The LA Galaxy season may be over, but LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano will spend the next few weeks offering an evaluation of each member of the squad. VIEW CALENDAR
The LA Galaxy Player Ratings will begin with players who appeared in the least number of games this season starting with goalkeeper Brian Rowe and concluding with Sean Franklin who played in all 34 of the club’s regular season games. There will also be an evaluation of head coach and general manager Bruce Arena and his moves at the conclusion of the list.
We will have two to three evaluations per day and focus on what each player did well, what they need to improve on ahead of next season as well as a select thought from the player on their performance and a rating from myself out of four stars.
APPEARANCES IN ALL OFFICIAL COMPETITIONS: GP: 14 [3 in CONCACAF Champions League and 1 in MLS Cup Playoffs], MIN: 308, G: 2 [1 in CCL], A: 1
RESERVE LEAGUE APPEARANCES: GP: 9, MIN: 514, G: 3, A: 0
HIGHLIGHTS: Signed to a Homegrown deal in December, Villarreal was ineligible to appear with the club’s first team until he first fulfilled MLS' Homegrown Player training requirements, which required him to be part of the club’s Academy for a year. Villarreal made his first team debut on July 14 in Portland, the very day that he was officially added to the club’s roster, and just days later; he signaled his arrival to the league with a stunning late goal that helped LA earn a 2-2 draw against Vancouver Whitecaps FC. From there, Villarreal became a regular option off the bench for head coach Bruce Arena and a starter for the team the CONCACAF Champions League as well as the MLS Reserve League tallying a goal in CCL play and three for the reserves.
LOWLIGHTS: The only downside to Villarreal’s 2012 season were the numerous injuries that prevented the 19-year-old from putting his talent on display. Villarreal’s preseason was cut short just after he underwent surgery to repair bilateral lower-leg compartment syndrome. After he became a regular for the Galaxy, he missed LA’s CCL finale against Isidro Metapán and regular season finale against Seattle Sounders FC with a nagging hamstring injury.
HIS THOUGHTS: “It’s been a crazy ride, like a rollercoaster; It’s been amazing for me— I didn’t expect to get as many minutes as I got. In my first year, I got a lot of minutes and many appearances so I’m happy with that. I don’t like to rate myself, but I think I did pretty well because during the minutes that I got I tried to give everything that I had and help the team as much as possible. “
RATING: THREE STARS
A huge star on the Southern California youth scene, Villarreal’s goals against Vancouver and Puerto Rico as well as his assist against FC Dallas signaled his arrival in MLS, but even better days are likely ahead for the 19-year-old. But it wasn’t just the highlight moments that Villarreal proved his worth as despite being a smaller forward, he showcased a physicality and maturity that challenged experience defenses. With a number of appearances under his belt, expect the dynamic forward to become a regular contributor for the Galaxy in 2013.
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com