A native of England, Matthew Tilley has only been a member of the Galaxy Youth Academy for a little over a month, but in his time in the U.S., the defender has already seen his game improve. With the opportunity to train with the Galaxy’s first team, Tilley has been able to learn from some of the team’s best and has his sights set on a pro career sometime in the future.
We caught up with Matt to discuss his experience with the Academy and the goals he has set for the future.
How have you improved as a member of the Galaxy Academy?
“I have been here a little over a month now, and my communication in the back has become a lot stronger. That is what the coaches have been trying to help me with, and my overall shape in the back and just making sure I get people in the right position and organized.”
What was it like to train with the first team?
“It was interesting, and a lot of fun. The pace was a lot faster, but I felt like I learned a lot and I got a lot better in the short time we were out there.”
Is there a certain player on the first team who has been especially helpful?
“We were with Jovan Kirovski and he is pretty experienced. Just the way he talks and how enthusiastic he is in everything we do, including the warm-up, is inspiring. He told me that the game is all about communication and the more you talk, the easier it is. To train and to play with everyone becomes easier if you just talk.”
What was you experience like training with an academy in England?
“I was training with Birmingham City. The environment that you are in in England, playing with a Premier League team, there are a lot of expectations having that shirt on. The experience was great though. It was a lot of fun.”
What are the personal goals you have set for yourself this year?
“Just to improve everyday and hopefully make it pro. [Our coach has stressed] leadership from the back. Being a center back, it is all about leading and communicating with everyone.”
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!