MLS Defensive Player of the Week: Week 4 – LA Galaxy defender stands strong in Vancouver

For every week of the 2018 MLS season, MLSGB will award two Player of the Week accolades to the previous gameweek’s standout performers. We will highlight one star attacking player, as well as the leading defensive performer from the last round of fixtures. The Attacking Player of the Week award can be won by strikers, wingers and advanced midfielders. While the Defensive Player of the Week award can be won by goalkeepers, defenders and defensive midfielders.

Week 4 might have been quiet in terms of games played as a result of the international break, but one particular performance made a lot of noise. Just three of the 12 teams in actions kept a clean sheet in Week 4, but only one of those came from a travelling team.

LA Galaxy did well to hold Vancouver Whitecaps to a 0-0 draw at BC Place on Saturday night, especially when you consider they only dressed 17 players for the trip as a result of a huge absentee list. The standout performer – both on the night for LA and overall in MLS this weekend – was Daniel Steres. He is the MLSGB Defensive Player of the Week after a commanding display in the Galaxy backline.

As the graphic above demonstrates, Steres was incredible at the back for the Galaxy. He completed 2/2 tackles, 4/4 interceptions and made 11 clearances to help keep Vancouver out. Of those 11 clearances, nine were headed clearances, further highlighting how commanding Steres was, despite having to face off against Kei Kamara.

Steres also won all four of his aerial duels on the night and was effective at distributing the ball to teammates out of defence. The graphic below shows all of his actions during Saturday’s game. He completed 34 of the 41 passes he attempted, with the seven incomplete passes all coming from ambitious long balls down the right-side.

A detailed look at Daniel Steres’ Week 4 performance at Vancouver Whitecaps – Stats via @StatsZone

The green circles above highlight where Steres made his clearances, while the green diamonds show interceptions. Just looking at those alone shows how dominant he was in crucial defensive areas.

The 27-year-old defender sat out of the Galaxy’s first game of the season and only got his chance in Week 2 following the injury to Michael Ciani. However, he has impressed in the 136 minutes he has completed so far, with his first start at Vancouver proving that he does perhaps deserve more starts.

Don’t miss: MLS Attacking Player of the Week: Week 4

LA Galaxy have the huge derby clash with LAFC to prepare for next. And with Ciani still struggling with a groin injury, Steres will need to come up big to stop the likes of Diego Rossi and Carlos Vela from stealing the show in the league’s first LA Derby between the new rivals.


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