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Ngwenya, Pena kick camp into gear

The Galaxy Youth Fantasy Camp completed Day Two on Tuesday with more development drills and professional exposure. After a day of training in the books, the camp participants built upon their foundation of fundamental skills in the midst of current and former Galaxy players.

Many of the campers understand that the development of important basic skills on the practice field will translate into increased performance during game time.

"With the goalkeeper coach, I learned how to dive," said Taylor Gray, an 11 year old from Huntington Beach. Gray's favorite soccer player is fellow Galaxy netminder, Kevin Hartman. Both goalkeepers share number 22 on the back of their jerseys as well.

Alex Kossoff, an 11 year old from Redondo Beach, and Emerald Livoti, an 11 year old from Upland both said turning with the ball while protecting it from an opposing player was an important skill they learned on Tuesday. Camp participants spend at least two hours in the morning fine tuning their techniques, then spend the afternoon hours implementing their newly sharpened skills while scrimmaging in teams.

More Galaxy players, past and present, worked today with the campers. Current Galaxy forward Joseph Ngwenya and former Galaxy player Danny Pena both took to the pitch to help instruct and give a demonstration of their skills.

The opportunity to meet and mingle with Ngwenya was memorable for many of the kids. Aubree West, a 12 year old from Hacienda Heights, will always remember when she met Ngwenya, her favorite player.

"He has so much motivation in his game. He never stops," West said. "I think it's a great experience [to meet him]. It's probably a once in a lifetime opportunity."

Mitch Wiseman, a 14 year old from Yucaipa, enjoyed a particularly special moment between he and Ngwenya. "I stopped a goal from him. It was really exciting," Wiseman said. "He's a pro and I'm not, so it was really cool."

Camp activities continue on Wednesday, when the campers will have the opportunity to eat lunch with current members of the Galaxy.

Following the end of the Fantasy Camp's second day, LAGalaxy.com caught up with a few campers to get their reactions:

Name: Aubree West

Age: 12

Hometown: Hacienda Heights

Moment of the Day: "Meeting my favorite player, Joseph Ngwenya."

Useful Skill Learned on Tuesday: Looking up while dribbling

Greatest Contribution to the Team: Setting up goals

Favorite Galaxy Player: Joseph Ngwenya; "He has so much motivation in his game, and he never stops."

Position: Center Midfield

Preferred Number: 17; "Ever since I've started club soccer I've had 17."

Meeting and Training With Galaxy Players: "I think it's a great experience. It's probably a once in a lifetime opportunity unless I ever go professional."

Name: Alex Kossoff

Age: 11

Hometown: Redondo Beach

Moment of the Day: Joseph Ngwenya

Useful Skill Learned on Tuesday: Protecting the ball from a player and turning

Greatest Contribution to the Team: Giving through balls

Favorite Galaxy Player: Landon Donovan; "Because he never stops. He's never out of energy and he keeps going and going."

Position: Center Midfield

Preferred Number: 2

Meeting and Training With Galaxy Players: "It's very cool because it's the only time you can meet them. Not a lot of people get to come here, so it's a really good experience."

Name: Emerald Livoti

Age: 11

Hometown: Upland

Moment of the Day: "At the end of the day when we got to scrimmage. It's fun to play against other people."

Useful Skill Learned on Tuesday: Turning with the inside or outside of your foot from another player.

Greatest Contribution to the Team: Dribbling

Favorite Galaxy Player: Landon Donovan; "I like his technique and I like how he plays."

Position: Left Forward

Preferred Number: 3

Meeting and Training With Galaxy Players: "They showed us all the moves and I know I can do better."

Name: Taylor Gray

Age: 11

Hometown: Huntington Beach

Moment of the Day: Meeting Joseph Ngwenya

Useful Skill Learned on Tuesday: "With the goalkeepers coach I learned how to dive."

Greatest Contribution to the Team: Cheering on others

Favorite Galaxy Player: Kevin Hartman

Position: Goalkeeper

Preferred Number: 22

Meeting and Training With Galaxy Players: "It's really special and I don't know if I'll be able to do it again."

Name: Sam Rudich

Age: 10

Hometown: Los Alamitos

Moment of the Day: Meeting Joseph Ngwenya "It's fun meeting other players and learning how they became a professional soccer player."

Useful Skill Learned on Tuesday: Receiving the ball and turning

Greatest Contribution to the Team: Cheering on teammates

Favorite Galaxy Player: Landon Donovan

Position: Left Midfield

Preferred Number: 9; "It's always been my number and it's lucky to me."

Meeting and Training With Galaxy Players: "It's a dream come true."

Name: Mark Arnold

Age: 12

Hometown: Riverside

Moment of the Day: Scrimmage

Useful Skill Learned on Tuesday: dribbling

Greatest Contribution to the Team: "I like to set people up."

Favorite Galaxy Player: Landon Donovan; "He's a forward and he also plays on the U.S. national team."

Position: Forward

Preferred Number: 10; "It's Landon's number and my dad used to wear 10 as well."

Meeting and Training With Galaxy Players: "It's really cool. I've always wanted to meet them in person."

Name: Seth Sweitzer

Age: 12

Hometown: Yucaipa

Moment of the Day: Meeting Joseph Ngwenya

Useful Skill Learned on Tuesday: Supporting from the sidelines because of injury

Favorite Galaxy Player: Cobi Jones and Landon Donovan

Position: Midfield

Preferred Number: 13

Meeting and Training With Galaxy Players: "It's awesome."

Name: Mitch Wiseman

Age: 14

Hometown: Yucaipa

Moment of the Day: Playing with Joseph Ngwenya; "I stopped a goal from him. It was really exciting. He's a pro and I'm not, so it was really cool."

Useful Skill Learned on Tuesday: How to jump better

Greatest Contribution to the Team: Intensity level on the field

Favorite Galaxy Player: Kevin Hartman; "He's so good at goalie. He never quits."

Position: Goalkeeper

Preferred Number: 5

Meeting and Training With Galaxy Players: "It's pretty cool that they're coming out just for us. It's always cool to meet professional players."

Name: Andrew Limon

Age: 13

Hometown: Banning

Moment of the Day: Seeing Joseph Ngwenya display his skills

Useful Skill Learned on Tuesday: Better ball control

Greatest Contribution to the Team: Passing

Favorite Galaxy Player: Chris Albright

Position: Center Midfield

Preferred Number: 16

Meeting and Training With Galaxy Players: "It's awesome. It's cool that they come out here and show us different stuff."


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