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Riqui Puig MVP: his impressive figures in MLS

The former Barça player finished the regular phase of the MLS as MVP and top scorer for the Los Angeles Galaxy. His growth in the US makes him one of the stars of the tournament.

Riqui Puig on LA: ‘The city is perfect... I’m so happy here’
Kirby LeeUSA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

The regular phase in the MLS concluded with Riqui Puig as one of the great protagonists. The former Barça player continues to take giant steps in American soccer with his team, the Los Angeles Galaxy. Despite the team’s failure to make the playoffs, Riqui has been a source of inspiration from the moment he joined. He is the leader and a key member of Greg Vanney’s side as his figures show. The 24-year-old’s stats make him one of the best players in the MLS during the 2023 regular season.

Out of all of the players involved in MLS, the Catalan gave the most passes overall (2,073) and per game (67.97). He was also the one who completed the most passes in attack (390) and obtained the highest average per game in that section (12.79). He played 29 games and scored seven goals - more than double his tally during his debut season. As the team’s top scorer, his franchise named him as the MVP of the 2023 campaign.

Riqui arrived in Los Angeles two seasons ago on a free transfer from Barça. Many were surprised by his decision to choose a league so far away from the European game, but his development has been in line with that of the MLS itself - which has seen the arrival of experienced players such as Messi, Busquets and Jordi Alba. With the Galaxy, he counts Chicharito Hernández, Yoshida and Douglas Costa among his team mates (the announced this week that he is leaving for Saudi Arabia); all of those players have been overshadowed by the Spanish midfielder.

Commitment to the Galaxy

Puig has been contemplating his own future. He is under contract until December 2025 and said that he is committed to the Galaxy for the 2024 season. “LA has treated me so well and the fans have treated me as one more of this big family that we all are,” he told reporters this week. “I’ve always said that the Galaxy are the biggest team in MLS and we’ll continue to be just because of the team’s past and the future - what’s ahead is important. We are a team with the most MLS Cups. It’s true it’s been a difficult year for all, but we’re already working since today for what’s ahead with Greg and [technical director] Jovan [Kirovski] and the whole front office to have a competitive team and be on the top again.”