CARSON, Calif. — When the LA Galaxy kicked off 2012, the midfield looked quite similar to how it ended 2011.
In the center of the pitch were Juninho and David Beckham, large parts of the championship puzzle. And also large reasons for newcomer Marcelo Sarvas to struggle in his attempt at earning playing time.
But heading into Saturday's match against New England, Sarvas said he is doing whatever he can to distinguish himself and get on the field.
"It's the same team that played last year," Sarvas told MLSsoccer.com. "They are doing good and I'm here to add something. Of course I want to play also like everyone here. We have 30 players and 30 players want to play so I have to train hard, do my best and wait for my opportunity to come."
WATCH: Sarvas opens MLS account
Sarvas is doing his best both on and off the field. The 30-year-old carries himself like a statesman away from the game, quick to smile and endear himself to teammates and observers.
He was also strong in the midfield in his MLS debut against Real Salt Lake on March 10, and nearly opened his account with a long-range shot that rattled the crossbar in that match.
A week later Sarvas did find the back of the net, scoring his first MLS goal after having come on as a substitute in the Galaxy's 3-1 victory.
"Always when you score a goal it's important, you feel good," he said. "To me particularly it's important because I'm coming here, I have to show [well] to win my spot on the team, in the group."
Teammates have spoken highly of Sarvas since he first arrived, in part because of how he fared against the Galaxy in their two games against Alajuelense in the CONCACAF Champions League group stage.
Then a member of the Costa Rican side, Sarvas stood out with strong performances in both matches.
Now he's trying to prove to them on a daily basis that their initial thoughts were correct while trying to get on coach Bruce Arena's good side.
"When you do these things the right way, when you train hard, when you work hard, good things come to you,” Sarvas said. “This is just something that I'm doing during the week and then it's coming in the games."
Luis Bueno covers the LA Galaxy for MLSsoccer.com and can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.