Most people around the American soccer community had written off Sebastian Lletget. I'm guilty of this as well. The 22-year-old had been with West Ham United for six years. He was touted as America's "Next Big Thing" like many before him. Every once in a while you'd hear news about Lletget making the first team bench at the club, but that excitement would temper down fast when that never amounted to anything.
We all assumed that he'd been swallowed up by the European game like many American prospects have been. When news broke that the San Francisco native had signed with the LA Galaxy, it was met with pessimism and cynicism. Surely this was just a pity signing to add depth. He'd probably go toil away in the reserves.
Instead, Lletget has made the absolute most of his new opportunity. He's broken into the already talented Galaxy XI to become a consistent starter on the left wing. Playing alongside the likes of Robbie Keane, Steven Gerrard, and Gyasi Zardes, the former U.S. youth international has had a career renaissance. With seven goals and two assists in just 13 games, he's become an indispensable cog for the best team in MLS.
In the short span of four months, he's gone from potential "bust" to many clamoring for him to be selected for the United States Men's National Team.
His latest performance this past weekend in a high profile match on national TV has done nothing but raise the excitement levels among fans. The USMNT lack dynamic players, especially at the wing positions and Lletget's run of form this season has been nothing short of remarkable.
When former national team manager, and Lletget's current boss Bruce Arena was asked about the player's USMNT credentials he had this to say.
Bruce Arena, asked about @SLletget's #USMNT outlook: "He’s still young, he’s growing, we need to give it a little bit of time"— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) August 24, 2015
@hashtag_USMNT put together the video at the top of the page of his great performance on Sunday. Watch it and judge for yourself whether or not he's ready for the national team.