CARSON, Calif. – The gang is back together.
LA Galaxy Homegrown Players Jack McBean, Oscar Sorto and Jose Villarreal were each called up to Tab Ramos' United States U-21 squad for a four-day long training camp, which began on Monday. All three are expected to participate in the U.S. U-21’s friendly match against Club Tijuana at StubHub Center on Wednesday.
“It’s a good group of guys here at this camp and it’s great to see some familiar faces,” said McBean. “I know a lot of these guys from past camps, but especially Jose and Oscar as we’ve played together with the reserves and the academy. I’m happy to play with them again”
After spending the 2013 season subsisting on limited first team minutes and reserve games, all three players were sent on loan with the hopes of earning significant playing time. McBean and Sorto were sent to LA's USL PRO affiliate LA Galaxy II where they have been regular starters for Los Dos head coach Curt Onalfo’s side while Villarreal was loaned to Liga MX giant Cruz Azul.
Although Villarreal's Mexican sojourn has resulted in limited appearances with Cruz Azul Hidalgo, the Mexican club’s second-division affiliate, and their U-20 side, the Inglewood-native is pleased with the chance to return home for the brief camp.
“It’s good to be back with the same group again that we played with in Mexico and in Turkey. I’m pleased that Tab called me up for the camp and I’m just happy to be here with my old friends,” Villarreal told LAGalaxy.com. “It’s great to see Jack and Oscar too. I got to spend a lot of time with them while I was with the reserves and I went to visit my old teammates as well, so I’m enjoying my time back here.”
While all three of the players said all the right things about being back together again just a stone’s throw away from their old Galaxy training pitch, the focus is a simple one for all three: prove to Ramos that they deserve inclusion in future camps and, perhaps, the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
“The fact that Tab Ramos called me up lets me know that I’ve been doing my job with Galaxy II,” said Sorto. “I’m hoping to play well so that Tab can keep calling me up for these types of camps. I want to convince the coaches that I’m ready for the Olympics and maybe one day, the next World Cup.”