In Thursday’s SuperDraft, the Los Angeles Galaxy took two players who could fill similar roles as Paolo Cardozo and Hector Jimenez are both midfielders who could bolster the team in the center of the field.
That’s about where the similarities end.
Cardozo (pictured above) and Jimenez are from opposite corners of the Western Hemisphere and took much different paths to get themselves to the Galaxy.
Now with the club, the two players share a similar mentality, though: Do what it takes to play and help out the club.
“Once the preseason starts, I just have to show what I have and show the manager that I can play,” Cardozo told MLSSoccer.com after the draft. “I’ll be happy to play where he needs me.”
A 20-year-old midfielder in the mold of Juninho, Cardozo was born in Montevideo, Uruguay. Cardozo, taken with the 16th pick in the draft, is already a bit of a polished professional, having been on the books with Peñarol in his native Uruguay as well as River Plate and most recently Quilmes of Argentina.
WATCH: Cardozo highlights
Cardozo said he was excited to join a team such as the Galaxy.
“I know the club is a very important one in the league, who has some very important players, some name players like (David) Beckham, (Landon) Donovan as well,” Cardozo said. “I’m very happy. I just have to do things the right way.”
[inline_node:326032]Unlike Cardozo, who hails from a city more than 6,000 miles from Carson, Jimenez’s hometown is within driving distance of Home Depot Center. Born in Huntington Park and an alumni of Bell Gardens High School, Jimenez said he is very familiar with his new team’s training grounds.
WATCH: Jimenez highlights
“Growing up I used to go watch their games a lot, go watch them practice and stuff like that,” Jimenez said. “Being able to be a part of that team and that program is a dream come true.”
Unlike Cardozo’s unique path to the draft, Jimenez took a more straightforward route. After graduating high school, Jimenez went to the University of California and played for the Golden Bears for four seasons. After compiling five goals and 28 assists during his time there, he was hoping an MLS team would draft him.
When the Galaxy selected him in the second round, he said his entire family rejoiced.
“They’re so happy and excited that I’m local and they’ll be able to go watch me play, especially my mom,” Jimenez said. “My mom’s really attached to me. She was full of joy, just crying and in tears that I’m staying around here.”