Acquired by Los Angeles: Selected by the Galaxy in the first round (16th overall) of the 2010 MLS SuperDraft.
The MLS leader for assists by a rookie in 2010, Michael Stephens is in his second season with the Galaxy. A former member of theclub’s U-20 team, Stephens stepped seamlessly into the squad last season. Capable of playing anywhere in the midfield, Stephensspent most of his rookie season wide on the right or left, appearing in 25 games. A four-year star at UCLA, Stephens’ eight assistsin 2010 were the most by a Galaxy rookie in more than a decade. He will look to repeat those numbers in his second year as a professional.
2010: An instant hit after being selected by the Galaxy in the first round of the 2010 MLS SuperDraft, Stephens led all MLS rookies with eight assists while also adding a goal in 25 games. He scored the first goal of his professional career early in the 2-0 win at Columbus on 5/29. He tied a club record with three assists in LA’s 4-1 win vs. Houston on 6/5. That was one of two multi-assist games for Stephens, who set up two of his team’s three goals in the 3-1 win vs. Philadelphia on 5/1. The Galaxy were 5-0-0 when he had an assist, with seven of his eight assists coming at The Home Depot Center, having tallied one in the 4-0 win at Seattle on 5/8, one in the 3-1 win vs. Seattle on 7/4 and one in the 2-1 win at Chivas USA on 10/3. His eight assists were the most by a Galaxy rookie since Clint Mathis had 10 in 1998 and were the most by an LA player other than David Beckham or Landon Donovan since Cobi Jones had eight in 2003. The only Galaxy player to play in the first 22 games of the year, he was in the 18-man squad for 28 of the club’s 30 regular season games, while also making one appearance in the CONCACAF Champions League. He made his MLS debut as a second half substitute in the season opening win over New England and then was booked for the first time just a minute after entering his first Honda SuperClasico against Chivas USA on 4/1.
Played four years at UCLA, appearing in 81 games and making 78 starts for the Bruins. He scored 11 goals and added 20 assists while helping lead his team to the NCAA Tournament four times. As a junior in 2009, he set career-highs with seven goals and nine assists to be named the Pac-10 Player of the Year. His seven goals were the second most on the Bruins, with four of them coming on penalty kicks, including one in overtime to upset the #5 ranked University of California, while his nine assists tied him for the Pac-10 lead. Stephens tied a school record with four assists in a 6-1 win over San Diego State. He was also named to the All-Pac-10 First Team as a senior after tallying seven assists in 15 games while helping the Bruins reach the NCAA Quarterfinals. He was named the UCLA Rookie of the Year after appearing in all 24 of the team’s games, making 22 starts as a freshman in 2006. He came off the bench for the first two games of the season but started the rest to be named to the Top Drawer Soccer All- Freshman first team and to Soccer America’s All-Freshman second team. He scored his first collegiate goal just one minute into a 3-1 win over UC Santa Barbara. He also scored a goal in the NCAA semifinals as the Bruins defeated Virginia 4-0 to reach the College Cup Final.
2008-09: Played for the Galaxy’s U-20 team, which competed in the USL Super-20 League, in both 2008 and 2009. He helped the Galaxy win the Pacific SoCal Division in 2008 and a second place finish in 2009. He also played for the Chicago Fire Super- 20s in the 2008 Super-20 North American Finals, assisting on the game’s opening goal as they went on to defeat the Toronto Lynx to claim the title.
Stephens has represented the United States at the U-15, U-16, U-17, U-18 and U-20 levels. He was on the bench but did not appear in any of the U.S.’s three games at the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt. He was a member of the U.S. Soccer Under- 17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla. in 2004 and the 2005 Fall Semester before attending UCLA.