CARSON, Calif.— The MLS Reserve League is back and Brian Perk couldn’t be happier about it. The LA Galaxy goalkeeper is looking forward to the opportunity to get some games in.
“There’s nothing like a game,” said Perk, who in two seasons in MLS has only played in three “official” games, all exhibitions. “You can train all day, you can simulate it, but it’s a little different when you have to play 90 (minutes) as opposed to 15 here and there with the team.
“So, it’s going to be great to go up against other reserve players. They are going to want to play and we are going to want to play, so it’s going to be a good game.”
Perk is one of two handfuls of Galaxy players who have not played in any of the club’s seven regular season games so far this season. Defenders Sean Alvarado and Ryan Thomas, midfielders Hector Jimenez, Dan Keat and Dustin McCarty and forward Jack McBean have not seen playing time either. Neither has defender Gregg Berhalter (Left MCL – Sprain) and forward Adam Cristman (Left Knee – Surgery), due to injury.
McBean is currently in Mexico with the U.S. Under-17 National Team and therefore won’t be available for selection for Sunday’s game, but the rest of the group is expected to see their first minutes of playing time in 2011.
For Jimenez, the Galaxy’s second round draft pick at this year’s MLS SuperDraft, the return of the Reserve League is a step in the right direction for soccer in the United States. It is an opportunity for young players, like him, to develop.
“It’s a good move. It’s great to bring it back and for us, young players, it’s great to get some playing time and show the coaches what we’re made of. Definitely, it is a plus for the league and for the team too.”
Alvarado is excited to for this opportunity as well. The 6-foot-3 defender, who signed with the Galaxy just days before the start of the season, has been waiting for this day for a long time.
“Since I’ve been here I’ve really just wanted to get on the field and play an 11v11 game,” Alvarado said. “The coaches have been great, the players have been amazing, I’ve been learning a lot and now I just want to put it to use on the field.”
Players on the Galaxy roster won’t be the only ones to benefit from the return of the Reserve League. LA Galaxy Academy Players will also be able benefit as they are available to be called up and play in those games.
Kickoff for the game is at noon on Sunday at The Home Depot Center Track and Field Stadium. Fans wishing to attend the match are instructed to enter through either Gate D or Gate A and park in Lot 18, on the south side of The Home Depot Center. Admission and parking are both free for this match. MAP
The Galaxy’s next reserve league game will be against Chivas USA on Tuesday, May 3 at The Home Depot Center. FULL RESERVE SCHEDULE