CARSON, Calif. – With Los Angeles Galaxy coaches and players shaking off the cobwebs of the offseason, the club has started putting the finishing touches on the roster as it gets ready to kick off preseason in earnest.
The Galaxy added two players to their roster – 16-year-old Home Grown product Jack McBean and 22-year-old Miguel López, formerly of Argentine side Quilmes – as well as assistant Curt Onalfo – former head coach with Kansas City and D.C. United – to round out the roster and coaching staff, respectively.
When the team hits the field with soccer balls for the first time in 2011 next Monday, the roster will be all but complete.
“It’s great to get going again,” Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said. “I think we’ve done a good job in the offseason trying to improve our team. Hopefully we’ll see that during the season. It’s never easy.”
The Galaxy were missing five players this week when the team reported for the start of preseason – David Beckham, Juan Pablo Angel, Juninho, McBean and López. Beckham is scheduled to return in the middle of February while Ángel, Juninho and López are all expected to join the team by next week.
One of the two newest players, Newport Beach, Calif., native McBean, will join the club once his US national team duty at the 2011 CONCACAF U-17 Championship is complete. The US will play their group-stage games on Feb. 14, 16 and 18 in Montego Bay, Jamaica, with the tournament final slated for Feb. 28.
McBean, who has some strong qualities, becomes the youngest player on the roster; how he adjusts to professional soccer remains to be seen.
“He’s a 16-year old [striker], strong, good with his back to the goal, athletically good,” Arena said. “He’s that at 16. We don’t get any bonus points for playing 16-, 17-, 18-year-old players. He’s now with the men. We’re going to see how that adds up in our environment.”
López, meanwhile, has some history with another Galaxy player. Both he and 2011 SuperDraft first-rounder Paolo Cardozo spent time with Quilmes of Argentina. López gives the Galaxy another attacking option, and one with a bit of flexibility.
“He’s a player on the ball that’s very eager to go at players one-on-one,” Arena said. “He’s dynamic in that sense and it’s something I think we need. It’s a player that can penetrate with the ball and go at players. That’s going to be the dimension he offers our team.”