This is Part Nine in a series of players who will play for the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2012.
Production, production, production. The word cannot be stressed any further. In established world football leagues like Major League Soccer, goal-scoring production is a precursor to earning championship aware by season's end.
And sometimes, production can come from the most unexpected of players.
A player that will look to increase the Los Angeles Galaxy's production in 2012 is forward Bryan Gaul, hailing from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois.
Though he has proven capable at holding his own in the midfield or in the back, it's his finishing skills up top that prove problematic for the opposition.
Born on Oct. 8, 1989 in Naperville, Ill., Gaul began his career playing for prep powerhouse Neuqua Valley, leading the Wildcats to a state tournament runner-up finish in 2007 while scoring 12 goals and 16 assists. For his efforts, Gaul earned all-state honors from the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times, as well as a Gatorade Player-of-the-Year award nomination.
On the club circuit, Gaul led the Chicago Magic to the 2007 Super-Y League national crown, as well as four straight Illinois State Cup titles and back-to-back Midwest Region championships in 2005 and 2006.
Gaul began his career with the Bradley Braves as a midfielder in 2008, and then was moved to left back in 2009. But while Gaul did earn honorable mention All-Missouri Valley Conference honors as a sophomore defender in 2009 and Missouri Valley Conference All-Freshmen Team honors in 2008, it was the move to forward that really opened the window of opportunity.
In 2010, Gaul recorded 12 goals and 28 points before recording 11 goals and 26 points in his senior year. Gaul's work as a forward helped pace the Braves to to the 2010 State Farm MVC Tournament title and consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament (2010, 2011) for the first time in program history.
Gaul was named to the All-Missouri Valley Conference first team in 2010 and 2011, also earning NSCAA All-Midwest Region honors those two seasons. He was also on the 2011 MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List.
As a result of his breakthrough performances as a forward, the Los Angeles Galaxy selected Gaul as the 19th overall selection in the 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft.
Production is a vital part of any sound football team. It doesn't matter where it comes from: if a team can score goals left and right, that's all that really matters.
Bryan Gaul is the epitome of production hailing from the unexpected. That said, one can expect plenty of scoring from this young Galaxy star in 2012.