CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy have two trialists in camp, and head coach Bruce Arena has identified them: a pair of young Brazilians hoping to follow in Juninho's and Leonardo's footsteps.
One of them, 19-year-old Matheus Ferreira de Sousa – he goes by “Matheus Ferreira” or simply “Matheus” – saw action in the 7-2 victory over UCLA on Wednesday, and he won plaudits from Leonardo, his second-half partner in central defense.
“It's easy to play with him because he's Brazilian, and in Brazil there's a different style,” said Leonardo who, like Juninho, first came to the Galaxy in 2010 on loan from São Paulo. “There's a line of four [in the back] here, but in Brazil, the two wingers move up forward and the two center backs stay back more. He's played well. He's only had two or three days to adapt himself over here, and he's done OK.”
Matheus Ferreira has played in central defense and as a holding midfielder in Red Bull Brasil's academy, but Arena said he did not believe he was currently with a club.
The other, “Marquinho” – full name Marcus Vinicius Gregorio de Souza – is a 20-year-old midfielder from Fluminense who was loaned last year to Porto de Caruaru and this year to Tupi. He did not play Wednesday.
Both arrived in camp Monday, and Arena declined to identify them until after Wednesday's match.
“Don't have any lasting impression [on Matheus Ferreira] at this point. It's just wait and see every day and see what he looks like,” Arena said.
Of Marquinho, the Galaxy boss said: “Again, just in for a couple days. We'll see as he moves forward.”
The Galaxy dominated the game against UCLA, with Sean Franklin – playing on the right side of midfield – and rookie Charlie Rugg each scoring two goals. Jack McBean contributed three assists and Bryan Gaul added two helpers of his own.
UCLA's lineup included attacker Evan Raynr, a D.C. United Supplemental Draft selection who has already been released from that club's camp, and defender Matt Wiet, whom Bruins coach Jorge Salcedo said would be joining the Columbus Crew after he completes his degree this spring. Wiet is eligible to sign with the Crew as a Homegrown player.