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LAFC 2020 Player Postmortem: Eddie Segura

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Quiet defender was the rock of the team.

MLS: Los Angeles FC at Seattle Sounders FC Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

When you think of LAFC, you think of Carlos Vela, Diego Rossi, Eduard Atuesta, Latif Blessing, Mark-Anthony Kaye, Diego Palacios, Tristan Blackmon, now Jesús David Murillo, and so on and so forth.

Don’t forget about Eddie Segura.

The center back was an absolute rock for the black-and-gold in 2020, one of the few automatic starts for the club in a season where injuries, international absences and other matters meant that continuity was at a premium for the team.

The Colombian is one of the steadiest players in MLS. He’s quiet, he gets the job done in the back and he pops up with the occasional goal. So why has he not gotten the hype?

I think in 2019, he kind of did, but Walker Zimmerman ended up being the Best XI selection from the defense. I think Zimmerman was very good that season, but I actually think Segura was the more consistent player and he was a little hard done by in not getting the plaudits.

However, Zimmerman’s trade away just before the start of the 2020 season gave Segura the spotlight and...it didn’t go well. But was that Segura’s fault? I would argue the issue was less that Segura wasn’t very good as the partner to him for most of the season just wasn’t on the level. Put another way, if Segura had departed and Zimmerman been the lone returning center back, would LAFC’s season been much different? I highly doubt it.

Here are Segura’s stats in 2020:

Eddie Segura 2020 LAFC 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 22 21 1,886 2 1 17 5 3 0
MiB Knockouts 2 2 180 0 0 1 0 0 0
Playoffs 1 1 90 0 0 0 0 0 0
CCL 5 5 450 0 2 2 1 0 0
Total 30 29 2,606 2 3 20 6 3 0

So yes, Segura’s stock fell as LAFC shipped goals for most of 2020, and then it rebounded again after the arrival of Murillo. Murillo seems really good! But I would still submit Segura is really good too, he can’t hold off opponents amid LAFC’s high-risk style with his legs tied together.

Even with LAFC’s goals conceded number being pretty bad, Segura’s advanced stats courtesy of FBref.com were still quite good. He wasn’t at top elite level, but I think this shows he was better than many think.

Like most LAFC players, Segura redeemed his season in large part during the run to the Concacaf Champions League final. Against some of the region’s top teams, in an elimination format, he was tremendous and brought it every game to nearly take the ultimate prize.

Moving forward, it’s probably pretty obvious that I remain high on Segura. If he stays healthy he’ll most likely remain in the lineup, and “Steady Eddie” just is so reliable game to game. He occasionally has a big gaffe but in a high-pressure position like center back, it happens, and he’s generally so consistent that you have to ride the occasional mistake. Plus, again, I think LAFC’s style means defenders are exposed far more often than teams that play more compact and conservative. He plays well and I think he has room to grow.

I think Segura can be MLS Defender of the Year, and I think he could get sold to a team abroad. He doesn’t get the headlines like so many of his teammates, but he’s a vital cog for this team, and he’s another player who you should probably enjoy while you can. He’s a player who could hit some very big heights in his career, and if LAFC are to succeed in the short term, he’ll likely be a key player for the team.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.