It’s been a busy past few days for Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy, with Academy action juxtaposed with first team training. This past weekend, the Academy Under-16’s defeated San Juan Soccer Club, 3-1, while the Under-18’s prevailed, 3-2. On Feb. 16, both teams will take on the Vancouver Whitecaps Academy.
A former Los Angeles Galaxy Academy product and current first team midfielder, Jose Villareal, scored in the USA’s 2-1 win over Jamaica as part of the buildup to the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship. The Stars and Stripes are in Group A with Haiti and Costa Rica.
Second-year rookie Bryan Gaul is hoping to improve on his stock this season, being Todd Dunivant’s protege in the back line at left back.
“I wanted to do it,” Gaul told LAGalaxy.com’s Larry Morgan. “I was excited about it because you get the best of both worlds. You can do anything at left back. You can defend, you can go as far as you want in the attack. I think it’s a great position.
“I came in as a midfielder/forward and it’s been different, like holding the line on defense. It’s all been new, especially from my college mentality and how we played there. Todd’s been a big help. He’s already taught me a lot of things about the position.
“It’s great. I’m enjoying my time so far. I can’t wait to get to the games.”
“He’s got good instincts,” Dunivant added. “It’s a position I think he keeps growing into. He has good instincts offensively and has continued to hone his defensive side, and you have to have both things.”
Rookie forward Charlie Rugg took part in training yesterday and is expected to resume full training this week after recovering from a groin injury.
“Charlie had his first day back on the field,” Arena told LAGalaxy.com’s Adam Serrano. “He did some of the exercises and we’re going to try to get him doing full training tomorrow.”
“It feels good, I feel like I haven’t touched a ball in three weeks so it definitely feels good,” Rugg added. “They have me getting back into it slowly and I don’t want to jump back into everything too fast,” said Rugg. “I did the warm-up with the team, I did the passing drills with them as well and if they would have had keep-away then I would have done that as well, but they went into a small-sided game and I was doing ball work on the side.
“I’m just taking it day by day and I’m just working towards that day that I feel 100 percent again. I haven’t felt a 100 percent in a while with my other injuries but I felt pretty good today.”
Rookie Gyasi Zardes will be out six to eight weeks to fix a cracked fifth metatarsal in his left foot. Also, a couple of trialists have entered camp this week.
“We have some trialists, we don’t need to publicize that, but we have a couple trialists in,” Arena told Serrano. “We’re going to go through all the right protocol in the league to make sure that if they’re players that we’re interested in that we’re going to be able to sign them — if it came down to that.”
Finally, goalkeeper William Hesmer will not be entering camp after all. The former Columbus Crew goalkeeper was selected during Stage Two of the 2012 MLS Re-Entry Draft but did not join LA when preseason opened.