Curt Onalfo key to the growth of LA Galaxy Homegrown Player Bradford Jamieson IV
CARSON, Calif. – When Bradford Jamieson IV scored his first professional goal on Sunday, he knew just what to do.
Immediately following his stunning individual goal in the 51st minute of LA Galaxy II’s 5-0 victory over OKC Energy FC, the Galaxy Homegrown Player ran straight to Los Dos head coach Curt Onalfo and leapt into his arms. The moment was a celebration for the 17-year-old who has become a sterling example of the player development plan that is seminal to Galaxy II’s philosophy.
Once Onalfo spotted the young winger dribble through three defenders before lashing a confident strike past Energy FC’s Jon Kempin and then score again minutes later, the Galaxy II boss couldn’t help but crack a smile.
“I can’t tell you how pleased I am with his progress over the last two and the half to three months. It has been remarkable,” Onalfo told LAGalaxy.com. “It’s just the perfect example of why we have the Galaxy II because it provides that platform for the young players to accelerate their development. He has accelerated quicker than I expected him to do, to be honest with you.
“Back in February after we played against the Galaxy [in the White vs. Blue Game], we sat down and showed him how to really become a better professional, and he has taken it to heart,” he added. “He was getting himself into a lot of chances. This week when we met with him it was all about production, so he has certainly produced.”
That conversation with Jamieson IV paid major dividends on Sunday as the 17-year-old was lively in attack as his speed tested the Oklahoma City defense. Jamieson IV finally cashed in on his success in the 51st minute with his first goal USL PRO. He did not have to wait long for his second, as he tallied a near identical goal to his infamous strike in Dallas Cup earlier this year that truly sealed the win for Los Dos.
And after a successful evening, Jamieson IV did not downplay Onalfo’s role in his growth.
“He has definitely told me to stay strong mentally,” Jamieson told LAGalaxy.com. “I’ve personally watched myself in games as replay just to make sure that I improved defensively, offensively and just the little things so that I can make an improvement in every game. I take everything he says to heart so I can improve as much as possible.”
However, Onalfo is well aware that work is hardly done for the youngster.
“First of all he needs to have a better understanding of where to be defensively that gives him good position so he can be more effective offensively. It goes hand in hand,” said Onalfo. “With each game, he has gotten more confident. Things are working better for him, [Sunday] was a perfect example where he got better as the game went along and got himself two great goals.”
In light of players like Raul Mendiola, Tommy Meyer and Chandler Hoffman, who have been getting opportunities to suit up and in some instances play with the Galaxy first team, Jamieson IV believes that if he can continue his development with Los Dos, then a path to Bruce Arena’s squad exists.
“I think I applied myself well with Galaxy II,” Jamieson said. “When you have someone like Curt who genuinely cares about how my improvement turns out and he has given me a lot of good feedback. It’s all very important to what I’ve done so far.”