KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Bradford Jamieson IV could have been forgiven if he displayed any nerves in his first MLS appearance.
After all, by the time that head coach Bruce Arena called his number in the 75th minute, LA were down 2-0 on the road to the reigning MLS Cup champions Sporting Kansas City in front of a beyond capacity crowd of 21,493. Adding to all of the drama, the 17-year-old’s mother Danica and his younger brother Quincy were in attendance after flying out to surprise the Galaxy Homegrown Player.
But when asked if there were any butterflies ahead of his MLS debut, Jamieson just shrugged.
“No,” he said. “I’ve been thinking about this for a long time and I was more than prepared.”
Forged by his 13 appearances with USL PRO affiliate LA Galaxy II, Jamieson certainly looked prepared as he needed less than five minutes to set up Robbie Keane’s 10th goal of the season which sparked an LA comeback that fell just short in their 2-1 defeat.
The Homegrown Player’s assist was a gritty display of the opportunist nature that has helped him star for LA Galaxy II as he outleapt Sporting center back Aurelien Collin to a Baggio Husidic headed pass and nodded the ball perfectly into the path of Keane, who scored from close range.
“I knew that [Sporting] were stepping up and that we’d get space in behind [the defense], but really, I was just trying to complete which is what the coaches are telling me to do,” said Jamieson who has tallied five times for Galaxy II. “It was one of the best moments of my life to make my debut and to get an assist while playing alongside players like Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan. It had me so happy. I just could not stop smiling.”
The assist was the highlight for the teenager, but his debut was not without its growing pains. Soon after his tally, he found himself isolated and unable to hold possession as Kansas City limited LA’s spaces to preserve their slim lead.
Despite these difficulties, LA certainly felt there was reason to celebrate Jamieson’s big day.
“Getting the header on the assist was good. He had a few plays where he could have done better to have a cleaner touch and maybe get a cross off or make something dangerous happen, but it’s his first game,” said Landon Donovan. “You don’t expect perfection, but we’re happy for him. It’s good that he got the chance to get the first game under his belt, and hopefully he keeps moving forward.”
Added Arena, “The young player did well. He's only 17 and we think that he's going to be very good in this league."
But it was Keane who offered his highest praise for the youngster who is already targeting a greater role with the Galaxy first team.
“It was a tough game for him to come into, but it’s not a bad start is it? One game and one assist,” said Keane. ‘I congratulated him on his first game because you always remember your first game and to set up an assist was certainly nice for him. He’s going to grow in confidence and it’ll be nice for him to come into a game where we’re in control.
“But he can be proud of himself [getting] in his first game, getting his first assist and as I said there will be a lot more to come from him.”
His first appearance in the books, Jamieson has already turned the page and begun focusing on the future where he’ll look to fulfill that promise that Keane so plainly sees.
“The assist is a great thing to build off of,” said the confident teenager. “But the next thing that I’m looking for is goals.”