When the team sheets came out on Monday night, the name that drew the biggest surprise was Cameron Dunbar.
The 17-year-old winger was signed by the LA Galaxy just prior to the season and made his first professional start against the Portland Timbers in LA's Group F opener at the MLS is Back Tournament. The Galaxy fell 2-1 to the Timbers, and Dunbar played 66 minutes before getting subbed off.
The Homegrown Player didn't make the bench in the Galaxy's first two matches of the season, but with Aleksandar Katai's departure from the club during the COVID-19 shutdown, an opportunity was available for someone to grab minutes on the wing.
"We need to take good care of him," Galaxy striker Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez said after the match. "... He's a very good prospect for this country and I think he's doing a very good process and he's a very good player, but we need go slowly. It doesn't matter if today if he had a good match or a bad match, soccer is about a long race — it's not a sprint."
Dunbar led the Galaxy with three chances created on Monday night and was part of the buildup that led to Hernandez's penalty kick in the 12th minute. At the academy level, he tallied 70 goals in various levels of the U.S. Soccer Developmental Academy system since beginning play in 2015.
"I think he played well," said head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto. "We saw him as a really good player trying always to be very direct and he played very well in the 1v1s."
LA's next match comes against crosstown rivals LAFC on Saturday night (10:30 pm ET; ESPN, ESPN Deportes in US; TSN in Canada). Dunbar could have a role to play with bragging rights on the line.