CARSON, Calif. –A player with a familiar last name is turning heads for the LA Galaxy Academy.
Forward Jaime Villarreal, the younger brother of Galaxy Homegrown Player Jose, tallied three goals as the LA Galaxy Academy Under-18’s went 1-1-1 in the Dallas Cup’s prestigious Gordon Jago Super Group.
All three of Jaime Villarreal’s goals came in his side’s impressive 4-1 victory over Chivas Guadalajara last week.
“We did a solid job defending at the start and caught them on the counter attack once we found the spaces behind,” Villarreal told LAGalaxy.com of the match against Guadalajara. “It was a huge victory for us because they’re one of the best youth programs in Mexico. We wanted to end the tournament with a flourish and we did.
“I learned a great deal from that tournament,” he added. “I was able to see other types of playing styles and as a team, we proved ourselves. It’ll help us play better and play as a team.”
The performance against Guadalajara was just the latest in a strong season for the teenager who has already tallied nine goals in 21 games with LA’s U-18’s. His 2013 campaign has built on what was already a successful youth career as he has tallied 29 goals in 44 games in U.S. Soccer Developmental Academy play with the Galaxy’s U-18 and U-16 squads.
With the Galaxy U-18’s already steeling themselves for the U.S. Developmental Academy Playoffs in June as well as a match against Real Salt Lake-Arizona on Saturday, Villarreal is expected to develop into more of a major factor for head coach Ante Razov’s squad.
Villarreal’s famous brother, who is currently on loan to Liga MX side Cruz Azul, offered his encouragement for Jaime as he looks to continue with his career with the Galaxy.
“He’s a good player and he’s developing very well. I talk to him every day and I encourage him to keep going because there is no limit to his potential,” said Jose Villarreal while participating in the U.S. U-21 training camp earlier this week. “He’s just got a killer instinct which I saw against Chivas because he took over the game.
“We grew up playing together while I’m happy for him, I’m still better,” the elder Villarreal joked.
And as he looks to reach the heights that his brother has enjoyed, Jaime expects to continue to have success as he looks to push his soccer career—and the Galaxy U-18’s—ever forward.
“I’m finally getting to play my best soccer,” said the younger Villarreal. “I feel like from now on, I’m going to be a better player and keep improving at every step.”