Galaxy Notebook: Villarreal makes his mark in star turn
Teen hero Jose Villarreal more or less scored in his first Major League Soccer game, lifting the LA Galaxy to a 2-2 draw Wednesday night at Vancouver with a sizzling strike to the upper-left corner in the 87th minute.
Technically, though, that's not so. He saw about a minute-and-a-half at the end of LA's win last weekend at Portland, not nearly enough time to get involved, so his appearance in the 71st minute – with Galaxy manager Bruce Arena instructing him to go out there and get a goal – was a massive moment for the 18-year-old midfielder.
WATCH: Villarreal on his first MLS goal
What were his thoughts as he stepped onto the field?
“I don't even know man,” he said in a postgame interview with Galaxy broadcast partner KDOC. “It was overwhelming, I was excited – I was nervous, but once I got a few touches on the ball, everything just slowed down for me.”
He said, "There's not a lot of words I can say to describe” the emotions after playing the hero, and he wasn't sure whom he'd call first back home in Southern California.
“The charges [to use my cell phone in Canada] are pretty expensive,” Villarreal said. “So I'll wait until I get home.”
Galaxy legend Cobi Jones, the broadcast analyst, offered Villarreal a little advice: “Keep that jersey, keep that ball. Very important for your future. Trust me.”
Dunivant injured in draw
Left back Todd Dunivant left the game on Wednesday in the 31st minute with a calf strain. He’s missed just one MLS regular-season game this year, but his status for Saturday’s matchup against Chivas USA (10 pm ET, TeleFutura) is unclear.