CARSON, Calif. (Thursday, February 7, 2013) – LA Galaxy forward Jose Villarreal was one of 18 players that were named today to the U.S. Under-20 National Team ahead of the CONCACAF U-20 Championship. The 19-year-old Inglewood, Calif. native will depart for Puebla, Mexico tonight for 10 days of training ahead of the start of the tournament on Monday, February 18. Under the direction of head coach Tab Ramos, the U.S. U-20’s will look to qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup for the 13th time.
Galaxy Academy defender Javan Torre, who recently completed his freshman season at UCLA, is also included in the 18-man squad.
Villarreal has been a part of each of the U-20’s last three training camps, dating back to October 2012 when he was called in for the Marbella Cup in Spain. The Galaxy forward, who has six goals in nine all-time appearances with the U-20’s, appeared in all three games of that tournament, scoring twice in a 2-0 win over Scotland. After helping the Galaxy win MLS Cup 2012, Villarreal participated in a week-long training camp in Florida, scoring a goal in a 4-0 win over Venezuela. Last month, Villarreal participated in a week-long training camp that was held in Puebla, Mexico, scoring once while playing in each of the U-20’s games against Panama.
Signed from the Galaxy Academy as a Homegrown player in December 2011, Villarreal was officially added to the Galaxy roster on July 14 and he made his MLS debut that night, coming on as a substitute late in the 5-3 win over Portland. He then scored the first goal of his MLS career four days later, tallying an 87th minute equalizer in the 2-2 draw at Vancouver, a goal that was selected as the MLS Goal of the Week and the Galaxy’s Goal of the Year. He finished the year with 14 appearances in all competitions, scoring a pair of goals and adding an assist. This season, Villarreal has scored in each of the Galaxy’s preseason matches.
The U.S. have been drawn into Group A of the CONCACAF U-20 Championship along with Costa Rica and Haiti. After 10 days of training in Mexico, the U-20’s will open the tournament on February 18 against Costa Rica. Four days later, on February 22, the U.S. will take on Haiti with the top two teams from the group advancing to the tournament quarterfinals, on February 26. The four teams that advance to the tournament semifinals will qualify for the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup, which will be held in Turkey from June 21-July 13.
Villarreal and the Galaxy will open the regular season on Sunday, March 3 when they host the Chicago Fire at The Home Depot Center. Four days later, on Thursday, March 7, the club will travel to Costa Rica to take on CS Herediano in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal. The return leg of that series will be played at The Home Depot Center on Wednesday, March 13. The best way to get tickets to each of these home games is to become a Galaxy Season Ticket Holder. Season ticket plans start at just $250 and include a ticket to all 17 of the club’s regular season games, as well as four bonus games and a number of exclusive benefits. For more information about 2013 Galaxy season tickets, please visit the club’s official website www.lagalaxy.com or call 1-877-3GALAXY (342-5299).