Is he the next Edson Buddle? Or is he Darren Mattocks 2.0? Whatever the case may be, make no mistake about it: forward Gyasi Zardes of Cal State Bakersfield will be the next Homegrown signing by Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy, according to LAGalaxy.com’s Adam Serrano. Zardes is a product of the Galaxy Academy and was a standout players from 2008-2010.
Zardes was named Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Offensive Player of the Year in 2011 and 2012 and was among the top 15 in contention for the Hermann Trophy in 2011.
Zardes hails from Hawthorne, Calif and played for Leuzinger High School. He also has American football in his blood, having played kicker for the Olympians. In 2009, Zardes redshirted and set himself up for a solid year in 2010, where he was named MPSF Newcomer of the Year. Zardes was second in the MPSF in assists and assists per game that season.
In 2011, in addition to the honors mentioned, Zardes scored 18 goals and two assists as a forward and was featured on the Oct. 3 edition of Sports Illustrated Magazine. This past season, Zardes has been nothing short of stellar, recording 15 goals and nine-assists, both team highs.
Zardes joins a superb group of young up-and-comers for next season, including fellow forwards Jose Villareal and Jack McBean, and defender Oscar Sorto.
Meanwhile, the next three matches for the Galaxy have been announced. On Mar. 3, the Galaxy open up the 2013 season against the Chicago Fire at the Home Depot Center. Afterwards, Los Angeles continue their season with a couple of CONCACAF Champions League matches against C.S. Herediano of Heredia, Costa Rica.
Kickoff for the first leg in Heredia is scheduled for Mar. 7 at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET and the second leg at the Home Depot Center is scheduled for Mar. 13 at 6 p.m. PT. Both matches will be televised by Fox Soccer.
In terms of the scheduling, Arena has elected to take it all in stride.
“There’s a lot of factors that I think most people don’t understand in terms of our competitions and will continue to be a factor as we move down the road,” Arena told MLSSoccer.com’s Scott French in an interview earlier this month. “The scheduling in MLS is very difficult. We don’t have a balanced schedule. Teams that are in outside competitions, such as CONCACAF, are behind the eight-ball.”
“It’s very difficult for them to play with the number of games. In the West, the travel is greater. You play in altitude in the West. You play on artificial fields in the West. It’s just extremely difficult. So from one year to the next, it’s highly unpredictable, it doesn’t get any easier, and sometimes at the end of the whole thing it doesn’t make for a fair competition.
“So, having said all that, it’s hard for me to even say: Is the 2012 team better than the 2011 team? The 2011 [side] didn’t have to face some of the obstacles that 2012 had to. So it’s really difficult for me to try to qualify those kinds of statements.”