CARSON, Calif. – Jose Villarreal may be away on International duty with the U.S. Under-20’s for the CONCACAF U-20 Championship, but once he returns, he’ll have a “big part” to play in the LA Galaxy offense according to Robbie Keane.
Villarreal started and went 64 minutes in the U.S. U-20’s 2-1 victory over Haiti on Monday and is expected to play an important role throughout the tournament as the Americans look to qualify for the U-20 World Cup in Turkey later this year.
Once Villarreal returns to Southern California—which could be as late as March 2 if the U.S. advances to the final—he’ll be expected to play a major role in LA’s forward rotation. With Landon Donovan not returning until late March, Mike Magee is likely to serve as the primary partner alongside the Irish forward, but Keane expects Villarreal to see plenty of minutes.
“I like playing with him, he’s very clever. He has a great left foot and he plays quite similar to where I play in the hole so I think that we can work well together,” said Keane. “I think that we’re quite similar in the way that we like to come off kind of deep and get on the ball. That was the case with me and Landon [Donovan] last year and we worked well together.
“He’s always looking to do something which is always good for me,” added Keane. “You always expect the unexpected with him so it’s good. I really enjoy playing with him.”