Sebastian Lletget has become the latest young American to leave Europe for MLS. The 22-year-old midfielder has joined the LA Galaxy from West Ham, where he had been since 2009.
Lletget has played for the United States U-17, U-20 and U-23 national teams and was once considered among thw Americans' best young players. He was also one of West Ham's best young players, starring for their various youth teams and making his first team debut when he played all 90 minutes for the Hammers in an FA Cup match last year. But he had fallen out of favor at the club.
It's unclear why Lletget's star began to fade. It's possible that he was a victim of circumstances as Sam Allardyce took over as manager, changing the team's style of play and priorities. It's also possible that his development stunted and he didn't continue to grow, leaving him short of being good enough. Not many people have seen enough of him in recent years to really know.
Now Lletget joins not just the best club in MLS, but a club that is among the league's best in developing young talent. The Galaxy don't just have access to a ton of talent, but they have one of the most expansive academies in MLS that is as well-funded as you will find in the league. On top of that, Bruce Arena has shown no fear in playing youngsters. Gyasi Zardes has gone from homegrown player to national team member, while Jose Villarreal and Bradford Jamieson IV are regulars with the first team as well.
Lletget won't be a homegrown player so he's not quite in the mold of Zardes, Villarreal and Jamieson IV, but those players prove that Lletget is going to get chances to impress and, if he does that, play in MLS. Lletget is an attacking midfielder capable of playing centrally and on the wing. Touted as a skillful player, he could be a good fit for the Galaxy, who have a midfield that emphasizes possession. LA will also make use of his ability to play across the midfield because they do have played move across the field pretty fluidly and even swap positions. It's just a matter of him showing well, making good on his earlier promise and proving he's good enough to play, because the fit shouldn't be an issue.