22 Under 22

LA Galaxy's Jalen Neal: 22 Under 22 was "one of my goals" for this year


It’s mission accomplished for Jalen Neal.

The LA Galaxy, shortly after this year's 22 Under 22 presented by BODYARMOR list was revealed, shared a surprise video where the homegrown center back was informed he made the cut in 2023.

“Oh, that's amazing,” Neal said after getting the good news (and a big hug) from his mother as his older brother and friend also shared the special moment with him. "What number? Better not be 22.”

The 20-year-old need not worry – he checked in at No. 14 overall.

"That was one of my goals for this year," Neal said. "A few of my U-20 national team teammates got that last year. And I was like, I think once I get playing time, I’ll be in there."

He was right. Neal started 14 of the 16 first-team matches he appeared in this year before his season was cut short due to sports hernia surgery. He also played in all but one USMNT match during their Concacaf Gold Cup semifinal run last summer.

“One more step to where I want to be,” Neal added.