalkeeper on the roster, Tomas Romero, it looked like Sisniega was the No. 1 and Bob Bradley was going to stick with him.

But you know that’s not how it went. Sisniega didn’t seem to play especially badly, but LAFC struggled to open the season.

Here are Sisniega’s stats in 2021:

Pablo Sisniega 2021 LAFC Statistics

2021 Games Played Games Started Minutes Saves Goals Allowed GAA Shutouts Win % Save % Yellow Cards Red Cards
2021 Games Played Games Started Minutes Saves Goals Allowed GAA Shutouts Win % Save % Yellow Cards Red Cards
MLS 8 8 720 14 10 1.25 1 25 58.3 0 0

LAFC were 2W-3L-3D with Sisniega, and again, the team struggled to start the season...and then the rest of the way. Was that all on Sisniega? Of course not. Was it entirely unjust for him to be benched? Not necessarily.

Statistically, late season addition Jamal Blackmon mostly edged Sisniega and Romero, while Sisniega was kind of in the middle overall. But the team struggled all season. I don’t think in the cold light of day any of the goalkeepers really looked like the clear starter, but I also don’t think Sisniega did anything obvious on the field that disqualified him from the ninth game on, either. So I think he was probably hard done by, and the chopping and changing of the starting role probably didn’t help the team, but also he didn’t seem like he necessarily earned the No. 1 spot with both hands, either.

In the end, it appeared LAFC opted for the future potential of Romero over Blackman and Sisniega, with the Mexican traded to 2022 expansion team Charlotte FC on Sunday. Sisniega was out of contract anyway, so I think LAFC effectively traded his rights to Charlotte on a handshake deal not to take any other LAFC players in the expansion draft. We’ll see, but I’d be shocked if that wasn’t a part of the deal.

I think Sisniega has good shotstopping ability and particularly good timing in bombing off his line when an attacker is bearing down on goal on a jailbreak, and his skill with the ball has improved in his tenure with LAFC. Above all, if he becomes the starter in Charlotte I hope he gets a fair shake and isn’t constantly brought in and out like he was with LAFC. If that happens, I think we can definitively see whether or not he’s cut out to be a regular starter, because somehow it’s not clear after three years in LA even though he’s played each of those seasons.

So Sisniega’s tenure with LAFC is over, but we’ll see what the future holds for him. He was always a class act with the black-and-gold, and hopefully he finds a good landing spot in Charlotte.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.