Forward John Wolyniec impressed during his debut with the Galaxy Saturday.
Essy Ghavameddini/MLS/

Galaxy pleased with newcomers

and some 18 hours later they were taking the field for their new team.

Despite having just barely met their new teammates, Martino and Wolyniec were both bright spots in what was an extremely disappointing 3-0 home loss to Real Salt Lake.

Galaxy head coach Steve Sampson, who had little to be happy about on Saturday night, sang the praises of both his new players. The pair's teammates are excited to have both Martino and Wolyniec on the field as well.

Striker Herculez Gomez, who missed Saturday's game due to injury, is anxious to get on the field with his new teammates.

"Martino is a good player with a lot of promise and Wolyniec has been around the league, he knows the drill," said Gomez. "If these guys can help us here we're all for it."

Perhaps one of the biggest reasons that both Martino and Wolyniec were able to contribute so quickly was the fact that both were able to rely on each other to adjust to their new home.

"It makes it easier to have someone around to help you get familiar with the environment," said Wolyniec this week in training. "It definitely helps to have someone you know in training and on the field with you."

Martino echoed those sentiments, recalling the flight from Columbus early Saturday morning.

"This would have been really difficult to do by myself. We were both looking at each other saying 'thank God'," said Martino, "to have someone with you at the [Las] Vegas airport at 12 in the morning with a three-hour layover. It would have been tough to do on your own."

Wolyniec has been somewhat of a journeyman so far in his MLS career, with Los Angeles his fifth stop. His most productive year in the league came in 2004 when he netted 10 goals for the then-Metrostars.

Martino had been with only the Crew since his rookie campaign of 2002, when he won league rookie of the year honors. Tabbed as a future U.S. national team standout early on in his career, he has more recently seen his progress stall out on the international stage. Sampson feels that a new team could be just what both players need to find more consistent productivity.

"I think with certain players a change of environment helps a player," said Sampson. "We have good quality in John and Kyle. Hopefully this environment will be an impetus for them to be more productive."

For Martino, he couldn't be happier to be in Los Angeles, and to come to work every day at The Home Depot Center.

"This is a first class facility. I've been fortunate enough to train here with the national team," said Martino. "Every time you come here you realize what a great place this is."

Greg Daurio is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.

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