Acquired by Los Angeles: Signed by the Galaxy on July 8, 2009.
A veteran who is capable of playing anywhere in the midfield, Chris Birchall is back for his third season with the Galaxy. The 26-yearold native of England appeared in 25 games during his first full season with the club in 2010. Still looking for his first goal in MLS, Birchall’s partnership with Juninho in central midfield at the start of last season was paramount to the Galaxy’s early season success. A member of the Trinidad and Tobago National Team, Birchall will look to repeat that form throughout the 2011 campaign.
2010: In his first full season with the Galaxy, Birchall established himself in the heart of the LA midfield. Typically playing alongside Juninho, Birchall appeared in 25 games in 2010, making 23 starts and collecting two assists. His first assist came on Michael Stephens’ game-winning goal at Columbus on 5/29, while his second came in the 3-1 loss at home against Colorado when he helped set up Edson Buddle for his 17th and final goal of the year. Birchall was forced to leave that game late in the first half because of an injury that ruled him out for the season finale against FC Dallas and limited him to just appearances off the bench in the postseason. The only other game that Birchall did not dress for was the 1-1 draw at Chicago on 9/4, a game that he was suspended for because of yellow card accumulation. While he did not score a goal in the regular season or postseason, Birchall, who played in one Open Cup and one Champions League game, did score LA’s first goal of the preseason, striking late in the 1- 0 win over Puntarenas FC at Titan Stadium on 3/10. 2009: Originally came over to train with the Galaxy in May and signed with the club on 7/8. He made his MLS debut on 7/16, replacing David Beckham in the 70th minute of the 3-1 win at New York. He played 45 minutes in both friendlies against AC Milan and Barcelona before making his first start with the Galaxy in their 2-0 win at Chicago on 8/19.He made his second start on 9/19 vs. Toronto FC, tallying his first assist when he set up David Beckham’s early game-winning goal. That was the first of five straight starts for Birchall to end the regular season. In the postseason, Birchall started Game One of the Western Conference Semifinal Series with Chivas USA, playing 77 minutes in midfield. However, he missed Game Two of that series with an illness and was then an unused substitute for the Western Conference Championship. He returned to the starting lineup for MLS Cup, playing 79 minutes in central midfield, collecting the game’s first yellow card, before being replaced by Chris Klein.
2009: Signed with Brighton and Hove Albion of England’s League One in January, appearing in nine games while helping the club avoid relegation. 2006-09: Was signed by Coventry City of the English Championship in August 2006, and went on to play in 30 games for the club during his first season with the club. He scored twice for the Sky Blues, grabbing his first goal in a 3-0 win over Norwich City. After his first season with the club, he saw his chances limited, leading to short loan deals with St. Mirren and Carlisle United before joining Brighton on a permanent basis in January 2009. 2001-06: Began his career with Port Vale on England’s Second Division (now League One) after coming through the club’s youth ranks. He made his debut at the age of 17 on 9/12/01 in a League Cup defeat to Charlton. He had his best season for the club in 2004-05, playing in a career-high 39 games, tallying seven goals and being named the club’s Young Player of the Year. He scored his first goal for the club on 10/19/04, tallying the winner against Swindon Town. He added two more goals in 32 games during his final season with Port Vale, scoring once in the league and once in the FA Cup.
Has played 36 times for the Trinidad and Tobago National Team, scoring four times since making his debut in 2005. Despite being born in England, he is eligible to play for the island nation because his mother was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad. He made his debut for the Soca Warriors in a 4-0 win over Bermuda on 5/27/05, helping set up two goals in the victory. He scored his first goal for the country in a 1-1 draw with Honduras in Miami during the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup and went on to become a permanent fixture in the T&T lineup, helping the nation to a fourth place finish in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying and a playoff with Bahrain. There, he scored perhaps his most important goal, tallying the equalizer in a 1-1 draw in the home leg of the two game series in Port of Spain. T&T went on to win the return leg in Bahrain 1-0 to book their first-ever trip to the World Cup. At the World Cup in Germany, Birchall played the full 90 minutes of all three of his team’s games.