CARSON, Calif. – Brian Perk has been snake-bit as of late due to concussions, but in Sunday’s 2-2 reserve league draw, he made a real stride forward as he looks to insert his name in LA Galaxy’s goalkeeper situation.
In each of his last two reserve league appearances, Perk has been forced to exit after collisions that led to concussions. The issue first surfaced after a hard challenge in the early stages of LA’s 1-1 draw with the Los Angeles Blues on June 15 caused him to leave the match in the opening minutes. After battling back from the previous symptoms, Perk was cut down once again a month later and forced to leave late in the first half of the club’s 1-0 victory over the Portland Timbers on July 14.
This time there would be no issue as Perk put forth a confident performance, making four saves in the 2-2 draw. Despite going down in his last two appearances, Perk wasn’t apprehensive in the least when he suited up against the Rapids.
“I felt good. I’ve been training now for three weeks or so and I haven’t had any side effects. I’ve been doing this for a long time now and I didn’t expect any rust, and there wasn’t,” said Perk, who has donned protective head gear since returning to training last month. “The way that I look at it, how do you see that happen? Not too often. Maybe it happens again, I don’t know. But I’m going to play the way that I always play.”
Recovery wasn’t always easy for the 24-year-old goalkeeper as he was went through “two weeks of nothing” as he waited to be cleared by the league’s concussion protocol. The waiting was certainly the hardest part for Perk, but after returning to training three weeks ago, he has steadily built up his fitness in preparation for an appearance against Colorado.
On Sunday, he hardly put a foot wrong as he took command of his penalty area and helped organized a young Galaxy back four that contained two rookies and a pair of players playing out of position. Although Colorado were able to beat him on an Oscar Sorto own goal and a finish by Danny Mwanga in the closing stages of the match, Galaxy reserve team head coach Curt Onalfo was pleased with Perk's showing.
“He was excellent. He had an excellent presence in goal; there were no two ways about it. His presence in goal was very, very good. His kicking game was good, his organization was good,” said Onalfo. “It was an all-around good performance. It’s difficult when you have concussion issues, but he’s looked good in training and it was good for him to have a good performance.”
His performance in the books, Perk is confident that he can challenge LA backup Brian Rowe for a seat on the Galaxy’s game day roster and maybe—just maybe—a start in the club’s upcoming CONCACAF Champions League match against Isidro Metapán
“I feel like I can do the job,” said Perk. “Obviously, we have a bunch of good goalies and that’s a tough decision on Bruce’s part, but from my end, I know that I can do the job and I feel really comfortable and confident. I know that I can do the job and [this performance] reinforces that notion.”
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com