CARSON, Calif. -- The Villarreal family may have yet another talented son starring for the LA Galaxy soon.
In my latest piece for LAGalaxy.com, Galaxy U-18 forward Jaime Villarreal talks about his recent academy success and his older brother -- and LA Galaxy Homegrown Player -- Jose backs him for success. But the elder Villarreal isn't the only player to heap praise on Jaime as his Galaxy Academy and Galaxy II teammate Oscar Sorto is also very high on Jaime.
"I think that he's a good player. He's smart with the ball and playing really well," Sorto told LA Galaxy Insider after training with the U.S. Under-21 team on Tuesday at StubHub Center. "His attitude has changed from when I first met him because he seems to want it more now. He's in shape and taking his soccer more seriously. I think that he has a great future ahead of him."
But does Sorto think that Jaime is a bit better than his older brother?
"I don't know yet. Jose has way more experience right now than Jaime, but you never know. In the future, the younger brother is always stronger," Sorto said with a smile.
Three players with LA Galaxy connections have been named to the upcoming U.S. National Team Under-21 training camp that will take place at StubHub Center from April 20-24.
LA Galaxy Homegrown Players Jack McBean, Oscar Sorto and Jose Villarreal were named to the squad by U-21 head coach Tab Ramos. The U-21 squad was designed to serve as bridge between the U.S. U-20 squad and the U-23 group that will look to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The camp will end with a friendly against Club Tijuana on Wednesday.
Both McBean and Sorto who are on loan with Galaxy II will join the camp after competing with LA’s U-18 squad at the Dallas Cup while Villarreal is currently on loan with Liga MX side Cruz Azul but has been assigned to their second division affiliate Cruz Azul Hidalgo for the duration of the 2014 Clausura tournament.
“We’re excited to bring some of our best young players together for this initial U-21 camp,” said Ramos in a statement by U.S. Soccer. “We’re hoping that we can have another two or three camps between now and the end of the year. This camp is purely to have the team together so that we begin moving in the right direction. When the time is right, we can put a group that has kept playing together and is familiar with each other in front of the permanent coach.”
The entire camp roster is below.
GOALKEEPERS (2): Jonathan Kempin (Oklahoma City Energy; Leawood, Kan.), Kendall McIntosh (Santa Clara; Santa Rosa, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (5): Christian Dean (Vancouver Whitecaps; East Palo Alto, Calif.), Juan Pablo Ocegueda (Tigres UANL; Riverside, Calif.), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids; Boulder, Colo.), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids; Brighton, Colo.), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake; Garden Grove, Calif.), Alejandro Guido (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Marlon Hairston (Colorado Rapids; Jackson, Miss.), Benji Joya (Chicago Fire; San Jose, Calif.), Collin Martin (D.C. United; Chevy Chase, Md.), Esteban Rodriguez (Club Tijuana; Bell Gardens, Calif.), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew; Gahanna, Ohio)
FORWARDS (7): Daniel Cuevas (CF Lobos BUAP; Sacramento, Calif.), Danny Garcia (FC Dallas; Dallas, Texas), Jack McBean (LA Galaxy; Newport Beach, Calif.), Jordan Morris (Stanford; Mercer Island, Wash.), Sean Okoli (Seattle Sounders FC; Federal Way, Wash.), Victor Pineda (Chicago Fire; Bolingbrook, Ill.), Jose Villarreal (Cruz Azul; Inglewood, Calif.)
LA Galaxy loan Robbie Rogers, Kyle Venter, Chandler Hoffman and Brian Rowe to LA Galaxy II for Sacramento Republic match
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy announced on Friday that they had loaned four players to LA Galaxy II ahead of their match against Sacramento Republic FC on Sunday.
Robbie Rogers, Kyle Venter, Chandler Hoffman and Brian Rowe will all be available for the Sacramento match. Rogers is the most interesting case as the former MLS All-Star has been steadily working his way from a preseason "stress reaction" injury. With the midfielder already in full training, one can expect that he'll see plenty of minutes against Sacramento Republic.
According to the release, the Galaxy first team now have 10 players at the USL PRO affiliate including the four loaned on Friday as well as Bradford Jaimeson IV, Raul Mendiola, Oscar Sorto, Raul Garcia, Jack McBean, and Charlie Rugg.
LA Galaxy II defender Oscar Sorto has been named to the USL PRO’s Team of the Week after a 90 minute shift in LA’s 1-1 draw with Sacramento Republic FC last week.
In addition to Sorto, forward Chandler Hoffman and midfielder Raul Mendiola were named as honorable mentions. Mendiola provided the assist to Hoffman who scored the game-tying goal last week.
CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy II will play their first match on Saturday against the Orange County Blues at StubHub Center's Track and Field Stadium, and one day before the historic event, the team received their first official players.
The Galaxy announced on Friday that they had loaned first team players Rafael Garcia, Bradford Jamieson IV, Jack McBean, Raul Mendiola, Charlie Rugg, and Oscar Sorto for the duration of the season. In addition, the club also announced that LA has sent first teamers Kofi Opare, Kyle Venter and Kenney Walker for Galaxy II's first match. All nine players will be available for the match against the Orange County Blues.
It can be expected that more signings for Galaxy II will be announced prior to their match against Orange County.
Tickets for the match against the Blues are on sale and are available for $10 dollars.
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) March 21, 2014
Sean Franklin is gone, but now who starts at right back in 2014 for the LA Galaxy?
The frontrunner for the position is veteran A.J. DeLaGarza who started 10 of his 28 regular season league appearances at right back in 2013. This move would allow Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena to start Kofi Opare, Tommy Meyer or Leonardo alongside Omar Gonzalez at center back while Todd Dunivant remains a mainstay on the left-side of the defense.
Meanwhile, behind DeLaGarza is Homegrown defender Oscar Sorto who endured a mixed rookie season that saw him earn a place on the U.S. squad at the Under-20 World Cup and appear in two CONCACAF Champions League matches for the Galaxy. Although the 19-year-old defender was impressive during the U-20 World Cup, he admittedly endured uneven form throughout the season including a poor showing in LA’s CCL group stage finale against Isidro Metapán in October. Heading into his second year as a professional, the Galaxy coaching staff will need Sorto to be more disciplined in training as he seeks to develop into a trusted backup behind DeLaGarza.
Regardless of what improvement that Sorto makes in the coming months, one would expect the Galaxy to use the MLS Re-Entry Draft or the 2014 MLS SuperDraft to bolster their right back depth.
Franklin’s departure will also have an impact on the right side of the midfield for LA as Hector Jimenez and Robbie Rogers appear to be front-runners to start out wide. Each player had moments of success in 2013, but the Galaxy will need greater consistency on the right next season. If Arena is unable to get steady production out of these two players, he may opt to place Landon Donovan along the right and push a player like young forwards Jack McBean, Jose Villarreal or Gyasi Zardes up top alongside Robbie Keane.
Thoughts on these ideas?
Share them below.