CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy have sent three of their young players to Sweden for a training stint, and head coach/general manager Bruce Arena acknowledged that it was possible they could join Hammarby on a loan deal or a transfer.
Second-year defender Bryan Gaul, midfielder Kenney Walker and rookie forward Charlie Rugg (pictured above) headed to Stockholm over the weekend to begin an open-ended trial with Hammarby, which, like the Galaxy, is owned by Anschutz Entertainment Group. Former Galaxy defender and assistant coach Gregg Berhalter is the second-division team's manager.
They were slated to begin training with the suburban Stockholm club on Monday.
Arena, following LA's victory Sunday night over FC Dallas at the StubHub Center, said the trio headed to Sweden because “it'll be a good experience for these players.” Hammarby on its web site said the “planned exchange” was meant to “give players the experience of a European training environment.”
Arena was asked if there was a possibility Gaul, Walker and Rugg might join Hammarby on loan, as forward Chad Barrett did last season before returning to MLS, or perhaps transfer to the Swedish club.
“Sure,” he said. “It's a club we know very well.”
Gaul and Walker have not made an MLS appearance this year, but both saw first-team action in the Galaxy's US Open Cup loss to the Carolina RailHawks in late May and have been regulars for LA's reserve side. Gaul played in 19 first-team competitive matches as a rookie in 2012, making 11 starts. Walker played in four, all starts.
Rugg, the Galaxy's first-round selection in this year's MLS SuperDraft out of Boston College, has played in three league games. He started and scored in the 2-0 win at Real Salt Lake on April 27, and also started in the Open Cup defeat.