Brash and aggressive play helps McBean and Villarreal in a successful forward partnership

23 March 10:46 pm

Brash and aggressive play helps McBean and Villarreal in a successful forward partnership

By Adam Serrano

CARSON, Calif. – Jack McBean and Jose Villarreal were pleased with their performance in the LA Galaxy’s 1-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids. The only thing that was missing, however, was missing was a goal.

McBean and Villarreal were dynamic from the opening whistle as they resumed their Academy and Reserve League partnership due to the absence of captain Robbie Keane. Villarreal set the tone early with a header in the third minute that was saved by Clint Irwin as the pair continued to rack up scoring opportunities until McBean saw a shot saved by Irwin in the 86th minute.

In the end, the pair accounted for seven shots on goal –four for McBean and three for Villarreal— only three fewer than LA’s total on the night.  Although Mike Magee scored the lone goal on a penalty kick, McBean felt confident about his showing in just his fifth MLS appearance.

“We talked to each other before the game, we knew that we were going to make mistakes; it’s just how you rebound from them,” said McBean. “I thought we both worked for each other and kept positive attitudes, it was fun.”

Following the match, the teenagers’ teammates were plenty complimentary of their performance.

“We were actually kind of excited to see what those two would do together and obviously, they were good tonight,” said Magee.

“They were all over the field; they had a great game and were unlucky not to score,” added defender Todd Dunivant. “Maybe the forward duo that I’ve ever played with, but they were great.”

What may have made them great, according to Villarreal was their age. The pair have had plenty of success in Academy, Reserve League and CONCACAF Champions League matches in the past and were eager to make that success translate to the league level.

“We just went at the defenders. We didn’t care if they were veterans in the league or not,” said Villarreal. “It’s a matter of us implementing our style of play and our aggressiveness.”

Dunivant was quick to agree that their brashness will only help them going forward.

“They were fearless. That’s probably what makes them as good as they are because they don’t even know what they’re doing, which is a good thing,” said Dunivant. “There is brashness there and it works for them. Jose is taking shots and he’s aggressive and Jack is holding up the ball there for us and that stuff is going to add up. Those guys are going to be big for us.”