CARSON, Calif. – Colin Clark’s relocation to the LA Galaxy made perfect sense, as far as the 28-year-old former Houston Dynamo standout was concerned.
Simply put, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.
“That’s actually one of my first quotes,” he said with a laugh Monday after the two-time defending MLS Cup champions officially opened training camp at The Home Depot Center. “It’s fairly true.”
Clark had been a member of the Dynamo for the past two and a half seasons, during which he had two Eastern Conference championships to his credit, but Houston failed to get past the Galaxy in the last two MLS Cups.
“I’m just excited to be here and get to work with another fantastic coach and a great organization,” he said.
His new surroundings do not come without their share of disappointment, however. Clark, who made his MLS debut with the Colorado Rapids in 2006 and was traded to Houston in 2010, made six starts in 14 appearances for the Dynamo last season but eventually came to the realization his stay there might be be short-lived.
He had spoken with Houston coach Dominic Kinnear, who told him he likely would be made available in last December’s MLS Re-Entry Process.
“I kind of knew my standing going in. I wasn’t shocked,” Clark said. “It’s tough. Dom took a chance on me after back-to-back knee surgeries. I’m forever grateful to him to get the chance to play and to have a team have confidence in you after that.
“You move to a place and you want to make it a home away from home. Then after two years you’re kind of on the outs. It’s tough, but it put me in a better situation here.”
Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said he had been impressed with Clark for several seasons and was looking to add some width to his midfield, especially following the departures of David Beckham and Christian Wilhelmsson, and felt Clark was a possible solution. The Galaxy even traded up to second overall in the re-entry draft to ensure they would be able to select him.
“He fills a need that I think we have. We think he’s a good addition to the roster,” Arena said. “We think he’s a player that’s going to help us.”
Clark said he wasn’t overly surprised to get a call from Arena.
“It was more of a privilege to get a call from him,” Clark clarified.
Now that he’s here, he intends to make the most of his chance and, to say the least, is thankful for the opportunity.
“They’re probably the best organization in the league, one of the best teams probably in a long time to come through,” he said. “It’s always nice to share the field with wonderful players. Now I can look at it from this side.
“Joining them was an honor.”