David Junior Lopes had an interesting Tuesday. He went from training with Chivas USA in the morning to finding out David Beckham, Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane are his new teammates in the afternoon.
The LA Galaxy acquired the Brazilian defender from Chivas USA in order to bolster their depth at center back. A native of Maringá, Brazil, Lopes is an experienced defender who has played in South America and Europe and is in his second year in MLS.
LAGalaxy.com spoke to Lopes this week about the trade, his thoughts on switching locker rooms and what he thinks of his new teammates.
WATCH: Lopes discusses trade to Galaxy
LAG: Can you talk about coming over to the Galaxy, were you surprised with the trade?
David Junior Lopes: I'm very happy to be here with the Galaxy. And yes, I was a little bit surprised because I wasn't expecting it. I didn't play many games with Chivas. I played in the Reserve games of last year and I came back and started to train well and play well but didn't play many games. Now I'm here with the Galaxy, a very big club, and I want to train hard in order to play with my new teammates and do well with the club.
LAG: What do you know about the Galaxy?
DJL: The Galaxy are a great club. They are always getting results, always making history, like any big club does, and they are always winning. They have players of high caliber, like Beckham, Donovan and Robbie Keane. They have a lot of quality players. And I'm happy, I'm very happy, and I hope to help this club.
LAG: What type of mentality do you come in with?
DJL: I'm coming in with the mentality of wanting to work hard. I have an opportunity here and I think that by working hard, taking advantage of the opportunity and doing the right thing, things will happen.
LAG: Have you spoken with the coaching staff yet about your role?
DJL: When I got here (Bruce) told me what he expected of me, what he wanted me to do and didn't want me to do, like any coach would do with any new player that comes in. It comes down to me, though. I need to be smart. I need to always be working hard so that I am able to get an opportunity to get on the squad.
LAG: How helpful is it that fellow Brazilian players Juninho, Leonardo and Marcelo Sarvas are here to help you with your transition?
DJL: It’s very helpful. It helps a lot. We speak the same language, have a lot of things in common, same culture. It complicates matters a little bit because it doesn't force you to speak English, but I don't think that will be a problem at all. I'm still practicing my English. And I'm happy. I consider them my friends. Even when I was playing with Chivas we spoke a lot and considered them my friends then. It's a good a group.
This article was originally published in the LA Galaxy Gameday Program. Be sure to pick up one of the new Gameday Programs, filled with exclusive content, match info and fun facts, the next time you're at The Home Depot Center for a Galaxy home match!