CARSON, Calif. – Rafael Garcia saw his night ended early in Tuesday’s 6-2 LA Galaxy victory over Club Tijuana, but the midfielder remains one of LA’s shining stars of the preseason.
Just two minutes after coming on at the start of the second half, Garcia was shown a straight red card by referee Juan Guzman for a foul on Tijuana’s Olivier Ortiz. After being sent off, the midfielder wasn’t moping as he immediately headed into The Home Depot Center gym -- where interestingly enough, he ran into rock music legend Morrissey -- to hit the treadmill to maintain his fitness.
Once LA returned to the training ground on Wednesday, Garcia was eager to make up for what he missed out on Tuesday.
“It was obviously a foul, but it wasn’t ideal going [to be red carded] because we had to play the rest of the match a man down and in that aspect, it was disappointing,” said Garcia. “The call didn’t affect me at all though, for me it was disappointing that I didn’t get to play, but my mentality is the same. I’m going to learn from it because it was a silly foul, but we just have to move on.”
Garcia has impressed this preseason by making three starts with the first team while earning rave reviews from head coach Bruce Arena and many of his teammates.
With the season opener approaching and just a single preseason match left on the docket, Garcia admits that he is feeling more confident than ever.
“I've improved a lot,” said Garcia. “My confidence is pretty high and my thinking is to justkeep working and the times that I do get my opportunities to take advantage for them. It’s a long season and I need to get ready for whenever my number gets called.”