Galaxy Camp closes in Carson

The 2005 Galaxy Youth Fantasy Camped wrapped up Friday with final matches and a closing ceremony. The camp, in its inaugural year, gave kids ages 8-15 training and exposure to the life of a professional soccer player.

The closing ceremony concluded the five-day adventure that included such activities as watching a Galaxy training session, lunch with the Galaxy players, a mock press conference, sideline interviews, and locker room player photos.

Each camper remembered special moments throughout the week. For some, improving their game was an important part of the week. For others, meeting the Galaxy players was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Gabriela Barrera, a 12-year-old from Los Angeles, believes bettering her dribbling was her biggest improvement of the week.

"I used to dribble far away from me, but now I dribble really close to my legs," Barrera said.

Barrera also savored the opportunity to see the Galaxy up close. "It was tight because I actually saw them up close, instead of on TV."

Alex Farr, an 11-year-old from Santa Monica, saw first-hand a skills demonstration from his favorite Galaxy player, Mamba Chisoni.

"He's a winger and I really respect the way he plays. I think he's a good example for all of us," Farr said.

Farr is originally from London, England, and keeps his roots close to heart by admitting that international superstar David Beckham is his other.

The camp's instructors included former Galaxy player Danny Peña and USSF Region IV Coach Ralph Perez. Guest appearances came from the Galaxy players such as: Herculez Gomez, Joseph Ngwenya, Mamba Chisoni, Alan Gordon, Ben Benditson, Michael Enfield and Tyrone Marshall.

Name: Michael Escobedo

Age: 10

Hometown: Palos Verdes

Favorite Galaxy Player: Landon Donovan

Memorable Moment of Camp: Everything

Biggest Improvement During Camp: Offensive side steps and drag backs.

Preferred Number: 10

Name: Andre Suarez

Age: 8

Hometown: Harbor City

Favorite Galaxy Player: Cobi Jones

Memorable Moment of Camp: Learning about scrissor and bicycle kicks.

Preferred Number: 13

Name: Zach Cochrane

Age: 9

Hometown: Torrance

Favorite Galaxy Player: Cobi Jones

Memorable Moment of Camp: Meeting the players and watching them train.

Biggest Improvement During Camp: Dribbling

Preferred Number: 13

Name: Jake Felix

Age: 9

Hometown: Corona

Favorite Galaxy Player: Cobi Jones "He's always been an important part of the Galaxy."

Memorable Moment of Camp: Watching the Galaxy train.

Biggest Improvement During Camp: Learning more tricks such as stutter steps.

Preferred Number: 13

Name: Sammy Adida

Age: 8

Favorite Galaxy Player: Cobi Jones

Memorable Moment of Camp: Learning new moves.

Preferred Number: 6 "Pele and Ronaldinho wear it."

Name: Cameron Farr

Age: 8

Hometown: Los Angeles

Favorite Galaxy Player: All of them.

Memorable Moment of Camp: Improving skills.

Preferred Number: 16

Favorite National Team: England

Name: Alex Pluta

Age: 10

Hometown: Irvine

Favorite Galaxy Player: Kevin Hartman

Memorable Moment of Camp: Having lots of fun and learning.

Biggest Improvement During Camp: Movement with the ball.

Preferred Number: 9

Name: Jarvis Goode

Age: 11

Hometown: Torrance

Favorite Galaxy Player: Kevin Hartman

Memorable Moment of Camp: Meeting new people and scrimmaging.

Biggest Improvement During Camp: Defense

Preferred Number: 3

Name: Matt Arellano

Age: 10

Hometown: Torrance

Favorite Galaxy Player: Tyrone Marshall "He's plays for the Jamaican national team and I think he's a very good player."

Speaking with Tyrone Marshall: "I asked him who was the best player he had ever marked. He said Ronaldo."

Memorable Moment of Camp: Learning new skills.

Preferred Number: 99

Name: Alex Farr

Age: 11

Birthplace: London, England

Hometown: Santa Monica

Favorite Galaxy Player: Mamba Chisoni "He's a winger and I really respect the way he plays. I think he's a good example."

Favorite National Team: England

Favorite International Player: David Beckham "I like the way he takes free kicks and he crosses the ball very well."

Preferred Number: 7 "It was David Beckham's old number when he played for Manchester United."

Name: Brandon Itzep

Age: 11

Hometown: Rancho Cucamonga

Favorite Galaxy Player: Landon Donovan

Memorable Moment of Camp: "When I first saw Cobi Jones walk past me. It was like a miracle. I never thought I would see him up close."

Biggest Improvement During Camp: Passing and shooting "I wasn't passing much before I came here, but now I've really improved."

Preferred Number: 10

Name: Rebecca Pacun

Age: 13

Hometown: Irvine

Favorite Galaxy Player: Landon Donovan

Memorable Moment of Camp: Meeting the players and having lunch with them.

Biggest Improvement During Camp: Goalkeeper skills.

Preferred Number: 57

Name: Jenna Schroeder

Age: 10

Hometown: Glendale

Favorite Galaxy Player: Landon Donovan

Memorable Moment of Camp: Scrimmaging

Biggest Improvement During Camp: Shooting "Now I have confidence."

Preferred Number: 6

Name: Gabriela Barrera

Age: 12

Hometown: Los Angeles

Favorite Galaxy Player: Landon Donovan "He knows what he's doing and he scores a lot."

Memorable Moment of Camp: Improving skills such as shooting.

Biggest Improvement During Camp: Dribbing "I used to dribble far away from me, but now I dribble really close to my legs."

Meeting the Galaxy Players in Person: "It was tight because I actually saw them up close, instead of on TV."

Preferred Number: 10 "It was my dad's number when he played soccer."

Name: Kristina Hughes

Age: 12

Hometown: Rancho Palos Verdes

Favorite Galaxy Player: David Johnson

Biggest Improvement During Camp: Executing moves quicker.

Preferred Number: 9 "It's Mia Hamm's number."

Name: Lauren Rule

Age: 13

Hometown: Newport Beach

Favorite Galaxy Player: Herculez Gomez

Memorable Moment of Camp: Making new friends and shooting better.

Biggest Improvement During Camp: Shooting

Preferred Number: 7

Name: Cody Christian

Age: 12

Hometown: Torrance

Favorite Galaxy Player: Joseph Ngwenya "I like the way he takes on player and he's not always liked by everyone else."

Memorable Moment of Camp: Meeting the players.

Biggest Improvement During Camp: First touch

Preferred Number: 13

Name: Joseph Marin

Age: 12

Hometown: Torrance

Favorite Galaxy Player: Herculez Gomez "He's a great goal scorer and he has good footwork."

Memorable Moment of Camp: Learning new moves and scoring goals as a forward.

Herculez Gomez's Guest Appearance: "It was great to see how he works with the ball and to have him show us some of his moves."

Preferred Number: 5 "My whole family has always been 5, so I want to keep carrying it."

Name: Jacob Kirk

Age: 15


Hometown: Westminister

Meeting the Galaxy Players: "It was pretty cool. I got to learn lots of stuff from them. Herculez Gomez was cool. He was the best out of all of them."

Memorable Moment of Camp: Ball control "I'm able to confuse the defender more now."

Preferred Number: 13 or 18

Name: Kimberly Knefel

Age: 13

Hometown: Orange

Favorite Galaxy Player: Kevin Hartman

Memorable Moment of Camp: Being here with my friends and having a good time.

Biggest Improvement During Camp: Goalkeeper skills

Preferred Number: 8


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