CARSON, Calif. – Throughout the season, the LA Galaxy Reserve League squad has risen to the occasion with every challenge presented to them.
Whether it was difficult conditions or fierce opponents, the Galaxy’s collection of youngsters and veterans have progressed to form a close knit group while racking up results in the process. This hard work paid off on Friday with a 6-0 – a club record for goals scored in Reserve play—victory over Vancouver Whitecaps FC to clinch the MLS Reserve League West Division title.
“Any time that you have a game where you need to get a result to win a championship and you come out with that sort of performance, it’s a great thing,” said Curt Onalfo, the head coach of the Galaxy Reserves, who was doused in Gatorade after the final whistle. “It’s a tribute to how hard this group has worked the entire time. We have a very deep roster and this is something that we take this really seriously.”
The Galaxy showed just how serious they were about winning the title in the second half, when already up 1-0, LA overpowered Vancouver rattling off five unanswered goals in the second including a pair from Jack McBean. With LA dominating the match, the Whitecaps’ chances were few and far between as LA cruised to a win.
Following the match, confidence was understandably high with the Galaxy youngsters, many of whom will be asked to show the same type of performance in two weeks when the Galaxy head to El Salvador to face off against Isidro Metapán in LA’s CONCACAF Champions League Group Stage finale.
While the Galaxy have already clinched a berth in the CCL quarterfinals, the match against Metapan will help to decide LA’s seeding for the tournament. The belief was that Friday’s match was an important confidence booster looking ahead to the trip to El Salvador.
“It’s still seeding so if we get a result then that carries to the next leg," said forward Pat Noonan. "We need to go in with the right mentality and be able to go into a tough atmosphere, even though we’re already through and still get a result. It’s never easy in CONCACAF or any time that you’re going on the road in those types of games so a lot of guys that played [Friday] will get that opportunity and it’ll be nice to see us come out with the same mentality and get a result.”
CCL aside, only a select few of the players that featured on Friday morning will earn significant minutes in the club’s playoff push. But even though they may not play much in LA’s remaining MLS matches, the message that they’ve sent to the coaching staff is clear—we’re ready.
“For us, it’s huge to finish the Reserve League with this big win so now I think that we have to move forward and keep doing what we’re doing and keep improving,” said midfielder Rafael Garcia. “But most importantly, to help the first team because it’s playoff time so whatever we can do to get this team ready for playoffs, we’ll do it.”
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com