Galaxy play to a 1-1 draw with Timbers
Bruce Arena's Los Angeles Galaxy continued their preseason with a match against the Portland Timbers at the Home Depot Center on Tuesday.
Paolo Cardozo scored in the 47th minute off a delivery from Bryan Jordan from the right flank. Portland's Brian Umony scored an unassisted goal in the 50th minute to tie the match.
Up next will be a preseason game with their California Clasico rivals, the San Jose Earthquakes, on Thursday, Feb. 10.
After the match, the Galaxy will continue to train at the Home Depot Center until Sunday, when they take off for training in Arizona.
Barrett raring for more production
San Diego's very own Chad Barrett looked forward to the opportunity to increase his production as a member of the Los Angeles Galaxy.
“It’s a happy place here” Barrett said. “Everybody’s just happy. I can see why it’s so easy. You wake up, the sun’s up. How can you be mad?
“I’m just looking for the chance to get in there. I consider myself a starter in this league and I’m going to fight for my starting spot but I’m definitely going to have a lot of competition.”
In terms of skill, Barrett feels that he emulates a certain Manchester United superstar.
“I think I look like Wayne Rooney," Barrett said. "I try and play a little like him, too. We’re both stocky players. I’m aggressive. I’ve gotten better with my back to goal. The one part of my game that lacks is just heading in the box and stuff like that.”
The former UCLA grad scored 34 goals in six seasons with Toronto FC and equaled a career high in goals with seven in 2010.
“I haven’t been the goal-scorer I’ve wanted to be," Barrett said. "I felt like last year had a chance to score 10 goals despite my injuries. This year, that’s going to be my new goal. I’m fast, I’m aggressive. You’re going to get 100 percent out of me all the time.”
Reunited...and it feels so good
Former Alta Loma Arsenal FC stars Hector Jimenez and Ryan Thomas enjoyed the opportunity of playing together once again, this time as members of the Galaxy.
“We had talked about it during our college careers and always had a real good relationship, growing up with Arsenal,” said Thomas. “We had this banter back and forth, ‘What would it be like to play with each other again?’ And now we’re on the same team we grew up watching.
"It’s pretty unbelievable to actually be playing for them now. There are no words to describe it.”
“It’s exciting,” Jimenez added. “I don’t think it really sunk in until I got here a few weeks ago."
Arena enjoys the close ties that players have on this Galaxy side.
“I guess that stuff happens, and obviously we want that to happen,” Arena said.
“Down the road we want our academy players playing for our first team, so hopefully this will be the beginning of those types of long relationships, with players we’re going to have from their early days up until playing in The Home Depot Center.
“I think they’re both good players with a good future with the Galaxy. I think this year with the reserve program it’s going to really be helpful to move those players forward.”
Still, Jimenez and Thomas would take their time getting used to playing football on Victoria Street.
“I’m getting there,” Jimenez said. “I’m starting to feel better. Walking into the locker room and everybody saying hi to me, that was great. I’m really looking forward to the opportunity.”
“I’m still trying to find that comfort zone," Thomas added, "but hopefully I’ll get there. The guys are all really nice and making me feel pretty welcome.”
All systems go for Curt Onalfo
Galaxy assistant coach Curt Onalfo felt relieved to work under Arena, whom he revered as the league's "best coach."
“To be working for a great organization here in MLS, and obviously for a head coach I have unbelievable confidence in and who, in my opinion, is the best coach in the United States ... it’s a unique opportunity, something I’m really looking forward [to],” Onalfo said.
Onalfo used to be the head coach of the Kansas City Wizards and D.C. United. In spite of how things turned out at both those clubs, Onalfo believed that it was time well spent.
“I’ve never let anybody define success for me,” Onalfo said. “I’ve always defined that for myself.”
Onalfo will also be the manager for the reserve division side.
“You’ve got 30 players, but it’s just about making sure we’re kind of mimicking what the first team is doing and there’s a good continuity between the Youth Academy and the reserve team into the first team," Onalfo said.
"Great soccer organizations have really qualified people in positions to make sure that stuff works well."
When asked about returning to a managerial position some time in the future, Onalfo didn't give any timetable.
“I’ve had a great four years of head coaching experience and another seven as an assistant, so I just look at it as an opportunity now to be coaching and to be improving each day in my profession,” Onalfo said. "What better place to do it than in Southern California?”
More shirt number changes
Chad Barrett, Chris Birchall and Ryan Thomas donned new numbers to start training for this week.
Barrett will wear the No. 11 shirt, while Birchall will don the No. 8. As for Thomas, he will wear No. 28.
The Galaxy invades Long Beach. Sort of.
Defender Omar Gonzalez, goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts and Onalfo will be at the Cal South Soccer Nation Expo on Saturday, Feb. 12 at the Long Beach Convention Center.
Gonzalez and Ricketts will be signing autographs for fans for 90 minutes starting at approximately 1:30 p.m., while Onalfo will lead a passing and receiving skills clinic with a group of local youth soccer players starting at 2 p.m.