Chad Barrett at training
Robert Mora

Barrett eyes starting role on competitive Galaxy

CARSON, Calif. – The first to greet LA Galaxy forward Chad Barrett upon his return to Southern California was sunshine, which instantly spurred happy thoughts and feelings for the San Diego native.

It was a stark contrast to where he’d spent the previous three seasons.

“It’s a happy place here” Barrett said. “Everybody’s just happy. I can see why it’s so easy. You wake up, the sun’s up. How can you be mad?”

Under sunny skies and happy days, Barrett is trying to win a spot alongside Juan Pablo Angel, himself a new Galaxy forward. Toronto FC shipped Barrett to LA two days after Edson Buddle bolted MLS in favor of FC Ingolstadt of the German second division, while Ángel was picked in the Re-Entry draft.

“I’m just looking for the chance to get in there,” said Barrett, who played college soccer at UCLA. “I consider myself a starter in this league and I’m going to fight for my starting spot but I’m definitely going to have a lot of competition.”

What can Barrett do to set him apart from Adam Cristman, Mike Magee and other potential forward options? If he can play like the player he emulates, he could set himself apart quickly.

“I think I look like Wayne Rooney, I try and play a little like him, too,” Barrett said. “We’re both stocky players. I’m aggressive. I’ve gotten better with my back to goal. The one part of my game that lacks is just heading in the box and stuff like that.”

Barrett, 25, has scored 34 goals in six seasons with Chicago and Toronto. He equaled his career high in goals with seven last season in 23 games for Toronto. Although he hasn’t had the output he’s wanted, Barrett says he’s always given his all on the field.

“I haven’t been the goal-scorer I’ve wanted to be," he said. "I felt like last year had a chance to score 10 goals despite my injuries. This year, that’s going to be my new goal. I’m fast, I’m aggressive. You’re going to get 100 percent out of me all the time.”

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