This is Part Six in a series of players who will play for the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2012.
The Los Angeles Galaxy Youth Academy, under the stewardship of Chris Klein and Under-18s manager Kenny Arena, have made inroads as one of the strongest academy clubs in the country. Boasting a 7-0-2 record in U.S. Soccer Development Academy play this season as of this article date, the Galaxy Under-18s feature some players who have a great chance at succeeding at the next level.
One of those players in Jose Villareal, who signed a contract this past week to become LA's third-ever Home Grown Player.
Villareal, whose younger brother Jaime plays for the Under-16s, began his career as a member of the South Bay Force. During his stint with Pateadores, Villareal scored 20 goals in 31 games during the 2010-11 season.
Villareal was instrumental in helping Pateadores win the Development Academy Under-18 championship, recording a brace. As a member of the national team, he joing the Under-23s for camp in November and played in a scrimmage against Azerbaijan.
Whether or not Villareal is thrown into the fire on March 7 against Toronto FC remains to be seen. But one thing is for certain: young up-and-coming players like Jose Villareal speak volumes about the depth of talent the Los Angeles Galaxy Youth Academy is blessed with.
Sometimes, coming back home is the best thing that could ever happen to you. For goalkeeper Nick Noble, that means returning to Major League Soccer after spending time as a backup goalkeeper in his first stint.
No stranger to American soccer, Noble will look to add depth to the Los Angeles Galaxy in goal as MLS's top club of 2011 looks to prepare for another heady campaign in 2012.
Noble was born on Sept. 1, 1984 in Charleston, West Virginia. A local product, Noble played for the West Virginia Mountaineers from 2003-2006, spending some time with the Bradenton Academics and West Virginia Chaos along the way.
In 2006, Noble was named Big East Conference Goalkeeper of the Year after appearing in 80 matches for WVU. Noble was selected seventh overall by the Chicago Fire in the 2007 MLS Supplemental Draft.
However, he spent time only as a backup goalkeeper and never started a match from 2007-2009. After a brief stint with the Austin Aztex, where he made five appearances in goal, Noble plied his trade with Swedish Superettan side Ljungskile SK, making 59 appearances in goal.
Noble's skills on goal compelled the Los Angeles Galaxy to give him another chance in MLS, and on Dec. 22, 2011, he was signed as a backup goalkeeper.
Now an understudy to incumbent starting netminder Josh Saunders, Nick Noble will use his expertise playing abroad to create some formidable depth defensively for the Los Angeles Galaxy.