CARSON, Calif – The progression of young LA Galaxy forward Jack McBean is still a work-in-progress, but the 17-year-old forward believes that he’s improving with each passing day.
The Galaxy’s teenage forward showed a flash of his progression on Tuesday as he scored a goal in 45 minutes of action to help the Galaxy to a 1-0 victory over Chivas USA in Reserve League play. The goal was McBean’s second in four appearances with LA’s reserve side this season.
Although McBean admitted to reporters after the match that he didn’t have to do much on the goal –a tap in that fell to him after Raul Mendiola’s shot was blocked in the box— the goal was an important one for the young forward’s confidence.
“I definitely think that I’m growing a lot more this season. I got into that game against Portland, a game that actually meant something so that was big for me,” said McBean. “We’ve got guys coming back [from injury] now like Edson [Buddle] who is nearly back and it’s getting really competitive so in times like this when I score, it just makes all the hard work pay off.”
McBean has been putting in a considerable amount of work this season with the U.S. Under-18 team and Galaxy Academy sides, but the forward has made just three appearances for the club’s first team in 2012. In addition to appearances in friendlies against Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid, McBean made an eight minute stint during LA’s 1-0 home win over Portland on June 17.
Despite making just a one appearance this season in league play, the second-year forward has been a regular with the Galaxy in training as he seeks to learn from the likes of Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan. However, with game action coming at a premium for the youngster, the significance of his performance with the reserve team becomes magnified.
“Reserve League games have a lot of meaning,” said Galaxy reserve team head coach Curt Onalfo on Tuesday. “They’re there to develop players, to get them back from injury and to keep them sharp.”
As he looks to continue his progression as one of the Galaxy’s main offensive weapons for the future, McBean does not have to look far for inspiration. McBean admits that the recent rise of fellow Homegrown Player Jose Villarreal provides an added incentive for him to raise his own game.
“A little bit,” McBean said of his Villarreal’s performance motivating him. “He’s been doing really, really well. He’s really confident right now and his touch is on. I just have to keep working and working hard.”
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider