CARSON, Calif. – In his two years with the LA Galaxy, Homegrown forward Jack McBean has won a pair of MLS Cup titles, a Supporters’ Shield, and even helped LA qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinals twice.
But now as the 18-year-old enters his third season as a professional, he’s looking for more. He’s aiming to become a regular contributor to the Galaxy’s first team.
“It’s been a good and fun two years, but I’m ready to start contributing more,” McBean told LAGalaxy.com. “Whether it’s off the bench or starting or whatever I can do to help the team win another a championship.”
After making three appearances and tallying three goals in all competitions in 2012, McBean began a lengthy workout regimen during the offseason. Working with his former youth coach George Larsen, McBean was in the gym and participating in training sessions on a near-daily basis as he prepared for the preseason.
During LA’s first two weeks of preseason preparations, the teenage forward has been one of the more impressive players on the field, routinely making impressive plays in training stints. And it is clear that his successes have not gone unnoticed by the Galaxy coaching staff.
“This is Jack’s third year and he’s maturing physically and mentally. He’s got the body of a man and he’s still 18-years-old, and we have to keep that mind. He’s getting better and it’s clearly the best that he’s reported to date which is not surprising and hopefully he’s in a position to contribute as well.”
There is some added motivation for McBean this season beyond a starting spot as he looks to earn a spot on Tab Ramos’ United States Under-20 roster should the U.S. qualify for the Under-20 World Cup in Turkey. McBean took part in a camp in Florida earlier in the month alongside fellow Homegrown signings Jose Villarreal and Oscar Sorto, but was not called up for a subsequent camp in Puebla, Mexico and is not expected to be called up for the CONCACAF U-20 Championship which takes place from Feb. 18 to March 2.
Although McBean readily admits that he wasn’t at his best during the camp in Florida, he is confident that he will be ready should the call come from Ramos.
“You never know what could happen, I know that I’m still in their radar,” said McBean. “If I step it up here and start playing with the first team then hopefully they’ll call me back.”
A place in the U.S. roster may be an added bonus for the youngster, but McBean’s primary task this season will be to fight his way into consideration among LA’s already loaded forward corps. Not only does the Galaxy boast Designated Players Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan, but Homegrown phenoms Jose Villarreal and Gyasi Zardes will also be in the mix for minutes.
Although carving out a spot in the Galaxy rotation will be no easy task, McBean believes that he is ready for the challenge.
“There’s always going to be good competition and you can never take a day off because you need to impress the coaches and improve every day,” said McBean. “I have the mentality that I’m fighting for a spot, I don’t have a guaranteed spot and hopefully it keeps going well then I can get some minutes with the first team.”
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com