Is Gabriel Pec the new MLS star?

The Brazilian shines on the pitch with two goals and keeps LA Galaxy in the Western Conference hunt
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It was a magical night for Gabriel Pec and the LA Galaxy fans. In a gala display, the young Brazilian scored the two goals that secured a 2-1 win over Minnesota United. This result not only cemented the Galaxy's place in the playoffs, but also highlighted Pec's meteoric rise as one of the big names in the MLS.

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After the match, coach Greg Vanney was full of praise for his No10: "He's good and confident. He's asked to stay on the right flank, so he needs to keep scoring goals and providing assists to stay where he is." Indeed, Pec has shown impressive progress. At the start of the season, many believed that he would be in the shadow of Joseph Paintsil, a more experienced and quicker player. However, an injury to Paintsil opened up space for Pec, who hasn't looked back since.

With skill and intelligence, Pec stood out not only for his ability with the ball at his feet, but also for his movements without the ball, creating space and opportunities for his teammates. His performance has been crucial for the Galaxy, who now rely on him for both goals and assists.

The numbers speak for themselves: nine goals and seven assists in 22 games, 19 of them as a starter. Pec leads the team in assists and expected assists, as well as being in the 91st percentile in xG + xA without penalty among his positional peers, according to FBref. This statistic demonstrates Pec's importance in Vanney's tactical scheme and his ability to directly influence the results of games.
The Galaxy had to fight against a well-organized and determined opponent. However, Pec's individual quality made the difference. His two goals were a mixture of technique, timing and precision. In the first, he took advantage of a perfect cross, got ahead of the defender and headed it into the corner. In the second, he showed his coolness by dribbling past the goalkeeper and finishing into an empty net.

This kind of performance puts Gabriel Pec on the radar not only of Galaxy fans, but also of other clubs and national teams. In addition to his goals and assists, Pec has contributed defensively, helping to recover balls and pressuring opponents. His versatility in playing at both ends of the pitch allows Vanney a variety of tactical options, making the Galaxy a more unpredictable and dangerous team.

It's interesting to note how Pec's arrival at Galaxy was somewhat low-key. Many doubted his potential, especially compared to Paintsil. But as they say, "the good son returns home". Pec showed resilience and determination to adapt to North American soccer and is now reaping the rewards of his hard work.