CARSON, Calif. –The LA Galaxy were all smiles on Tuesday as they received a first-hand look at the club’s newest signing as forward Jacob Trainor trained with the team.
Trainor was signed by the Galaxy last Thursday as part of a partnership with Make-A-Wish® to help the youngster from Pelham, Alabama realize his dream to be a member of the LA Galaxy. The 15-year-old was an accomplished soccer player before being diagnosed with T-Cell Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia in February 2011 and battled back to be healthy enough to play after three-and-a-half years of chemotherapy treatments.
After his first training session with LA, Trainor was able to sign his first professional contract as Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena and club President Chris Klein presented him with his one-game deal. And on the field, the youngster seemed quite at home as Trainor’s new LA teammates were wowed by his ability during Tuesday’s session.
“He’s been great,” said Galaxy captain Robbie Keane. “It’s great to have him around the guys. It looks like that he’s really enjoying it. We’ve been struggling lately and we could certainly use someone right now.”
The 15-year-old will make his Galaxy debut on Wednesday when the club takes on Western Conference rival FC Dallas and while the young forward may be experiencing some nerves, he’s eager to help LA return to winning ways.
“It’s going to be a close game and hopefully we’ll get a lot of shots and we’ll win,” Trainor told LAGalaxy.com. “I’m very excited and nervous at the same time.”
Each member of Trainor’s new club was pleased with the young forward with midfielder Stefan Ishizaki raving about his left foot while Arena was quick to comment about his new signing’s attitude and character.
While affable defender A.J. DeLaGarza admitted that he’ll provide a little youth to what he claims is an aging Galaxy squad.
“He’s going to bring a lot of youth and energy because he’s younger than everyone here and we’re all getting old,” said DeLaGarza. “It’s good to have some young blood here.”
As part of the pageantry of what promises to be a memorable day for the 15-year-old, Trainor and his family will be able to watch the game from the field when the Galaxy face FC Dallas.
While the Galaxy are eager to make the brave young man’s dreams come true, Arena declared that amid all the frustrations that the 2014 season has brought, Trainor’s presence provided a well-needed dose of perspective for his struggling club.
“He’s a good young man,” said Arena. “When you’re concerned about things in life, I’m not really concerned about where the LA Galaxy are. To see a young man like that has dealt with adversity and to come out the way that he has, I imagine that the little difficulties that we have, we can dig ourselves out of.”