CARSON, Calif. – Marcelo Sarvas has become a regular fixture in the LA Galaxy midfield these days, but just two months ago, the Brazilian was fighting just to get on the field for the Galaxy.
After being signed from Costa Rican club L.D. Alajuelense, the Brazilian initially found playing time difficult to come by as he started just four times during the Galaxy’s 3-8-2 start to the season. But as the Galaxy began their charge up the Western Conference table, Sarvas began to play a larger role in the LA midfield.
Sarvas has made a total of 15 starts since June during the same time that the Galaxy have notched a 12-3-2 record for 38 of their 49 points. While the Brazilian has been an integral part in LA’s midfield, he admits that his chance to perform for the Galaxy was created by another player’s absence.
“Bruce [Arena] gave me a chance to play and most of the matches were to replace David [Beckham] while he was away at the Olympic Games or injured. For me, this was a big responsibility,” said Sarvas. “To be honest, it is impossible to replace the way that David plays, but I tried to play my own game and with Juninho there as well, things have worked very well.”
Perhaps what has helped Sarvas feel at home with the Galaxy has been the presence of his Brazilian compatriot Juninho. On and off the field, the pair is inseparable and has formed a dangerous tandem for LA in the center of the park. A two-way midfielder, Sarvas’ abilities in the attack as well in defense have provided freedom for Juninho to launch his trademark shots from distance.
While much has been made of Sarvas’ contributions to Juninho’s recent form— he has tallied an impressive seven goals in his last seven starts in all competitions— Sarvas attests that the assistance is a two-way street.
“We solve many problems just by talking during the game. It goes two ways, he’s helped me and I’ve helped him,” said Sarvas. “It’s something that is mutual and natural. We help each other with our position and if there is something that he doesn’t see during the game then I do my best to put him in a good spot. We both help one another.”
On Sunday, the Brazilians will likely be paired together once more as LA look to continue their run to the postseason against the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. His early season troubles in the past, Sarvas admits that he has one eye trained on a future at The Home Depot Center.
“I feel good, I feel at home here,” said Sarvas. “I feel at home with the guys and on the field. I feel like I’ve been here many years so it’s good for me.”