Hit the ground running. Those are the words that are ingrained in the new blood of Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy. The rookies didn’t have much time to celebrate their selection by the Galaxy. It was more, “Welcome to the club. Let’s get to work.”
“This is a great place to be,” said forward Charlie Rugg to LAGalaxy.com’s Adam Serrano. “I think that this is one of the best places to start your career and I heard great things about the coaching staff and I know that they’ll help me transition to the pros. I just couldn’t be happier to be here.”
“This is an amazing opportunity to train with the best club in America right now,” added midfielder Andy Riemer. “It’s an unbelievable opportunity.”
“It’s humbling to get here, but there’s still a ton of work here with the whole season,” said defender Greg Cochrane. “I’m looking forward to taking it day by day and seeing where it goes. Every day in preseason is going to be a grind, but I’m looking to go hopefully signing that contract.”
Cochrane, a selection from the University of Louisville, is hoping to nail down a position—any position—with the team.
“I feel like with my fitness, I can get into the attack a lot,” said Cochrane to Serrano. “I also like to whip balls in and that’s how I like to contribute to the attack. Meanwhile on the defensive side, I like one-on-one situations and keeping shutouts. I just love to play.”
One player that is on his way to becoming the presumptive starter against the Chicago Fire on Mar. 3 is goalkeeper Carlo Cuducini, formerly of Tottenham Hotspur.
“I always thought it would be a good experience to come here after I came here with my first season with Chelsea,” said Cudicini to Serrano. “I loved the atmosphere, I love the sports culture in the U.S. and I always thought that if I had a chance to come here then I would take it. That’s what happened, [the offer came] in a moment where I wasn’t that happy at Tottenham, so I think the two things are perfectly matching.
“[MLS] is growing and new players are coming and the level is a decent level. It’s a bit different and you have a few stadiums with turf and you don’t have that in Europe so it will be challenging and I’m looking forward to it.”
Meanwhile, midfielder/garbage time bookend Michael Stephens is aiming to also be a starter come the beginning of march. The 2013 MLS season will be Stephens’s fourth with the Galaxy.
“Personally, it’s a really important year for me,” said Stephens to LAGalaxy.com’s Larry Morgan. “I’ve been kind of a role player. It’s time for me step up here and define a role on this team…I think I’m ready to do it. That’s the goal.”