Sebastian Lletget celebrates a goal with Paul Arriola during a win over Trinidad & Tobago in January. (Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports)
By Michael Lewis
The team boasts some of the most exciting young talent in years, players that are grabbing the headlines.
And then there’s Sebastian Lletget.
You know, Sebastian Lletget.
He’s the LA Galaxy midfielder whose two goals might have been lost in the news of Dest’s and Brenden Aaronson’s two earlier fine goals in the U.S. men’s national team’s 4-1 international win over Jamaica.
Lletget has been a mainstay of the USMNT since head coach Gregg Berhalter took over in 2019. He has tallied six goals in 19 matches. On the current roster playing in Europe – the USA takes on Northern Ireland in Belfast Sunday – Lletget is second among all players, trailing only Christian Pulisic (14)
At 28-years-old, Lletget is considered an “old man” among a team that averages 23 years, 77 days.
“It’s funny, man,” Lletget said after the Jamaica game on a Zoom press conference with the media. “Honestly, it’s been a pleasure playing alongside those guys. Sergio has been amazing. Christian, I think he’s just gone up another gear in his career. Weston [McKennie]. Just a joy to play with.
“As far as headlines, I know people think I would love such a thing but I’m pretty low key. Honestly, more power to my teammates. I hope they keep getting in the limelight and you know as they deserve it.”
The 5-10, 165-lb. Lletget doesn’t play with an elite European club such as Chelsea, Juventus, Barcelona or Borussia Dortmund.
He has toiled for the Galaxy in Major League Soccer for the past six years. Once one of MLS’ top teams, the Galaxy trudged to a 10th-place finish out of 12 Western Conference teams with a 6-12-4 mark and 22 points in as many matches.
“I was fortunate enough when Gregg got the job and I was lucky enough to be part of that group when he was started to first integrate his style of play,” he said. “At first it was difficult, and it has just been a slow, progressive process for me.
“I think you’re seeing kind of more of an understanding of players that just understands his role in this team. But it’s taking time. It might seem like it just happened like that, but it’s taken a long time for me to study and really, really get better at it. He’s opened my mind to how I can, how I can affect the game in a, in a much more effective way.”
In case if you were wondering, Lletget tallied six goals and four assists for LA in 2020 and has accumulated 20 goals and 22 assists during six years with the club.
Lletget scored the final two goals in the 83rd and 90th minutes.
Berhalter said the midfielder’s “performance spoke for itself tonight. for sure,” adding that he was a “really, really good player, a really technical player reads the game well and is able to arrive in the penalty box and finishes opportunities.”
By the time Lletget scored, the U.S. was in control of the game and had built up a two-goal advantage as several of the emerging stars demonstrated their potential and grabbed the spotlight.
And that’s fine with Sebastian Lletget.